Hand-cranked Toy Piano
When a battery operated device runs out of juice, most of us reach for a fresh pair of AA’s. But when his daughter’s electronic toy piano had drained its batteries, Dominik instead installed a hand-cranked dynamo to power the instrument ad infinitum. He hacked apart an Ikea flashlight to co-opt its cranked generator and installed it inside his daughter’s plaything. Now a little bit of elbow grease keeps the tunes coming while saving the environment and a little bit of money to boot. Not only that, but he also used the remaining parts from the flashlight to upgrade a vintage bicycle light. It doesn’t get much more resourceful than that, folks! [via Ikea Hacker]

Matt Richardson

Matt Richardson

Matt Richardson is a San Francisco-based creative technologist and Contributing Editor at MAKE. He’s the co-author of Getting Started with Raspberry Pi and the author of Getting Started with BeagleBone.


  • Anonymous

    This idea was heavily played on in the movie Pandorum. The ultimate prize would be integrating this into a laptop or more realistically an ipad type device.

    • http://vrandy.myopenid.com/ VRAndy

      I’ll bet you could easily make a hand-cranked Kindle.

      • Anonymous

        Please do, it has to be integrated into the body and efficient, otherwise none will use it.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chris-Roach/1015294203 Chris Roach

        It might be easier to build a separate hand-cracked USB charger. With something like a kindle or ipad, form factor and weight are major design considerations. To add a dynamo and crank handle would be slightly absurd.

  • Anonymous

    This is a great idea, I was disgusted to find my sons Angry Bird plush toy was designed so you cant change the battery, it took a scalpel and needle and thread to replace: http://www.whatifixedtoday.com/bzl

  • http://vrandy.myopenid.com/ VRAndy

    This is a good idea!  Why don’t they make toys like this?  You’d think it would be a good selling point.