YouTuber’s 3D-printed ‘Geared Whiplash’ is the best would-be desk toy ever

Want to know what kind of a bullwhip Indiana Jones would have used had he happened to be a professor of math or physics instead of archaeology?

Puzzlemaster Oskar van Deventer, also known as the creator of YouTube channel OskarPuzzle, has the answer — and it’s geekily awesome. What van Deventer has created is something he calls the “Geared Whiplash.” It’s basically a yo-yo gearing contraption comprised of a snake of interlinked gear elements, which can be coiled up compactly or whipped out into a long chain.

“Geared Whiplash is a chain of gears connected to a handle,” van Deventer told Digital Trends. “Gear 0 is integrated with the handle. Gear 1 turns around the gear 0, gear 2 turns around gear 1, et cetera. This way there is acceleration in the system, where gear 2 turns 2 times faster than gear 1, [and] gear 3 turns 3 times faster. So the gear at the end turns super-fast, hence the name ‘whiplash.’”

Once the whipping motion is over, the contraption rolls up again so the sequence can be repeated.

“The inspiration came from a Swedish friend who wanted to have something flexible with joints,” van Deventer continued. “I have lots of fun with gears, so I tried to make something with gears. While Geared Whiplash is not a solution to my friend’s challenge, I thought that it would be fun to build like a piece of kinetic art. I first built a motorized version, but playing with the parts I discovered that I could also move it manually like a whip. So I attached a handle, resulting in the manual version.”

So what’s the point of it? Almost certainly nothing, other than tactile amusement. That doesn’t stop it from being pretty nifty, though — and exactly the kind of plaything that would be immensely fun to fiddle with as we sit at our desks.

Unfortunately, right now it’s not exactly the most affordable of fidget toys. They’re being sold via van Deventer’s website, but expect to pay upwards of $100 for a custom 3D-printed model. Prices could well come down in the near future, however.

“Hopefully [I’ll] find a toy producer some day who wants to take it into production,” he concluded. “Until then, there is only the 3D-printed version.”

Or this fascinating mathematical emulation created by one Julian Poon. Just in case you like your gear-based yo-yos with a few equations thrown in for good measure.

Product Review

‘Just Cause 4’ is mindless fun that leaves little room for much else

Just Cause 4 revels in explosions and over-the-top action, but its world feels empty and hollow. With few new ideas and a stale open world, it's a fun but shallow piece of escapism.

Trash at 'Super Smash Bros. Ultimate'? Use this guide to train up and get good

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the biggest game in the entire series, and it can be overwhelming for newcomers not used to the universe-colliding fighting game. Here's what you need to know when you're starting.
Home Theater

What’s new on Netflix and what’s leaving in January 2019

Our complete list of what's new on Netflix for January 2019 and which titles will be removed will help you catch up on your bingeing, and also ensure you don't miss any titles heading into the streaming ether.
Movies & TV

'Stranger Things' season 3 teaser reveals the new episodes' titles

With a sophomore season as strong as its first, Stranger Things is now moving on to season 3. Here's everything we've learned so far about the Netflix series' upcoming third season.
Emerging Tech

With this robotic garage, retrieving your car is like using a vending machine

Remembering where we parked our cars can be a real pain. But what if our cars came to find us, rather than the other way around? A new automated robot parking valet system aims to help.

Best Products of 2018

Our reception desk has so many brown boxes stacked up, it looks like a loading dock. We’re on a first-name basis with the UPS guy. We get new dishwashers more frequently than most people get new shoes. What we’re trying to say is: We…
Emerging Tech

A lidar-equipped truck knows exactly how much de-icer to apply on roads

Lidar is best known as the laser-based technology that helps self-driving cars sense their surroundings. But the city of Knoxville has another, more seasonal use for it: De-icing roads.
Emerging Tech

This unusual nature-inspired robot is equally at home on land or in the water

This intriguing, nature-inspired robot may look unusual, but it's impressively capable of moving on both land and water without problem. Heck, it can even travel on ice if necessary.
Emerging Tech

This cryptocurrency wallet for kids isn’t nearly as stupid as it sounds

So you’ve taught your 6-year-old child to read, write, and play nice with others. What’s next? Give them a base understanding of cryptocurrency, of course. This Kickstarter aims to help.
Emerging Tech

Light, speed: Lighting kit for DJI Mavic 2 lets you fly and film in the dark

Lume Cube, maker of small battery-powered LED lights for mobile photography, has announced a new lighting kit built specifically for the DJI Mavic 2 -- the first of its kind. Already our favorite drone, this makes the Mavic 2 even better.
Emerging Tech

Prepare for liftoff: Here are all the important upcoming SpaceX rocket launches

From ISS resupply missions to a host of communication and scientific satellite launches, SpaceX has a busy year ahead. Here's a rundown of some of the company's most important missions slated for the next year.
Emerging Tech

Virgin Galactic’s latest test flight takes it to the edge of space

Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic has successfully carried out its fourth powered flight in Mojave, California. It was the company's most ambitious test flight yet -- and bodes well for the future.
Emerging Tech

We’re going to the Red Planet! All the past, present, and future missions to Mars

SpaceX isn't the only organization pining to visit the Red Planet. Here's a detailed list of all operational and planned missions to Mars, along with explanations of their objectives, spacecraft details, and mission proposals.
Emerging Tech

There’s a giant EMP blaster in New Mexico. Don’t worry, it’s here to protect us

An electromagnetic pulse has the potential to disable virtually all electronics within a large area. To help protect against such a threat is a new, friendly EMP emitter. Here's how it works.