You Built What?!

You Built What!? Lrry, A Fire Breathing Robo-Beast

Meet Lrry, a part-equine, part-reptile fire-breathing monster

Slow Ride: “Lrry has no brakes,” says builder Lyle Rowell. “Nor do I.”  Elle Dunn
Don’t call Lyle Rowell’s giant fire-breathing robot a dog. The artist, who lives in Rimini, Italy, insists that his 1,900-pound creation, Lrry (pronounced “Larry”), is actually a cloven-hooved, two-legged, half-donkey, half-raptor-type-reptile.

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A Water-Powered Jetpack

The Jetlev-Flyer propels itself using a torrent of water

When Raymond Li decided to build a jetpack propelled by water instead of rocket fuel, most of his friends thought he had gone crazy. Worse, engineers told him it would be impossible to manage the water’s mass and thrust to keep it stable in the air.

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Alien invaders crop it sweet

Primitive alien crop circles humiliated by Japanese rice field art

Alien conspiracy theorists regularly peddle the old crop circles story, which make for some pretty pictures, but the Japanese have got them beat: Rice field artwork. There’s no dye, ink or paint involved – they simply use different coloured rice plants, each of them painstakingly and precisely arranged on the field.

The tradition of rice field artwork began in 1993, with the most splendid of displays at Aomori Village in Inakadate, 960km north of Tokyo. The images are created by hundreds of villagers and volunteers during the planting season in May.

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So We Put a Jet Turbine On Our ATV...

Meet the Whirl: the world’s first side-by-side ATV powered by a screaming 114 dB turbine

Don your Nomex firesuit and industrial-grade ear protection: It’s time to soak in some nature at 60mph. PopSci staff photographer/madman John Carnett has realized an unholy dream long in the making: an ATV powered entirely by a jet turbine.

And then he took it to the woods and pushed it to the limit; to the edge of logic, control and sanity.

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Drink-Slinging Droid

A robot that tends bar like a pro (and never needs a tip)

A veteran of the TV show Battlebots, Jamie Price has built plenty of destructive machines. But late last year, he designed a robot with a more mellow calling: offering cold beer and cocktails. The result — a masterpiece of plywood, plastic, aluminum and electric motors called Bar2D2 — serves up everything but the sage advice.

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Homemade Guitar Hero

A builder rocks out with a servo-motor-controlled ax

When Keith Baxter asked a salesman at a Milwaukee sporting-goods store for something stronger than 60-pound line, he wasn’t dreaming of big fish. He was hoping to catch a face-melting solo—he needed the line for his PC-controlled, motorized guitar.

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The Deepest Oil Well

5.7km under the ocean in the Gulf of Mexico is the base of the Perdido Spar

Name: Perdido Spar
Where: Gulf of Mexico
Cost: Undisclosed
Estimated completion: First oil, 2010; all wells online, 2016
The challenge: Moor a skyscraper-size floating rig to the seafloor, then drill the world’s deepest subsea well

320 kilometres off the coast of Galveston, Texas, below 3,050 metres of water and another 2,700 metres of mud, salt and rock, lies Shell Oil’s most ambitious new target, a swath of seabed the size of Houston that holds enough oil and natural gas to produce up to 130,000 barrels a day.

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Solar Powered Shaggin’ Wagon

This new hybrid van is making hybrid motoring sexy

Hollywood celebrities such as Cameron Diaz are putting their names behind innovative cars such as the Toyota Prius. But when it comes to making hybrid cars sexy, Canadian industrial design company Verdier feels it can go even further with its new solar-powered hybrid kombi look-alike.

Still in the prototype stage, Verdier has already taken orders and plans to roll out the first of 250 vans in 2010. With a price tag of US$129,000, they’re not cheap, but their environmental credentials and kombi chic are certain to make them a hot item for cashed-up cool kids.

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Sony Creates World’s Largest Zoetrope

It’s back to the future for Sony, but don’t worry, they’re still creating consumer electronics

Sony has created the world’s largest zoetrope as part of their latest ad campaign for the 200Hz Bravia TV (you can see how they did it in our photo gallery). And it makes perfect sense. Why wouldn’t you advertise your latest TV invention with ultra smooth motion by creating a large toy from the 1800s that takes frame rates, tries to digest them and ends up choking on a really small mouthful?

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Stunning Glass-Top Pool Table Dazzles With Its Design And Pricetag

Stun your friends by shoving one of these in your games room! Read the full story for a video as well

Forget for a minute the fact that cleaning this Australian-made and designed pool table would be an absolute bitch and just admire its gorgeous industrial styling. Created from the ground up by Adelaide-based Industrial designer Craig Nottage and featuring a glass table topped with a patented transparent surface called Vitrik which mimics traditional felt, the G-1 table is as stunning as a pool table is ever likely to find. Watching sunken balls work their way through the ball return is mesmerising, as you can see in the clip below.

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Door in the Floor Leads to Amazing Spiral Wine Dungeon

The ultimate way to store your top drops

Story from Gizmodo Australia

Rich wine nerds have a wine cellar. Very, very rich wine nerds install a door in their kitchen floor leading to a spiral staircase surrounded by wine, which is the coolest wine cellar ever.

In addition to being certifiably badass, a spiral wine cellar uses the ground to keep bottles at an ideal temperature without needing any fancy electronics. It saves space and, sure, why not, let's call it cost effective.

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A Silent Electric Plane

An electric plane that cruises silently at 70 mph and costs just 70 cents to charge

Happy Landings : The builder says his goal was a noiseless plane that would fly as smoothly as a magic carpet.  John B. Carnett
In August, at the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) AirVenture show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, Randall Fishman’s ElectraFlyer-C made a virtually silent pass over the audience at a mere 200 feet. What they were seeing (but not hearing) might be the world’s first fully electric-powered airplane—representing, said one EAA official, “a groundbreaking technology that would be aviation’s first true alternative to a fossil-fuel engine.”

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Steaming Down the Road

Full story inside this issue of Popular Science, out now!

Ten years of toil for a ride lasting less than two minutes -- that's the trade a team of Britain's finest engineers, mechanics and speed junkies have made for a chance to break the century-old speed record for a steam-powered vehicle. Using propane to turn 10 gallons of water a minute into superheated steam, they expect their 25-foot-long Steam Car to top out at 275kph, shattering the record by more than 60kph.

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Make A Walking Beast

Six tons of steel that lumbers around on eight giant legs

Martin Montesano had been captivated since childhood by enormous walking machines like the ones in The Empire Strikes Back. A few real-life versions have been built before, but they never lived up to his vision. He wanted his to be huge.

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Making Music with Lasers

A floor-to-ceiling virtual instrument that can rock for real

Playing the harp isn’t the most high-tech pastime—unless, like Stephen Hobley, you use lasers in place of the strings. Though not the first home-built laser harp, Hobley’s creation is unquestionably the coolest. Played by disrupting the laser beams with his hands, it can produce just about any sound. Better yet, it’s also a fully functioning controller for a version of Guitar Hero.

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