Cool Mechanical Engineering projects

Backyard Geniuses: 10 Incredibly Cool DIY Projects

Our top prizewinner spent years dreaming of the perfect way to crush cars by hand. In 2007 Christian Ristow, an artist and former animatronics designer for the movie industry, demonstrated his first working incarnation of the Hand of Man at a robotics festival in Amsterdam. Much of his time since then has been spent re-engineering and refining the design of the 27-foot-long hydraulically actuated appendage, exhibiting more and more capable crushers at a series of public venues­. Ristow's latest mechanical steel limb has 90-degree wrist rotation and improved mobility in the finger joints. It is powered by a 90-hp Perkins 1104C-44T four-cylinder diesel engine and is controlled through a glove worn by the operator. At demonstrations, that operator is usually a random member of the audience. "I've built other large-scale radio-control robots for shows over the years, but I always felt like I was the one having the most fun, " Ristow says. "This democratizes the crushing power."

Man Behind the Machine

I-Wei Huang animates video games for a living, but he spends his free time animating metal and plastic. His first creations were a series of steam-powered remote-control machines, including mini tanks, a rowboat and a version of Star Wars' R2-D2 that Huang named R2-S2 (the S is for steam). But after more than 20 steambots, Huang changed direction to create mechanical creatures of a totally different character. "Coming from the animation background, I wanted something with personality that I could bring to life, " he says. Huang's more recent creations, called SwashBots, are built around parts that control the pitch of R/C helicopter blades. The minimalist robots run on AA batteries and have three servomotors to control the legs and a fourth to move the head. The stutter-stepping little bots squeeze maximum charm out of minimum complexity.

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John N. Hansen Co. Inc. Hoberman: Sphere-- Rings
Toy (John N. Hansen Co. Inc.)
  • Expands from 9.5 to 30
  • No assembly required
  • Includes 21 Cool Things To Do game sheet
  • Includes a pully that can be attached to the ceiling allowing you to open and close your sphere.
  • Great conversation piece
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FAU Engineering Electro Mechanical Projects Spring 2013
FAU Engineering Electro Mechanical Projects Spring 2013
Mechanical Kits, Timberkits Mechanical Kits Beam Engine
Toy (Mechanical Kits, Timberkits)
  • A must for any budding engineer or serious hobbyist who just enjoys cool models!
  • Used extensively in the early mining industry for water removal in shallow coastal mines
  • Turn the handle, the flywheel stores energy which is transmitted to the pump via the beam
  • A great history of industry or engineering project, everything in the kit that you need
  • Manufactured using renewable resources & shipped from within the contiguous USA
Great Gizmos 4M Kidz Labs Dinobot Robot Kit
Toy (Great Gizmos)
  • Outer body casing (cardboard assembly required)
  • Inner mechanical engine
  • Axle, gear, motor, engine casing, arm, base platform, wheels
  • Detailed instructions with fun fracts
  • 2 x 1.5v batteries required (not included)


What is a Mechanical Project Engineer?

A mechanical project engineer is an individual who uses principles of science and mathematics to design mechanical systems or products. The project engineer generally works as part of a team, and he or she may be involved in research, development, manufacturing, or product testing. Mechanical engineering is considered to be one of the largest and most diverse branches of engineering, so those pursuing a career in this field will find a large variety of potential careers.

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