How to make flowers from simple wires and nail polish!
This is the so-called Homopolar motor, and it is without a doubt the simplest motor in the world, and so quick and easy to make too!
Photoresistors are very common electronic components that works like a normal resistor in total darkness, but as soon as light is hitting it, it changes. Increase the amount of light and the change will increase as well. This phenomenon is commonly used to detect when a light beam is broken, turning them into a light controlled switch. But did you know that they can also be used to make music? In this video Make: magazine walks us through a simple build that results in an electronic slide-whistle! Basically you transform light into music, and if you don’t think that is a cool idea, then what is?!
Most electrical motors uses electromagnetism in order to transform electricity into mechanical work, but there’s another type of motor, the electrostatic motor, that works differently. Instead of using magnetism, electrostatic motors uses high voltage to attract and repel parts of the motor, causing them to turn. There are many ways of making such motors, but most tend to have very low strength and torque. There are the exception to this rule though, and in these videos from RimstarOrg one such exception is studied in detail. It is called the “Corona motor” and apart from being cheap to build, it also have high enough strength and torque to be a viable motor for practical applications! The downside is that it needs very high voltages, and if you try this build, be extremely careful not to get a shock! And if all possible, avoid using high voltage transformers that plug into the wall socket. They can kill. We are not kidding.
When Adam Savage heard that Patton Oswalt was looking for a Doctor Octopus costume, he got a brilliant idea of how it could be done easily and cheaply, as he explains to Norm from Tested.com in this clip. But this is not the reason we wanted to add this video, instead we would like to point out that this technique is much more useful. You could basically do any kind of poseable light weight life form with only foam, armature wire and paint. Want to make a life-sized alien for the Halloween party? No problem, just create a rough skeleton out of the wires, glue some foam on it and spray pant it to likeness!