Real multifunction “Sonic Screwdriver”

dr who sonic screwdriver

“I don’t understand, you don’t have the technology.” OK, so it’s not actually a futuristic tool with the same capabilities as the one off the hit TV series Dr. Who, but this homemade “sonic screwdriver” is a multifunction device that’s pretty cool nonetheless.

Created around an Arduino Pro Mini, [Gunther] really one-upped the last screwdriver we featured. Built in functions include: brown note tone generator, dog whistle, EMF meter, flashlight, IR universal remote, laser pointer, ohm meter, sound level meter, voltage detector, and a voltage meter.  You can also have an electromagnet or output voltage supply if you want. If that wasn’t enough, it can even play the theme song from Star Wars! Whew. That’s a mouthful of functionality.

Although he has posted the Arduino code, you’ll have to keep an eye on his site for more details if you want to create your own. He’s mentioned that he’s working on blue prints and a full parts list… Awesome. Now where’s that lock pick function?

Check out a video showing off some of the features after the break.

[via Make]


  1. Michael Creighton says:

    Great hack! now it just needs that 3D printing pen implemented as well!

  2. XOIIO says:

    Except that the brown note doesn’t actually exist.

    • Chris C. says:

      And the closest thing in reality is too low in frequency, and high in amplitude, to be reproduced by such a small device.

      The capability list is quite impressive! No need to pad it.

    • James says:

      Sure it does!

    • rallen says:

      I had some tech buddies back in the service who say different. They worked on it.
      The reason everyone says that there is no “Brown Note” is that they aren’t using enough power to see the effects. For a speaker the Army used a series of rapid propane/air explosions in a directional dish to get the insane pressure levels required. The techs said the worst part was wearing the diapers while working on the thing.

  3. zuul says:

    why starwars and not the dr who theme? i guess you could reprogram it to

  4. aztraph says:

    Props for having at least some function, I agree about the star wars song, but if you look at the code it could have been worse, he programed in the mario theme. now he just needs to make a neat case for it and he can hit the time vortex.

  5. ellindsey says:

    Needs a TV-B-Gone function. Shouldn’t be hard to add if he’s got an Arduino, just need to add some IR LEDs.

  6. Fahraynk says:

    I wish there was an open source project for a real sonic screwdriver, and it was as big as for reprap…

  7. ds2ktj says:

    I recognize the platform he’s on. A Philips Sonicare toothbrush – neat little inductive charging platform with a lipo battery.

  8. thealienpoet says:

    Sonic – better than laser….after all (via some science babble about light breaking up lasers on other planets), sound works if there is an atmosphere…I think….lol

  9. Cold says:

    So it looks like a expensive piece of junk… noise and flashlight… cost? Too much for the lack of functions. Not tryin to be mean about it. It is a nice concept but if Im going to spend the money on such a project I would have it do more function and practicality wise.

    • Efesto25 says:

      really? Well don’t spend your money… Do a better design.. and of course; select the Microcontroller, create the program… Select the funtionalities that your Sonic Screwdriver would have… EMF meter, flashlight, IR universal remote, laser pointer, ohm meter, sound level meter, voltage detector, and a voltage meter…. are, as you say: “…a expensive piece of junk… noise and flashlight ” Please do something better stupid

  10. man says:

    That really makes no sense. I mean look at the size of it you cant add more and its cool. If you think its not cool then make something better yoursekf

  11. Raul says:

    Do you think you could put a Bluetooth device on the screwdriver to be controlled by a smart-watch?

  12. Should work.
    Also another idea is adding multiwave GM counter to the beast, with audio tone feedback.

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