Kiddie Ride Flight Stick

To fully experience Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020, you need a serious flight stick. Behold, a design based on those kiddie rides of yesteryear! If you are not aware, a “kiddie ride” is a coin-operated machine, usually located in a mall or department store, that allows a toddler to ride a small vehicle or animal. These rides aren’t as fun as they look.

This is merely a joystick with a toy plane attached. Holding the tail will allow you to tilt the plane in all directions, so the plane in-game will mimic the behavior of this flight stick plane.

Turning the rudder will… turn the rudder in-game. That takes care of all 3 axis of movement! Many joysticks can be rotated as well, so the plane could be turned in this fashion too, if the rudder is a pain to use.

The coin box can operate as the acceleration thingy planes use…looks like a big lever? It’s a bit gimmicky but that is what this controller is about. There are a few buttons on the stand as well.

This was a fun design, I enjoyed making it. When I first started my goal was to make an accessible flight stick (like this accessible steering controller) and it was pretty basic: a small plane balanced/perched on a raised stand, which can be pivoted and turned with a single finger. It couldn’t work, the user would be constantly adjusting the plane and it would be tedious and slow.

Power Adapter Game Console

Inspired by this neat Nintendo Switch dock, I thought it would be fun to fit an entire game console into a power adapter. The idea is not so far-fetched, nowadays you can get a 4K computer to fit in a tiny box.

This wall adapter features a tiny wireless controller, about the size of the 8bitdo Zero 2. It stores in a small compartment, where it also docks and charges.

After plugging this into the wall, all that is needed is to run an HDMI cable to the TV. Only one cable to deal with! I currently have a Raspberry Pi Zero as my travel kit for gaming, and it needs an HDMI cable, the power adapter, and a wired USB SNES controller to operate. It’s often a tangled, bulky mess.

Speaking of the HDMI cable, I designed the shape of this device to act as a spool for the cable:

With the power prongs folded up, this would make for such a compact kit. I believe it would be small enough to be sold in vending machines at airports and hotels.

For this design I think a bunch of included 8-bit and 16-bit games would complete the package. An SD Card slot for adding games would be welcome too. If you want to be really fancy, this could include wi-fi and streaming apps. A variant with 2 controllers can be done as well.

Kitchen Appliances With Privacy Glass Doors

Privacy Glass (a.k.a. Smart Glass) is a neat invention, it converts clear glass into a frosted pane at the flick of a switch. This technology can be applied to a couple of common kitchen appliances in very interesting ways.

First up, the dishwasher. Most of the time, the glass will be frosted to conceal the dirty dishes within. After a wash cycle is complete, the glass will turn clear to denote the dishes are now clean. Once the dishwasher is emptied, the glass turns frosted again (weight sensors can determine the dish racks are now empty).

As for the fridge, the front door would be frosted most of the time. When someone approaches and trips a motion sensor, the glass door turns clear and the interior light illuminates, showing off all the food contained inside.

Probably the biggest reason we don’t see glass doors on fridges and dishwashers is because people don’t want to see a million condiments or filthy dishes all the time, but the Privacy Glass allows for a look inside when the occasion calls for it.

A similar approach could be applied to the microwave door and oven door, but I don’t see Privacy Glass being all that handy in either scenario, unless people don’t like seeing the insides of these appliances for whatever reason.

Minecraft Torch Xbox Series X

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The top of the Xbox Series X illuminates, so this idea was born. If Microsoft did make something like this, the “flame” section would need to allow airflow somehow (lots of holes?). A Minecraft Creeper deco is more likely.

Good news everyone! I was removed from Facebook because I changed my phone number last year, so I couldn’t verify my account…so yeah that is all gone. As a result I decided to close my Tumblr and Twitter accounts too, so I can further declutter my life. I recommend subscribing for email alerts if you want to stay up to date on new posts here.

Cartridge Zombie Concept

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This is a very broad idea where an old game cartridge is retrofitted with some form of new gadget. For this example, a mini PC was fitted in between a Nintendo 64 cartridge. Because cartridges can be disassembled into two halves, just about anything could be wedged in between.

Game cartridges could be turned into a plethora of devices: mini or single board PCs, game consoles, streaming boxes, NAS servers, Bluetooth speakers, smart assistants, and so on. Even small Game Boy cartridges could be turned into USB wall adapters.

And yes, it would be preferable if dead games (or common sports games) are used, but if none are available you can buy blank cartridge shells just about anywhere.

Star Wars VR Helmet

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When EA announced Star Wars Squadrons earlier this week, a game that includes VR support, my first thought was this contraption: a VR headset combined with a Rebel pilot helmet. With built-in headphones and microphone it appears to be an ideal gaming rig.

With everything packed into a helmet, it might be more comfortable to wear than a regular VR headset. A counterweight in the back would help distribute the weight, and the lenses would be suspended from the helmet visor instead of being strapped onto your face.

Then again, there’s probably a good reason VR hasn’t been packaged in helmet form yet: it might get too hot under there? Some motorcycle helmets have cooling fans, so that could be a solution.

Homemade McFlurry Maker

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The long-awaited followup to my infamous Crumb-Buster design, a kitchen gadget that will help make Blizzards or McFlurries at home. Technically those desserts can be made with a blender but I wanted something that was easy to use, easy to clean, and was manually operated.