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Clever Gadget Hacks

I. Out of the box Desk Organizer

Who could ever imagine that a broom head can be used as an organizer? If you are a shrewd stylist who can come up with just about anything and everything under the sun, you will be able to think of the idea. For other people, it would be really hard.

Are you thinking of a unique, handcrafted and inventive gift to family and friends?  Here is an awesome gift suggestion to consider before you head to your favorite department store.

1. You will just need these practical and affordable items available at the nearest hardware or janitorial stores:

– 2 Broom heads sizes 10” x 2.75”  

– Your phone’s charging cable

– 8 Stick-on Rubber feet

– Scissors

2. Placing the rubber feet

– On the wooden handle, bottom part of the broom heads, stick rubber feet on all corners with at least ¼” from the edges.

3. Creating your mobile phone’s charging slot

– Find the built-in spaces amongst the broom’s bristles, this will house your phone while charging, do this in just one of the broom head.  Trim the bristles in a manner that will allow your phone to be settled evenly in that space.   Do this by ensuring that bristles will be cut fittingly.

4. Wire Connections

– Insert the other end of your phone’s charger into the hole that has the thread.  Just leave the charging port that connects to your phone at the bristle tops.

5. Put them all together

– Voila! You now have a distinctive desk organizer that you can place beside your desktop or workstation. Just make sure that it is close to a power source for your mobile phone charging needs.

II. RC Power Wheels

In today’s advancing technology, reinventing a remote control power wheel may just be a little tougher than what it is like in the past.  It requires basic mechanical knowledge to allow you to tweak the electrical wiring connections correctly and adjust it to your needs.  

One good example of RC power wheel realignment is the one designed for a child with cerebral palsy.  The RC power vehicle is altered and enhanced to match the limited movements of the child.  The companion controls the RC system while the child rides his jeep by himself.  The system set up costs roughly $1,000. A measly amount compared to the happiness it gives to the child.

III. Easy to Do Robot Gripper

Soon – gone are the days of manual human labor as the time of mechanically engineered agents or robots are proliferating in this time and age.  These robots may come with a highly complex mechanism or may just be composed of plain and simple mechanical components.  Scientists and researchers have come up with different kinds of robot grippers or end effectors, all of which have different functions.

These end effectors have varying mechanisms to mimic the hand movements of humans.  All of the end effectors have a common mechanism as follows:  Gripper approaches an object in a soft state. Gripper takes the shape of the object being picked up, and air is pressurized so objects can be manipulated.  Let’s take a look at an example of an amorphous robot gripper where we are going to use the jamming process.

We will need these materials to do our amorphous gripper:

Balloons, coffee grounds, plastic funnel, air hose/tubing, duct tape, small plastic tube, air pump and thin cloth.

The Jamming Process:

The coffee grounds are placed inside the balloon; there is an air hose that serves as the passage of air from the air pump.  When you start to release air from the balloon, the coffee grounds will loosen up. Now when you press it against any object, the coffee grounds will circulate inside the balloon, allowing them to take the form of the object.  This movement will let you hold an object by pressing hard against it and then extracting air from the balloon.  The balloon’s rubberized surface aids in gripping the object for it not to slip.

IV. iTorch Raspberry Pi Flashlight Projector

Expand your viewing pleasure with a portable and wireless projection system that will allow you to project your media wherever you may be.  It combines the capabilities of a viewing device and a controller with the use of a battery powered projector. It is illuminated by a flashlight which can be a costly project but this innovation will allow you to project holograms anywhere you like.

V. Cheap Lithium Battery Pack

Converting your old mobile phone battery into a lithium battery is one of the highly clever hacks nowadays.   For one, lithium-polymer battery packs are expensive since these are one of the advanced and powerful batteries today.

It takes a skillful mind to do this project because this is highly sensitive and risky procedures are involved.  Make sure you equip yourself with the right steps and precautionary measures before embarking on this plan.

VI. Arduino Thermostat

Living in the small confinements of an apartment or dorm can be painstaking, especially to those who are living in cold places.  Using an Arduino thermostat, temperature sensor and a motor will help ease the burden of manually switching your heater on/off to your desired temperature.

VII. 3D Scanning with Skanect

Would you like to see a mini me of yourself?  Here comes 3D Scanning using the Microsoft Kinect and Skanect software.

1. To do this, you will need the following:  desktop since the files are large, Skanect software (http://skanect.manctl.com/). Microsoft Kinect, lights and spinning platform

2. For the software settings:  inside Skanect, click New, make sure that your settings match those in the picture. Press start – for small figure. You will need to adjust the bounding box a bit smaller.

3. For Workspace:  Screen will show the bounding box in the middle.  The infrared light and the video images are on the right side.

4. For Image:  Have your subject step on the platform; make sure that the lighting is just right and consistently focused on your subject.

5. Kinect : One needs to hold the Kinect up as the level of the subject’s waist, press record.  The Kinect will record the depth and the color.

6. Movement: Spin Around – As soon as you have a full sweep of your subject, press the pedal to make the platform spin.  As your subject is spinning, scan his entirety to capture the figure from head to toe.

VIII. Controllable Coffee Roaster From an Air Popcorn Popper

Coffee lovers will appreciate DIY Coffee Roaster.  It needs basic engineering and craftsmanship to transform a hot air popcorn popper into a functional coffee roaster.

All you need is a proper adaptation of internal temperature sensors along with the reactive control system and the software’s ability to save the roasting profile. This DIY will definitely match the expensive programmable roaster.

These clever gadget hacks will greatly help you survive in this modern age. These are inventive techniques that can help alleviate the conundrum of our daily living.  If you just have the time, equipment, software and a little bit of craftsmanship then you can absolutely experiment on doing these suggestions and see how it is to live life in innovation.

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