Artist Animates Super Mario Bros. in His Notebook

Do you love Super Mario Bros.? Then check out this very cool Super Mario Bros. level 1-1 stop motion animation that takes place entirely in a notebook. The animation was hand drawn by artist and YouTuber Kisaragi Hutae 6 and it really looks amazing.

Most of the elements like Mario, goombas, blocks, etc were made as cutouts, so he didn’t drive himself too crazy while making the video. The background was not. I can’t draw to save my life, and if I had to make a stop motion video on top of the drawing, it would look like a 3-year-old did it. Plus I don’t have the patience either, so stuff like this amazes me.

I think we have lost our sense of wonder when it comes to stuff like this. It’s really impressive when you think about it. This guy created a mini-movie/game inside of a notebook. When is the last time that you did that? You might say that Kisaragi has 1-upped you and me both with this project. Get it? That’s just a little mushroom humor from the Mushroom Kingdom.

[via The Verge via Geekologie]

This Robot Will Beat You at Jenga

When not building robots that we kill us and take over the world, researchers at MIT are working on robots that will just demoralize us and make us feel like losers. For example, this specialized robot combines vision and touch to teach itself to play Jenga. In case you’ve been living under a rock all your life, Jenga is a game of stacked wooden blocks where you have to pull out blocks without making the tower collapse.

The robot has a soft-pronged gripper, a force-sensing wrist cuff, and an external camera that allows it to “see” and “feel” the tower and the individual blocks. It can push gently against a block as the visual and tactile feedback is assessed from the camera and cuff. These forces are compared to other measurements. It can learn in real-time if the block can be removed without making the tower collapse. There’s no way we can compete with that.

Researchers think this technology would be great for things like separating recyclable objects from a landfill, and assembling consumer products. Then they just laugh at how much this robot will kick your butt at Jenga. Really they are just using their big brains to mess with us and to point and laugh.

[via SlashGear]

Russian Dad Builds Daughter Leaf Blower Powered Sled

A guy recently built his daughter a sweet winter sled, powered by two leaf blowers. It was made by a very cool dad from Belgorod, Russia, and he is clearly winning at the parenting game.

The video below is only about 18 seconds long, but that’s long enough to show off this crazy creation as it propels the kid through the snow chasing an adult. It looks like this sled gets up to a decent speed too, but not fast enough for me. I would add at least three more industrial-strength leaf blowers. And put a plow on the front too. There’s no reason that kid can’t be plowing the driveway while she’s having all of that fun. And give those blowers some sway so she can make turns. But otherwise, it’s pretty damn cool.

I saw someone in the comments section saying “It blows!” Whatever man. Why don’t you make like a tree and leaf!

Man, these kids today have way cooler dads than we had when I was a kid. Back then our dads were all like “Do your homework” and stuff. Now fathers all over the world are building cool stuff for their kids. I want a dad like this guy.

[via Geekologie]

Guy Builds Flamethrower to Remove Snow: Overkill Much?

Shoveling snow is really bad for your back. It’s also the cause of heart attacks for many people every year. Screw that. You wanna remove snow? You need fire. A guy from Grassy, Missouri recently built himself a flamethrower for quick snow removal. Hmmm. I wonder why they don’t sell this at Home Depot.

This baby will clean up the snow super fast and I’m sure it keeps him toasty warm. This builder says that ever since he was a kid he always wanted a flamethrower, and now that he’s older he made one out of spare parts, making his dream come true. It runs off a diesel and oil mix and is powered by CO2. He’s a simple man who hates snow and loves fire. This flamethrower burns five gallons of diesel in about ten minutes and has quick change tips to fan the spray or stream it for long distances of up to fifty feet.

Pretty sweet. Now I want to see him create a Mad Max flamethrower snow plow so he can look like a comet barreling down the street. I love the smell of burning asphalt on a winter morning!

[via Geekologie]

Melting Metal LEGO Minifigs Like Mini Terminators

What you’re about to watch is either a James Cameron movie with a VERY low budget, or a bunch of LEGO minifigs made out of gallium and melted for fun. It’s actually the latter, and it is very fun to watch. YouTuber DaveHax used LEGO minifig shaped ice molds to make some figures, then melted them like little T-1000s. It may just be the best thing ever.

Gallium is a solid metal at room temperature but has a melting point of around 86°F (30°C), and that’s what allows the magic to happen so easily. Minifigs look awesome in gallium, but they look even cooler when they melt. Too bad Dave couldn’t find a way to make it wear a tiny police uniform.

First, he tried to put them on a hot tray, but only the feet melted. Then he tried candles under the tray, but still no Terminator melting. They did melt, but not in the coolest way, but once he leaned it against the back of the tray, that’s when he got that sweet Terminator action. Check it out:

BTW I love Dave’s sciency voice.

[via The Awesomer via Geekologie]

Watch a Hexapod Do an ’80s-style Aerobics Routine: Botercise!

Shut the internet down! I have finally seen everything. If you have ever wondered how robots stay in shape, we have the answer. Apparently, it all goes back to the 1980s. This video shows us that robots keep fit by doing aerobics Jane Fonda style, complete with 1980s aerobics studio film set. Who knew? THIS is the reason they will be hard to kill when they come for us in the apocalypse. These bots are fit!

Check out this video of a 3D printed Z6 hexapod robot by Robugtix performing a 1980’s style aerobics show routine. It’s pretty badass. It’s just too bad the robot isn’t wearing one of those silly leotard things that people wore back then. This ‘bot has all the moves, if not the clothes. It works out to a classic ’80s jam that be at home in almost any ’80s action or drama movie, and basically shakes its servos all over the place.

At the beginning of the video, the six-legged robot unfolds itself and starts the routine. It moves surprisingly smoothly. So at least now we know that our future will be filled with agile robots who will dance over our graves.

[via Laughing Squid via Geekologie]

Adam Savage Shows off Awesome Blade Runner Blimp Replica

One of the coolest things about Blade Runner was its future environment. And in that universe, we saw those cool floating advertising blimps. Sadly, these futuristic airships still haven’t become a reality, so it’s up to us to create them if we want them. Fortunately, Adam Savage and Kayte Sabicer of Tested have done just that, creating an awesome mini replica of the floating billboards.

While Adam led the project, it’s clear from the video that Kayte did most of the heavy lifting on this build, so kudos, Kayte! It took many months of work and it shows. This thing is full of detail and yes, it even displays on its built-in video screen. Plug it in, and an ad comes up for the Off-World Colonies where you can begin again in a land of golden opportunity. Inside, it has fiber-optics and a color wheel inside so that its lights change just like they did in the movie. It even uses the original video files and sound files from the film. And since it was built to half-scale of the original movie model, it required much more precision to put it all together.

You can check out a few more detail images of this amazing build below, courtesy of Norman Chan.

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I want this thing so badly. Sadly it’s one of a kind. Maybe I can capture Adam and Kayte and lock them in my basement until they make me one? Is that going too far? God, this thing is gorgeous.


Package Thieves Get Glitter Bomb Surprise

Package theft a problem many of us have experienced with the increase of home deliveries we get these days. Engineer Mark Rober is no stranger to this. A shipment had been delivered, but when checking his porch there was nothing. Security footage revealed someone stealing his delivery, and he had no recourse. What’s a rocket scientist supposed to do? Get some over-engineered revenge, that’s what.

It took six months to design and build, but Mark and his friends created the perfect booby trap. It is a compact unit disguised as an Apple HomePod. The most important part is the spinning cup on the top which contains a large amount of super-fine glitter. When activated, it throws glitter in every direction to make a truly bad day for package thieves. Glitter is the gift that keeps on giving after all. Oh and there’s also a can of fart spray that gets activated. So the criminals usually throw it out of a car window and then Mark can retrieve the device.

This package sits on the porch until an accelerometer detects movement. Then GPS checks to see if the package has traveled outside a geo-fence around Mark’s home. Then a signal is sent to the four smartphones inside of the package to start recording, and then deliver the glitter payload. The fart spray keeps triggering every 30 seconds to increase the chances they’ll dispose of the package. Now that’s an impressive engineering job.

You can see it in action several times in the video. These porch pirates will think twice before they steal another package.

[via Hackaday]

Micro Drones Work Together to Open a Door

Any thoughts that you had about running through a door to find safety from killer robots is now useless. These drones are no bigger than the palm of your hand, but they can work together to open a door. Created by Stanford University, EPFL and NCCR Robotics in Switzerland, these micro drones called FlyCroTug have advanced gripping technologies that allow them to anchor to a surface and haul objects that weigh as much as 40 times their weight. This is not going to end well.

It’s all under the guise of search and rescue, in which these drones would be able to search through collapsed buildings, opening doors, and possibly moving debris out of the way. They use gecko-inspired non-sticky adhesive to grip objects and surfaces. Using a series of fishhook-like metal spines they can latch onto smooth and rough surfaces. They also have powerful winches to reel in their cargo.

The design is inspired by wasps, which are able to fly rapidly to a piece of food, and if the food is too heavy to fly with, wasps will drag it along the ground. Pretty cool, but scary as hell. This is another reason to always lock your doors. Robots can open them. Check the FlyCroTug robots out in action in the video below:

[via Mike Shouts]