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Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Home coffee roasters, wooden coding bots, and more

At any given moment, there are approximately a zillion different crowdfunding campaigns happening on the web. Take a stroll through Kickstarter or Indiegogo and you’ll find no shortage of weird, useless, and downright stupid projects out there — alongside some real gems. We’ve cut through the fidget spinners and janky iPhone cases to round up the most unusual, ambitious, and exciting new crowdfunding projects out there this week. That said, keep in mind that any crowdfunding project — even the best intentioned — can fail, so do your homework before cutting a check for the gadget of your dreams.

April 15th

Shockstop Seatpost — shock absorbing bike seat

Riding a bike without proper shock absorption can be a jarring experience. Most bike frames are designed to transfer vibrations directly up to the rider, so going over anything that’s less than perfectly smooth can easily give you a serious case of numb butt cheeks. You can install shock absorbers on your ride, but available frame and fork suspension systems aren’t always ideal, since they tend to rob you of your downward pedaling force and make riding up hills more difficult. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a suspension system just for your seat?

That’s where the Shockstop Seatpost comes in. Not only does this simple little device install in just a couple of minutes, but it also protects your buns from bumps and vibrations without negatively impacting your pedaling power. It’s essentially a seatpost that’s outfitted with a clever hinge system that sits between the post itself and the seat. When you hit a rough patch in the road, the hinge travels a bit to absorb the impact.

Sandhelden — 3D printed furniture

The world is absolutely stuffed with plastic waste. it’s everywhere: in our streets, in our oceans, and piled high in landfills. Wouldn’t it be cool if we could do something useful with all that rubbish? That’s precisely the idea behind Sandhelden — an innovative German startup that’s developed a clever new way to upcycle trash.

The process essentially involves pulverizing the plastic into a superfine powder, then using a special kind of 3D printer to bind the particles together again in a different shape. Its first project aims to use this technique to make furniture.

“Plastic waste is one of the biggest problems we currently face when it comes to environmental issues,” the creators explain. “Several projects already came up with a solution to collect this waste, for example with specific nets that extract huge plastic islands from the oceans. However, the question remains what will be done with the plastic waste. This is where we found the perfect solution. 3D printed furniture of recycled plastic waste! We are a diversified team of designers and engineers with a vision to set new standards in recycling processes by using our self developed binder-based 3D printing technology (Binder Jetting). Our goal is to produce interior products by crushing plastic waste into powder and to use this as a 3D printing material.”

Cubetto — coding robot toy

Robots that teach you how to code are a dime a dozen these days. Most are just a slightly different take on the same exact idea, but Cubetto is special. Of all the coding robots you can get your hands on right now, it’s arguably one of the best. Why? Well, in addition to being outrageously simple and intuitive to use, it’s also designed to teach kids the basics of computer programming without forcing them to stare into a screen for hours on end. Instead, Cubetto utilizes a coding language your child can touch and manipulate via a set of simple blocks. Each block is an action, and you combine them to create programs.

The best part? You don’t actually have to wait until this Kickstarter campaign is over before you can get your hands on a Cubetto bot. The creators have already built up a successful business, and Cubetto is currently available through their online storefront. They’re back on Kickstarter to launch a new themed version of their original product called African Savannah: “a new, limited-edition collectible Adventure Pack to expand Cubetto’s learning and play.”

Transformer table — 6-in-1 table

Tables that can change size are nothing new. Hell, your grandparents probably have one that they add “leaves” to when when they need to seat more people around the holidays. But the Transformer Table isn’t just another expanding table — it’s the most extreme expanding table on the face of the earth. Not only is this sucker only 18 inches deep when in its slimmest form, but it can expand to over 118 inches (nearly ten feet) long if you add all the leaves. Plus, it comes with an expanding bench so you always have enough seating, no matter how big or small your table is.

“Our unique telescopic rail system is the heart of the Transformer Table,” the table’s creators explain. “It easily allows you to extend the table from 18 inches to its full size of 118 inches. Its ball bearing component allows the track system to slide with little effort. This cutting edge technology is what makes our product stand out from the rest. The rail system is sturdy and we guarantee that it will amaze everyone who sees it!”

Kelvin — coffee bean roaster

We covered this one earlier in the week, so i’ll let Bruce Brown give you the scoop. “Harvesting and roasting beans from your own coffee trees is challenging if you don’t live in an equatorial country. Roasting raw coffee beans at home is as close as most of us will get to making the freshest possible cup of coffee. IA Collaborative‘s Kelvin Home Coffee Roaster could do the trick if roasting raw coffee beans is your goal. Currently featured in a Kickstarter campaign, you can pledge funds for the Kelvin roaster with one to six pounds of unroasted coffee beans. Estimated delivery is December in the U.S., February 2019 for international pledges.

Home-roasting raw coffee beans isn’t just about better tasting brew, buying raw beans saves money. The Kelvin Kickstarter page quotes unroasted coffee bean prices at $6 per pound and roasted beans at $15 per pound. Digital Trends took a quick look on Amazon and found plenty of listings for raw coffee beans priced from $5 to $7 a pound, usually in two- to five-pound bags. The same search turned up roasted beans from $8 to $14 per pound. So the Kelvin statement about cost-savings is correct if a bit overstated. Searching for exotic, special beans could certainly turn up more expensive coffee beans — raw and roasted — but let’s leave it that you can save money roasting your own beans.”

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