As the R&D lead for the Cerberus drone project, sometimes you get bogged down in detail and end up with a singular all-encompassing focus. This has its advantages, principally the delivery of robust and reliable systems, but one disadvantage is that creativity can be squashed. As a project progresses through its technical stages, innovative input (necessarily) diminishes as the prototype or product evolves.
This is why at Skyborne, we like to take a break from the long-cycle R&D process and just have a bit of fun. We like to give engineering interns intense, month-long challenges on machines that will push their design and practical prowess to the limits. Previously, we designed a 360 degree camera rover comprising of 6 Go-Pro cameras on a tripod, which was in turn mounted on a low speed skid-steer remote controlled base. We also established the viability of an ‘E-Roc’ Electronic Rocket, which looks at using a ducted fan in a long cylindrical vehicle.
The Toadinator 8000 concept originally came from my girlfriend. She’s originally from North Queensland where toad infestations are out of control. She also hates toads with the fiery passion of a thousand suns. “Why can’t you make a machine to kill these things?” Well actually... maybe we could. Along came intern Josh, a very practical hands-on graduate that would be perfect for the role. With a very limited budget, Josh designed, manufactured, assembled and tested this little beast in just over a month. It has an FPV camera, a headlight, a pan-tilt turret and a Dettol pumping system so that you can sit on your camper chair and eliminate toads at will. For those of you unaware, Dettol kills toads in short order and has the same active ingredient as HopStop, which is sanctioned for toad elimination.
Of course we’ve got a few more mods to make. We need to make it waterproof, more crash-proof, cheaper for you and definitely with more lasers. You can’t have something with the suffix “inator” without a laser!
Of course, if you’re interested in eventually buying the Toadinator for evening fun, check out toadinator.com and register your interest! We’ll let you know if we float a kickstarter campaign or if the unit becomes available for sale. Also check out and share our video. The more interest we have, the more likely we’ll be able to raise some development capital and push this onto the market. Remember to pay attention to the difference between a frog and a toad and don’t shoot irresponsibly! Other than that, happy hunting.
So if you have a wacky invention idea, shoot it over! If you’re a well-accomplished engineering student who is looking for some hands-on experience, shoot us an email!