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How to Bring DIY to Work
DIY Office Gadgets

The rise of the technology startup has revolutionized the office environment in such a radical way that some employees now even enjoy living at their workplace. The underlying trend seen across the corporate culturesphere is a movement to make the office space as comfortable as possible for employees, instead of trapping them in the cubicle hell “prairie farms” of yesteryear.



Thanks to this new company culture improvement movement, we now have increasing freedom to make the office feel like home. So, if you’re a veteran, or new kid on the block, we’ve found a couple ways you can leverage your techno-geek stylo to personalize your workspace and let everyone know who’s really in charge when it comes to the flair.

Yes, we know, two gifs in a row, just couldn’t resist.


Arduino Flashlight Projector

projectorWhether or not showing off powerpoint skills is a regular part of your job, this nifty little homemade projector would be useful in so many ways aside from sliding through your next deck.  For example, you could rig it up with your new OSMC media player and project some movies or games in glorious big screen style (not that you would be playing games and watching movies at work or anything). Best part, while a solid projector like this badass from Epson will set your department back a few bucks, you can build this DIY version without breaking the bank.

you could rig it up with your new OSMC media player and project some movies or games in glorious big screen style

Instructables user Travis Higgins has crafted this DIY projector, dubbed iTorch, out of a Raspberry Pi and a flashlight. iTorch is a portable, wireless projection system that can project the screen onto any surface you can find.

For this project, you’ll need a Raspberry Pi Model B, a Flashlight, a 12v 8-AA battery holder, and a 5v 800mah power bank. The project involves some moderately difficult tasks, such as disassembling an LCD screen and using a laser cutter, so if you’re new to the whole DIY thing, you should probably do some additional web research, or seek advice from an expert.

Find the full list of required parts and building instructions here. Check out the video to see Travis play Minecraft with the projector.

 


DIY Virtual Self Robot

You know you’ve got a very important business meeting to attend, but today you’re feeling a little sick and don’t feel like leaving the bed. No problem, send your virtual representative robot to do the job.

Thanks to GPS and sonar sensors, you can actually drive this thing virtually wherever you want without worrying about bumping into anything.

No, seriously! This web-enabled robot built by the Instructables user oomlout will allow you to do much more than call in sick to the next board meeting. Thanks to GPS and sonar sensors, you can actually drive this thing virtually wherever you want without worrying about bumping into anything.

The awesome robot was built as a combo of oomlout‘s Arduino Controlled Servo Robot and a cheap laptop. It can be controlled from anywhere in the world using Skype and a web browser. The software running the robot is open source, so you can edit and improve it however you want. The whole project can be built for less than $500.

You’ll also need a laptop desk and a few nuts and bolts to put this robot together. You can find all the instructions here. With a few simple hacks, you’ll be able to use this robot as a virtual representative of yourself, or even use it as a robotic butler to play with your pets while you’re away.

 


DIY Retro Dot Matrix Printer

Does anyone even use dot matrix printers anymore? Of course not. But, if you’re a fan of retro gadgets, this DIY printer will certainly be a great symbol to show off your love for nostalgia and even print out unique retro-style flyers to promote your business.

if you’re a fan of retro gadgets, this DIY printer will certainly be a great symbol to show off your love for nostalgia

Nineteen-year-old electrical engineering student Robson Couto has designed this dot matrix printer as a fun project using some recycled objects like a CD reader, a couple of DC motors and an Arduino board. As for the ink, the printer uses Platignum coloring pens. How cool is that?

Despite the raw look, this printer is capable of printing some sophisticated retro art and characters. If you’re ready for a challenge, follow the step-by-step instructions for the project here. Also, find a way to design a case for this dot matrix printer so you can nicely showcase it in your office.


 

More Great Projects

Here are a few more DIY projects to improve your office:

 

DIY ELECTRIC STANDING DESK

Research shows that standing desks can not only help improve productivity, but also reduce the risk of obesity and even cancer. As a result, a lot of offices around the world are now adopting standing desks as their default work setup. If you’re planning to make the move to a standing desk, you can forego the expensive models and try building this cool electric height adjustable desk. This one allows you to easily switch between standing and sitting modes, using a 12v power supply with a couple of linear actuators that let you adjust the height of the desk with a simple touch of a button.

 

DIY STOCK MONITOR

Keeping an eye on the stock market can be a difficult task, especially when you have to manage a business. This clever lamp/stock monitor will make that job easier for you. The system is capable of checking the stock market every minute and it will let you know whenever a stock price rises or falls by changing the color of the lamp.

 


_thermalprinter_LRGDIY THERMAL PRINTER

Not every office requires a receipt printer, but if your office or business need one, go build this adorable mini thermal printer to print out all your receipts. It’s ideal for printing text, bar codes, and bitmap graphics. It’s also capable of fitting 50 feet of paper in one load.

 

THE LISTENING TABLE

The geniuses over at New York Times R&D Lab have designed a clever table that can be quite useful for any office. Using an Arduino Mega, speech transcription software and high-resolution sensors, The Listening Table, is capable of listening to meetings and record them automatically. This is a futuristic project worth checking out. You can learn more about the project in detail at the NYT.

 

 

These are only a few concepts and ideas for improving and decorating your office. Do you have any unique ideas? Feel free to share them with us on the socials or in the comments below!

 

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Travis Simpson

Content Quarterback at Symbolscape Inc.
Travis is a writer, producer and maker based in California. Like many of us, he spends most of his time sucked into the digital world, so enjoys every chance he gets to make stuff with hands, including things like DIY maker hacks and food like BBQ smoked pork and homemade charcuterie.
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