10 Strangest Inventions

1Electromechanical teenager repellant

Howard Stapleton (Merthyr Tydfil, Wales) invented an electromechanical teenager repellant — a device that makes annoying high-pitched noise designed to be audible to teenagers but not to adults. The “Mosquito” ultrasonic teenage deterrent aims to solve the problem of unwanted gatherings of youths and teenagers in shopping malls, around shops and anywhere else they are causing problems, claiming to be “the most effective tool in our fight against anti social behaviour”. He later used that same technology to make telephone ringtones that are audible to teenagers but probably not to their teachers. More

2Apparatus for facilitating the birth of a child by centrifugal force

The late George and Charlotte Blonsky (New York City and San Jose, California) invented a device (US Patent #3,216,423) to aid women in giving birth — the woman is strapped onto a circular table, and the table is then rotated at high speed.

In their patent application, Blonsky and Blonsky explained the need: “In the case of a woman who has a fully developed muscular system and has had ample physical exertion all through the pregnancy, as is common with all more primitive peoples, nature provides all the necessary equipment and power to have a normal and quick delivery. This is not the case, however, with more civilised women, who often do not have the opportunity to develop the muscles needed in confinement.”

Therefore, wrote Blonsky and Blonsky, they would provide “an apparatus which will assist the under-equipped woman by creating a gentle, evenly distributed, properly directed, precision-controlled force, that acts in unison with and supplements her own efforts”. The Blonskys explained: “The foetus needs the application of considerable propelling force.” They knew how to supply that propelling force.

The rest of their patent – eight very detailed pages altogether – specifies exactly how to do it. The design includes some 125 basic components, including bolts, brakes, wing nuts, a massive concrete floor slab, a vari-speed vertical gear motor, a speed reducer, more wing nuts, sheaves, stretchers, shafts, thigh members, a butt plate, aluminium ballast water boxes, more wing nuts, pillow clamps, a girdle member, and some additional wing nuts.More

3Anti-flatulence Underwear

Buck Weimer (Pueblo, Colorado) invented “Under-Ease”, airtight underwear with a replaceable charcoal filter that removes bad-smelling gases before they escape. As the slogan says: “Wear them for the ones you love”. More

4Dog-to-human language translation device

Keita Sato, President of Takara Co., Dr. Matsumi Suzuki, President of Japan Acoustic Lab, and Dr. Norio Kogure, Executive Director, Kogure Veterinary Hospital, invented Bow-Lingual, a computer-based automatic dog-to-human language translation device. The Bow-Lingual’s a two-piece set—a wireless microphone that attaches to your dog’s collar, and a walkie-talkie-looking handset with an LCD screen. Barks and yelps are transmitted to the handset, where their voiceprint is analyzed and placed into one of six emotional categories: happy, sad, on guard, frustrated, needy, or assertive. Once the appropriate emotional state is determined, the Bow-Lingual randomly selects a phrase belonging to that category and displays it on the screen. So if your pooch is determined to be on guard, maybe you’ll get “Are you my friend or my enemy?” If aggressive, perhaps the sentiment will be “I’m dominant.” You get the drift. More

5Alarm Clock that runs away from you

Gauri Nanda (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) invented “Clocky”, an alarm clock that runs away and hides if you don’t get out of bed on time. When the alarm sounds you can snooze one time. If you still don’t wake up, Clocky will jump off of the bedside table, and wheel away, mindlessly bumping into objects until he finds a spot to rest. You’ll have to get up and out of bed to silence his alarm. Clocky will find new spots everyday, kind of like a hide-and-seek game. More

6Artificial replacement testicles for dogs

Gregg A. Miller (Oak Grove, Missouri), invented “Neuticles”, testicular implants for pets. Many caring pet owners hesitate or even to refuse to neuter their pets, soNeuticles eliminates ‘neuter-hesitant’ concerns – as a ‘Neuticled’ pet looks exactly the same after surgery. Neuticles are available for canines, felines, equine, bulls or any pet which is neutered. Neuticles should be implanted when the pet is neutered- but can be implanted years afterwards in most cases. More

7Self-perfuming Business Suit

Hyuk-ho Kwon of Kolon Company of Seoul, Korea, invented this suit. The suit is made with fabric soaked in a chemical that contains scented micro-capsules, which pop and release the odour when the wearer moves — or gets bumped on a crowded subway train. More

8Washing machine for cats and dogs

The co-inventors of the Lavakan, Eduardo Segura and Andrés Diaz, decided in 1998 that their dogs deserved the same treatment that humans get from a shower massage. The side-loading automatic pet washing machine, is safer and less stressful for the animals than washing them by hand. It soaps, rinses and dries dogs and cats in less than half an hour. It has a series of conical nozzles that wash and massage beasts from every direction, while dirty and soapy waste is filtered through a hose at the bottom. Operators use the Lavakan’s touch panel to choose the best wash cycle for the animal’s size and dermatological needs. Pesticide soaps, for example, require an extended wait period to kill fleas and ticks. More

9Software that detects cats walking across the keyboard

Chris Niswander (Tucson, Arizona) invented PawSense. When cats walk or climb on your keyboard, they can enter random commands and data, damage your files, and even crash your computer. This can happen whether you are near the computer or have suddenly been called away from it.PawSense is a software utility that helps protect your computer from cats. It quickly detects and blocks cat typing, and also helps train your cat to stay off the computer keyboard.More

10Automobile burglar alarm consisting of a detection circuit and a flamethrower

Charl Fourie and Michelle Wong (Johannesburg, South Africa) invented an automobile burglar alarm consisting of a detection circuit and a flamethrower, to provide a deterrent to carjackings. With a rising crime rate, carjackings became a serious concern in South Africa. The Blaster car modification functions as a liquified petroleum gas flamethrower; when a carjacking occurrs, the driver steps on an additional pedal next to accelerator and flames erupt from outer sides of both front doors, “neutralizing” the assailant. The inventor claims it is unlikely to kill but would “definitely blind” the assailant. In South Africa, it is legal to use lethal force in self-defense if in fear of ones life, and ownership of flamethrowers is unrestricted.More