Show and Tell: Your Playful Idea Could Win You a Dell Workstation with AMD Graphics
A prank stapler that shoots projectiles, a motion-triggered device that plays the theme from Psycho, a miniature catapult that can be adjusted with an iPad — these are just a few of the ideas we’ve received (so far) from people who’re in the running for a chance to win a professional Dell workstation with AMD graphics (retail value estimated at more than $5,000).
Kelly, who sent in the idea for a catapult called “Kaboom,” said her device is “a fun way to geek out and blast your neighbor! ” (We’re pretty sure she meant her colleague in a neighboring cubicle, but who knows? Perhaps she’s thinking of the neighbor whose tree branches have consistently reached over her fence.)
Kelly explained that her device’s targeting system would be “adjustable with smart phone (by hand if needed).” In case this powerful weapon should fall into the wrong hands, Kelly wanted us to know its firing mechanism could be disabled by “voice and password protection … [to] prevent function in enemy hands.” Oh, by the way, she assured us, “Batteries included!”
But she sent in what appears to be a digital photo of a hand-drawn sketch, forcing us to squint at the schematics of her invention.
Kelly faces stiff competition from Ali, who sent in the idea for a pushcart catapult, inspired by an earlier model he built in his boyscout days. “I think it’s cool, because it actually works,” he said. To score points for sustainable design, he specified pinewood and rubber bands as his basic materials. His submission was accompanied by a photo of the physical prototype resting menacingly on his marbled kitchen floor. If chosen for Phase II, he plans to design it in Google SketchUp.
Randy, perhaps inspired by the Wright brothers, proposed a tabletop airplane launcher, complete with battery-operated speakers to blast off “over 100 annoying sounds from rattling paper, popping chewing gum, continuous pin clicking, and many more.” He envisioned a portable system for road warriors who might want to take this to go. He said it would fit into a desk drawer or a brief case. We wonder how TSA officers might react to such a device found inside someone’s carry-on luggage.
William, an Autodesk Revit (architecture software) user, proposed a color-changing LED lamp. But he didn’t include a picture, leaving us to imagine his invention’s Disco ball effect at nightfall.
Mark, who seems to be an experience tinkerer, sent in his design for a remote controlled Sherman Tank that shoots water. He had once built the prototype from “a Radio Shack RC Sherman Tank, the guts to an old RC car, a windshield washer pump, and a small bottle …” For foolproof aim, he’d make the tank’s turret rotatable. He recalled, “It was fun to drive around and surprise people” with the tank’s water gun.
So do you have any ideas that might top the ones mentioned above? Phase I, the idea-collection phase, is still open for submissions till December 2.
For details on the DE design contest, visit the contest page here.
(Note: The submissions highlighted here are chosen at random to illustrate the ideas received. Winners have not yet been chosen.)