Our editors have compiled a list of the “Top 5 Strangest (or Coolest) Home-Built Gadgets” for your enjoyment. Which ones are your favorites? (Thanks, Zipped)

5. Coil Hand Gun

This nifty DIY coil hand gun is fully-functional and has “dual energy shot levels, full power and partial power”.

The wish list follows: “Fast Charger and be small enough to fit in a pistol”, yep. “Charger automatically charges upto the voltage I want, stops, then regulates”, yep. “Controllable fire sequence, I want to use a computer to test by adjusting on/off times to the microsecond”, yep.


4. Gameboy LEGO Robot

Charmed Labs introduces the Xport 2.0, a homebrew application for the Nintendo GameBoy Advance that plugs into the cartridge slot. Example applications include robot competitions, custom sensor development, and force reflection/haptics.

…allows the Xport hardware to be tailored to your target application, and the 64 digital I/O signals provide programmable I/O for interfacing to practically any hardware device.


3. Portable XBox System

Dave couldn’t wait any longer for Microsoft to release a portable gaming system so he decided to make his own, complete with custom case, speakers, controller ports, hard drive, and Ethernet jack. Unfortunately, no other details were released. [Source]

2. Availabot

The “Availabot” is a USB-powered “instant messaging buddy-bot” which tells you when buddies go online/leave by falling over (leave) or standing up (go online).

Availabot stores the IM details of the friend it represents in the puppet itself. That means you can buy a few, load them with your own IM screenname and service, and give them out like business cards to your closest contacts

[Source 12]

1. 26-inch TV Fish Tank

Michael Khor took an old 26-inch TV, rebuilt the cabinet, and had a custom tank made to fit snugly inside. Though not cutting-edge technology, it makes for an interesting conversation piece. Here’s just one of the problems that Michael ran into:

I was never going to get a standard off the shelf tank to give me the effect I wanted. I had to allow for the height of the light/reflector which is 6 cm. This just allowed me to have the top of the tank at the height of the top of the screen, but unfortunately meant that I could not fill the water level ABOVE the height of the screen