Public Invention Projects

We have defined 48 public invention projects

Active Projects


Project #48: GlussCon

By building a “puppet”, a hand-held controller of a larger robot, we hope to allow a workperson to effectively control a rescue robot that could clear or search rubble.

microscope view of contamination

Project #41: Rapid coliform presence detector

In volunteering for Engineers Without Borders, we learned of the critical need to evaluate water for fecal contamination in remote field locations without laboratory-style equipment. Shortening the time to quantitatively measure fecal contamination would help in providing clean water to the developing world, and might even save lives in disaster relief situations.


Project #16: Tetrobot

The Tetrobot project was the first project seriously undertaken by Public Invention, and remains its most important. After a great deal of trial and error and some years of work, we produced a system for building tetrahedral robots on a small cheap scale.

Magic Math Table

Project #47: Math Tablet

Imagine every student and researcher in the world having a genius mathematician as a tutor to looking over their shoulders as they scribble their math homework, or serious research, in their own handwriting and sketches on a tablet.

number spectra

Project #30: Number Spectra: Build a map of common irrational combinations

Often computer programmers and engineers write software which produces decimal expansions of numbers which in fact have a closed-form expression which is unknown or not observed to the programmer.


Project #45: Segmented Helices generated by chains of Repeated Units

That a number of physical objects, such as the Platonic solids, can generate helices, has been published in scattered papers. However, the math to determine the radius and rate of rotation from the underlying object has never been studied.

Other Projects

Public Invention accepts and publishes a wide variety of humanitarian invention ideas. Some of these are just a simple idea; some have a one-page, and some are fully developed projects with sophisticated prototypes. All of them need volunteers with a wide variety of skill sets! You may find it easier to visit our spreadsheet.