On Monday, school officials in Irving, Texas called the police on 14-year-old high school student Ahmed Mohamed when they suspected that a clock he built himself and brought to school could be a bomb. The internet quickly picked up the gauntlet, and rallied around the hashtag [#IStandWithAhmed]((http://www.popsci.com/istandwithahmed-hashtag-internet-fights-wrongful-arrest-with-science) in support for the wrongly arrested teen. Now Ahmed is hoping that the good people of the internet will show their support financially, as well: last night, he launched a fundraising campaign on crowdfunding site Launchgood for a scholarship that will go to him and other young inventors like him.
The humble electric hand drill, staple of workbenches everywhere, is more than just a simple tool for carving holes into walls. Put to other uses, it's a powerful engine, capable of driving all sorts of contraptions. Like this weird drill-powered walking machine by Izzy Swan, that looks like if H.R. Giger had designed the Segway. Watch it move below:
The challenge of the Autonomous Vehicle Competition, hosted by hobbyist electronics vendor SparkFun at its Boulder, Colorado, headquarters, seems simple enough: Build a robot that can navigate itself around the company's parking lot. Though the AVC course is dotted with small obstacles, it's really just one lap — a distance of less than 900 feet. But for the majority of competitors, it feels more like the path into Mordor.
Let's say you and your friends like to get together to build outrageously tough and seriously fast off-road vehicles and race them in far-off-the-grid places, like the Baja 1000. Now let's say that some component of your beast of a race vehicle fails or just plain falls off, and your chase vehicle is a hundred miles away. As IT specialist and off-road enthusiast Bud Gaston put it, “A phone is useless out there.” Which is why Gaston built DesertTrax.
Full-length trailers for the latest Star Wars film aren't even out yet, but a new character is already fast become a fan favorite. BB-8, an orange droid that looks like a half-dome head resting on top of a ball, appeared onstage earlier this month at the Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim, California, where delighted fans could see the actual, physical robot that makes BB-8 work. How the robot itself works is a mystery (though we have theories), but fan Christain Poulsen has already made his own working version.
Patrick Priebe isn't Iron Man, but he's getting pretty close. In a video uploaded to YouTube earlier this week, the Priebe shows off his homemade Iron Man gauntlet, which has not one but two lasers--one on top and one in the palm--as well as an ejectable piece of metal for that ultra-realistic “empty shells falling onto the ground” sound effect.