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Engineering Gadgets and Gifts

A lighthearted look at some impressive feats of engineering for this holiday season.
Tired of being asked what you want for Christmas? Just show your friends and relations this list of some of our favorite “toys” from 2014 that are impressive feats of engineering.
[tabs type=“vertical”][tabs_head][tab_title]HP’s Sprout[/tab_title][tab_title]Giant Swiss Army Knife[/tab_title][tab_title]Oculus Rift[/tab_title][tab_title]Google Cardboard[/tab_title][tab_title]Hendo Hoverboard[/tab_title][tab_title]DIY Hoverboard[/tab_title][tab_title]Structure 3D Sensor[/tab_title][tab_title]Piccolo, the Tiny CNC-bot[/tab_title][tab_title]SentiBotics Mobile Robotics Development Kit[/tab_title][tab_title]Ryno One-Wheeled Scooter[/tab_title][tab_title]BMW i8[/tab_title][tab_title]Tesla Model S[/tab_title][tab_title]Nixie[/tab_title][tab_title]B+ Raspberry Pi Starter Kit[/tab_title][tab_title]Android Wear[/tab_title][/tabs_head][tab]hp-sprout-rev

A multi-camera system and projector help sprout “see” and digitize what is placed on its capacitive touch mat. HP says the Sprout hardware and software blend the physical and digital worlds you live in. We have to admit, it looks like fun. Learn more. [/tab][tab]wenger_knife_rev

But life’s not all fun and games. Design engineers like to be prepared for anything, and they can be with the ultimate Swiss Army knife, complete with 87 implements. It’ll set you back about $2,000, but how can you put a price on having a chain rivet setter, telescopic pointer, bottle opener and more in your (very large) pocket? Learn more.  [/tab][tab]oculus_rift-revAction, adventure and a whole new gaming experience. All these things are at your fingertips with the Oculus Rift virtual reality system. Once you gain the power to immerse yourself in a completely new world, it’ll be difficult to stop fighting dragons and figure out how to visualize your 3D designs in virtual reality. Learn more.  [/tab][tab]google-cardboard-rev

The poor man’s Oculus Rift lets you take virtual reality with you on the go. All you need is your phone, some cardboard and a few applications. After assembly, you can visit a host of places and play games in a whole new way. Learn more.  [/tab][tab]hendo-revThe long-awaited technology from “Back to the Future” is now becoming a possibility. With its disc-shaped hover engines, you’ll be able to levitate and fly around thanks to some clever engineering. Learn more.  [/tab][tab]If you’re more the McGyver type, Mr. Hoverboard has simplified the process of making your very own hoverboard. With his guidance and some leafblowers, you can make it as simple or as complicated as you’d like. Learn more.  [/tab][tab]structure-scanner-revWhy take photos when you can create a 3D model instead? This device allows you to take scanner technology anywhere your phone or iPad goes. We think this could come in handy for making geometries and designs wherever inspiration strikes. Learn more.  [/tab][tab]Piccolo-revThis little robot gives you the power to experiment with 2D or 3D fabrication on a small scale. Because it comes with its own coding interface, you can create a quick drawing robot or outfit it with sensors, custom toolheads and more. Learn more.  [/tab][tab]Sentibotics-rev

Make your own creation with this kit from Neurotechnology. It’s got all the basics for design: A mobile autonomous robot, a manipulator and a full source code of algorithms. Learn more.  [/tab][tab]Rhino-rev

What’s more fun than a unicycle? A unicycle with an engine. The Ryno one-wheeled Personal Scooter is part motorcycle, part scooter, all fun. Explore new roads with this microcycle that can travel alongside pedestrian traffic. Learn more.  [/tab][tab]BMWrevIf you’re looking for a more enclosed means of transportation, you can ride in style in this lightweight hybrid sports car. Your passengers can enjoy the Harman Surround Sound System and applications for iOS and Android. You’ll appreciate the engineering behind the scissor doors and the carbon body. Learn more.  [/tab][tab]Tesla-S-rev

This no-emission car brings a whole new standard to the automotive industry. Simply charge and go for a positively electric driving experience. Learn more.  [/tab][tab]nixie-revWish you didn’t need hands to operate a camera? Meet Nixie, the camera that can fly. Designed to capture images from unique perspective, this quadcopter can ensure that all your adventures are remembered — from rock climbing and beyond. It won the $500,000 grand prize in Intel’s Make it Wearable contest. Learn more.  [/tab][tab]Raspberry-Pi-revThis mini computer kit is a sweet piece of tech that helps you create an operating system in a matter of minutes. It includes a circuit board, 8GB SD card, mouse, keyboard and a power supply. All you need is a monitor and you’ll be coding and designing in no time. Learn more.  [/tab][tab]Android-Wear-revConnect, communicate and customize with this smartwatch. Not only do these gadgets provide the power to text, IM and email, they can also run your favorite applications. Soon people will be asking you for more than the time. Learn more.  [/tab][/tabs]

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