Archive for the ‘tiniest gadgets’ Category

Toshiba Microdrive

Friday, September 7th, 2007
We’re not sure if this one inch 4GB drive announced by Toshiba, two years ago is in use in the mobile phones and PDAs it was designed for.

It seems completely counter intuitive that making a fully mechanical device like this, which requires former NASA engineers to work on the aerodynamics, could ever have been more practical than flash memory, no matter what the initial cost of the latter.

Worlds smallest model railroad

Friday, September 7th, 2007
The most popular mini model railroads are N-gauge. Apparently, however, below that there is Z-scale which is about 1:200.

This little puppy is at TY scale, which is 1:900 and is the de-facto standard for uber-geek model railroad makers, with great eyesight, to show off their technical prowess.

Select Solar - smallest solar vehicle

Friday, September 7th, 2007
This little car is automatically activated when the sun shines - so you could buy it as a Christmas gift if you lived in sunny LA, and not have to worry about batteries. Plus, you can buy it for less that $10.

Camera Chip from OmniVision

Friday, September 7th, 2007
The aim of this 2m chip is to be able to place it in a 3mm endoscope for medical uses.

For anyone who has had a cystoscopy, this is an achievement enough to make you dewy eyed (or totally and utterly not dewy eyed). In which case, it should be number one, no matter how boring it sounds at first.

ZVEX Nano amp Worlds smallest tube guitar amp

Friday, September 7th, 2007
This amp sure is portable, but if you are thinking of filling a stadium, think again. Its output is 0.5W, compared to the 1M+ Watts for a Stones gig.

Smallest refrigerator

Friday, September 7th, 2007
Designed at NIST. These 25 by 15 micrometers refrigerators, are made by sandwiching a standard metal, an insulator and a superconducting metal. When a voltage is applied across, the hottest electrons burrow their way from the metal through the insulator to the superconducting metal. The temperature in the normal metal drops dramatically and drains extra heat energy from the objects being cooled.

They are not quite big enough to chill a mosquito’s six pack.

Smallest grand piano

Friday, September 7th, 2007
This is a fully working grand piano made at 1/6th normal scale by the games maker, SEGA

For their popular new game: “Concert Pianist Hero”.

Smallest book

Friday, September 7th, 2007
In April 2007 the previous record for the world’s smallest book was smashed by this one. 400 of these would fit on a pin head. It was made at SFU by publisher Robert Chaplin, with SFU scientists Li Yang and Karen Kavanagh, using a focused-gallium-ion beam and electron microscopes.

Unlike the previous record holders which were versions of the bible etc, the book has an ISBN: ISBN-978-1-894897-17-4, and, is a fable about Teeny Ted’s victory in the turnip contest at the annual county fair.

And… you can actually buy it:

“Considered an intricate work of contemporary art, the book is available in a signature edition (100 copies) from the publisher, through the SFU lab.”

Smallest Dice

Friday, September 7th, 2007
Despite what it says on the site linked to here, I think that the dice on the right hand side of the photo is much, much smaller than 0.3mm wide. Perhaps they have the units wrong, from the translation of the original Japanese article.

Perhaps a dice doesn’t count as a gadget, in which case you can vote it down. we think its cool, however.

Worlds smallest combustion engine

Friday, September 7th, 2007
In 2001, researchers at Berkeley created a butane burning internal combustion engine which produced a few Watts - enough to run a flashlight.

The aim was to produce a version which could run a laptop.

Presumably this would be a very un-green alternative to a fuel cell, we can imagine it powering a Texan laptop that sounds like a 2-stoke motorbike. How very un-Berkeley!