School of Ridiculous Inventions

Have you met our inventor Erik Thorstensson? No?!

— Hi, my name is Erik, I am an inventor, toy maker, engineer and model airplane builder. At Strawbees we are not afraid of failure - quite the opposite, it’s all about ‘learning by trying’. Let’s have some fun and build cool things! Finally, my ‘School of Ridiculous Inventions’ doors are open - this is going to be epic!

Let’s not waste any more time - hit play and let the game begin :).

Inventor and co-founder of Strawbees

Are you ready for a challenge?

"Have you tried bowling with a robot?"
"Built a man sized robot with a parachute, or a huge bubble machine?"

Erik has designed these challenges specifically for inspiring children. Some projects can be replicated at home or in the classroom, others are just to show what amazing things YOU can invent with Strawbees. They all encourage inquisitive young minds to get (ridiculously) excited about engineering.

Challenge 09: Dancing Robot

Erik tries to make a life-size robotic marionette puppet. In one of the most ambitious projects to date, Erik fully dived into the creative spiral and prototyped different ideas. He created a dancing robot with dynamic movements and various expressions. Watch the video to see how the robot is developed and its amazing solo & duo dance performance.

Challenge 08: micro:bit Instrument Speedbuild

Erik challenges to make an instrument keyboard using micro:bit in under 3 hours. After short research and quick prototyping several versions with cardboard and Scratch the team then performs a harmonic melody together.

Challenge 07: Cardboard Submarine

Erik wanted to enhance his daughters’ cardboard fort and invented an immersive interactive submarine experience. Check out how code and some engineering can convert some boxes into an exciting underwater world.

Challenge 06: Musical Instrument

Erik wants to invent a wind controlled synthesizer, during the prototyping stage he comes across different challenges including fidelity and lag of key input. He calls on his Strawbees team mate Kristofer, together they end up having a pretty awesome jam session!

Challenge 05: Tower Factory

Up for one of the largest Strawbees building challenge?

Watch Erik and Team Strawbees build a 10m tall Strawbees tower made from a square and a helix structure over a few hours. ( Epic failures and testing teamwork scenes included 🙂 )

Challenge 04: Chain Reaction

Key of building chain reaction - use what is around you and start mapping out a fun sequence!

Erik's track definitely shows the high ceiling example of chain reactions! Watch the thought process behind three of his models! 

Challenge 03: Giant Bubble Machine

Ever thought about building a giant bubble machine?!

Erik, of course, takes it to the next level and as a summer special builds a GIANT outdoor bubble machine. No matter, small or big - everyone went crazy over it! See the result for yourself!

Challenge 02: Indoor Boomerang Game

Can you invent a fun indoor game with a cardboard boomerang?

Watch the video to find out more how Erik invents a simple boomerang target and then ups his game by coming up with an automated micro:bit robotic target.

Challenge 01: RoboBowling

Watch our first pilot focused around making games!

RoboBowling using just a few Strawbees, building straws and a bit of coding with Quirkbot. Watch the video to see the Eriks building the pins and robot racer and see who of the two Eriks will win the game!


Behind the scenes with Erik - get a little taster for what is to come!

Talk to me!

If you want to share YOUR project, request another ‘RoboBowling’ version or comment as to why bowling on Mars would not work - send your (ridiculous) questions on our Facebook Messenger, or share your project using #strawbeesinvents!

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