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SPIN fire tube

Bizarre Tech: SPIN fire tube, RelaxoPet and self-solving Rubik’s cube

Image credit: SPIN

Welcome to this edition of Bizarre Tech, where we have a puzzle made pointless, spinning fire in some plastic, and a pet stoner.

SPIN fire tube

It’s a hot mini tornado.

You want some pretty fire in a cylinder? You know you do. 

SPIN was launched recently and is on Kickstarter, getting some dolla for production. I don’t know why the name is in capital letters, but hey. Perhaps they want you to shout at it: “SPIN, YOU USELESS FIRE ORNAMENT! I SAY SPIN, DAMN YOU!”

Its creators at German firm Höfats say it’s an award-winning design. What kind of accolade do you think it earned? The spinniest flame of the year?

SPIN “harnesses the beauty, warmth and soothing elegance of fire”. M’kay. It’s powered by bioethanol and creates a controlled, safe tornado of “dancing flames” in the tube.

Behind the swirly magic is the science. It uses thermal lift technology to accelerate air in the tube. The ‘unique’ shape of the tube creates a chimney effect, allegedly boosting flame power and flow up to 500 per cent – that’s a lot of per cent; are they comparing it to a lit matchstick? – without any extra energy.


Self-solving Rubik’s cube

But, but... why?

We all know what a Rubik’s cube is. If you don’t, have you been living under a rock?

The purpose of the Rubik’s is for us, as humans, to solve it. That’s the whole point. The entire objective. You’re not just switching the coloured cubes around for the heck of it.

But there’s always someone who wants to cheat. And make it pointless.

Enter the Self-Solving Rubik’s Cube, built by Takashi Kaburagi. You grab the cube, gently mix up the coloured sides, put it down, and then it starts flipping and flopping everywhere and sorts itself out. Ta da.

When the cube runs out of battery, lift off the centre tile on the white face of the cube, which is held on by a magnet. Then loosen a captive screw to lift the top side off. A couple of lower corners can then be lifted to reveal a small lithium cell and the hand-wired robotic core that makes the pointless gizmo work.

It all started in 2017 when Kaburagi 3D printed a much larger cube as a proof-of-concept. Using computer-aided design to model it helped the accuracy.

If it was programmed to be super slow, then perhaps you could solve your own cube if the squares were in the same pattern as the self-solving one. That’s the only semi-useful purpose I can think of.

On the plus side, it looks fun as it freaks out and wants to fix itself. However, the novelty wears off quickly – the same amount of time it would take me to lose interest in solving the original Rubik’s.

It isn’t available to purchase. Shocker. To be fair, I’m not sure how well it would do on the gadget market.

Methinks it’s just a little gimmick that you can watch at robot shows or Rubik’s cube conventions – if they exist. There are plenty of world cubing championships, so the self-solver could be put up against the best competitors. It may well beat them, as its only job is to solve itself.

You can check out the video online. Fun. For a time.



Relax yo pet, man.

Do you reckon there are some subliminal messages being whispered to your pets? Seeing as you can’t hear anything.

You never know what the RelaxoPet is emitting. Perhaps a guide on how pets can deceive their owners – so it looks like they’re relaxing, but they’re actually planning the demise of the human race. Just sayin’. You don’t know what they’re hearing.

The device is a compact sound module that provides high-​frequency vibrations for deep relaxation in dogs, cats, birds and even horses. Apparently.

It did rather well on Shark Tank, so it might just work for your pets.

It also monitors them while you’re away, which is great news for a lot of us who need to hold down jobs and keep their pets safe and calm when they’re alone.

There are individual tracks depending on the animal, tailored for their respective ears.

The vibrations are barely perceptible to us but are intended to relax your animal. This is especially useful in stressful situations like firework displays, thunderstorms or if you’ve left the home and your pet has abandonment issues.

It can also recognise motion and noise – aptly called Noise-Motion – using integrated sensitive microphones. RelaxoPet then turns itself on to try and vibrate your pet into serenity.

Charge it for 40 minutes and it can go for over 15 hours in ‘normal’ mode, whatever that is. Turn on the gadget before a stressful situation occurs to get a head start on your pet freaking out, which should lessen the total meltdown.

You can opt to have relaxation music for yourself, too. Yay.

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