The Real “Real Geniuses”

Everyone remembers the movie “Real Genius” where the smartest of the smart kids can use their brilliant minds to create things that are cool as shit– like the liquid nitrogen/dry ice coins for the vending machine, or freezing the dorm floors to go ice skating. Pacific Tech isn’t a real place, and nobody has invented a way to make a popcorn ball big enough to actually bust open a house, but there are real schools, with real geniuses who have notoriously used their smarty pants big brains to do cool shit. Here are some of the highlights.


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Harvard’s First Hamburger in Space (2012)

5 Harvard students decided to put their education to work by launching a hamburger into space. With the use of a weather balloon filled with helium, they were able to get the burger over 98,000 feet in the air. The most amazing part of the experiment was getting a local burger joint to put up $1000 to fund the project. It’s good to know if our astronauts ever need a burger, that these guys can send one right up.

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MIT East Campus: Reverse Cowgirl Roller Coaster (2010)

Too much brain power and too much extra lumber. That led to these Columbia University students building their own roller coaster. Riders get to enjoy being strapped in standing up and then being taken face down just about the ground as the “Crazy Cowgirl” propels them just by the use of gravity. This is the type of invention that usually leads to the college calling someone’s parents in the middle of the night to say there’s been an accident.

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Cornell White Board Eraser Robot (2012)

Don’t have a couple of seconds to erase your whiteboard after a meeting!? These Cornell students have created a robot that is basically a roomba for dry erase boards. The prototype is made up of legos, magnets and a lot of batteries. After seeing the Eraser Robot in action, you’ll wonder why you ever did it by hand.

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Berkeley Ridiculously Automated Dorm (2012)

It’s the “Berkeley Ridiculously Automated Dorm” or better known as “BRAD”. This Cal-Berkeley student wanted to create a fully automated dorm room. Through the use of remotes and voice commands, he can automatically change his room from everything like “sleep mode” to “study mode” by controlling the lighting, music and blinds. Skip ahead to the 3:15 mark to see his room go into “party mode”. It becomes a music and light show including a disco ball. No college kid will ever want to move back home after spending his college years with BRAD.

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Stanford Jedibot (2011)

A Stanford student his using the force and his tuition money to develop the “Jedibot”. It’s a robot arm that holds a light saber and duels with you. The Jedibot can go into defense mode and sense where the next strike should be coming. Now all this guy needs to do is invent an actual light saber to go along with it. Hopefully one day, all wars will be fought with Jedibots.

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MIT The Self Balancing Electric Unicycle (2012)

What’s the problem facing American unicycle riders every day!? Balance. That’s where this MIT student comes in with an electric powered unicycle that balances itself. As you can see in the demonstration, it’s perfect for getting up and down dorm hallways. And since our dreams of everyone riding Segways has faded, we can now put our self balancing transportation hopes on this unicycle.

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Utah State PVAC (2012)

Utah State answered a military challenge of how do you get soldiers over a wall without using any ropes. That’s easy, use vacuums. This is the “Personal Vacuum Assisted Climber” or PVAC. It uses strong vacuum suction to let climbers stick the wall as they ascend it. It turns the climber into a wall crawler like “Spider-Man” without the red and blue tights. Now we have to see if the Pentagon will fork over the money to arm our troops with really strong vacuum cleaners.

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University of Washington: Automatic Wireless Drink Mixer (2010)

What’s the use of being a college science genius if you can’t invent something to party with!? Students at the University of Washington built an automatic wireless drink mixer as a class project. It’s big and bulky and composed of touchscreens, sensors and servo motors. And it does a job that a human could do much faster, but where’s the fun in that!? It’s an automatic bartender that’s going to bring the party to their dorm room.

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Dundee University Dr. Who’s Sonic Screwdriver (2012)

It’s always cool when something from science fiction comes to life. Dundee University students have been able to replicate Dr. Who’s Sonic Screwdriver. The students have created their own device that uses ultrasound to lift objects and rotate them. It may not do medical scans or track alien life like Dr. Who’s, but we’re getting closer.

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MIT: The Dishmaker (2007)

Only a college student inventor would do so much work to build something to help be lazier. This MIT student has created a machine to avoid cleaning and putting away dishes. It’s “The Dishmaker”. The machine uses acrylic material to form and produce plates, cups and bowls. And when you’re done eating pop the dishes back in the machine and it recycles them into new ones. Instead of dishes taking up room in your cabinets, now you just store flat acrylic material. And in a hurry, the dishmaker can create dinnerware for a family of 4 in just 15 minutes.

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BYU: The Drivable Couch (2010)

If you’re a college student inventor, you know you’re on to something fantastic if your invention is immediately banned by the university. These BYU students have combined the worlds of dorm comfort and transportation by inventing the Drivable Couch. Basically, it’s a sofa attached to motor and wheels of a motorized wheelchair. The campus police banned all motorized furniture shortly after it’s debut. They must not have realized that the couch cushions could be used as an airbag in case of an accident.


  1. edrooney

    November 15, 2012 at 9:14 am

    If you can invent an electric balancing unicycle that is totally awesome then I would think that you sure as shit should know how to correctly record a video on your phone.  Maybe they can use the same balance technology to have phone videos remain upright no matter what position the phone is in making internet video viewing virtually flawless.  I will graciously accept royalties and an honorary doctorate for the Genius idea.

    • DeathProof

      November 15, 2012 at 11:18 am

      @edrooney There’s an option to force all videos to conform to landscape already built into the iOS. People just done enable it.

      • edrooney

        November 15, 2012 at 12:12 pm

        @DeathProof I guess it’s generally not enabled so women can continue to take the stock “partially sideways” pictures of themselves in the mirror.  There should be separate settings for picture and video.

  2. crazygeek

    November 15, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    Why no Laser Project?

  3. AaronInDunedin

    November 15, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    Where are all the Budweiser commercials?

  4. SkippyInNiagaraFalls

    November 15, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    Usually the Fez lists are uninteresting, but this is the the worst yet.

  5. DrunkEpiphany

    November 15, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    Fez is shitting on Dana and Joe because they never got a hamburger in space…?   Has Fez ever accomplished anything besides watching TV and being a snarky joker?  People in glass houses.

    • rexdart936

      November 15, 2012 at 2:33 pm

      @DrunkEpiphany Fez did manage to make a cat disappear.

  6. SarahMcSmokeyPants

    November 15, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    Did it make anyone else sad to watch the automated dorm kid in romantic and party mode with no one else there?

  7. Narc Zito

    November 15, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    Fez is reading the SHIT out of this.

  8. Xacjed

    November 15, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    I read this yesterday. Thanks for summing it up for us.

  9. SkoobaDoo

    November 15, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    “Basically” “What we have here”

  10. c_ocobean

    November 15, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    why does it feel like Fez is pitching a product, rather than just naturally talking about the experiments?  I feel like buying a higher education.

  11. sidwasout

    November 15, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    Man, my college years were wasted.  All we ever did was get wasted and bang chicks.  Wait.  I think these kids are the ones doing it wrong.

  12. FezLineOfTheDay

    November 15, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    Basically… this is a list that I Basically copied and pasted

  13. Cletus from Brooklyn

    November 15, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    Keep up the sexy reading Fez…

  14. SkoobaDoo

    November 15, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    Fez also says “actually” a lot.

  15. mgamarsh

    November 15, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    I have an idea…. first hot dog in space. Who has a weather balloon I can borrow?

  16. SkoobaDoo

    November 15, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    3… 2… 1… Um… that’s all I have………. sorry

  17. justForRon0Fez

    November 15, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    Keep going to college and NOT getting engineering degrees people…

  18. Chaz

    November 15, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    Is it ok for Fez to call these guys geeks but then get upset when someone calls him a fag?

  19. DeathProof

    November 15, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    There’s nothing I would enjoy more after a long day digging ditches in the hot sun than to come home and have to make my own dishes.

  20. Rupertasd

    November 16, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    Tech isn’t a real place, and nobody has invented a way to make a popcorn ball big enough to actually bust open a house, but there are real schools, with real geniuses who have notoriously used their smarty pants big brains to do cool shit. Here are some of the highlights.