High-Speed Camera Plus Lawnmower Equals Destructive Fun

I hate gratuitous destruction videos. You know, the ones that ask “what happens if we drop a red-hot ball of Plutonium onto a bag of Cheetos?” There’s a lot of smoke, flames and a big pile of ad revenue for the idiots behind it.

This destruction video is a little different, though. [Tesla 500] wanted to mount his high-speed camera onto a rotating blade, but without destroying the camera. In this video, he documents the somewhat nerve-wracking process of building a rig that spins a $3000 camera at several thousand revolutions per second minute. It’s all about the balance, about building a rig that balances the weight of the camera and the blade properly at high speed.

It took several attempts to get it right, and [Tesla 500] shows how he tested and refined each version, including shifting weights to account for the different densities of the camera itself, which has the heavy batteries at one side. And then he drops things onto the blade to see what they look like when sliced. Naturally.

15 thoughts on “High-Speed Camera Plus Lawnmower Equals Destructive Fun

    1. This is what I was thinking. How much force can non potted smd components soldered on to .001″ copper take before it decides to detach its self and hurl against the side of the camaera enclosure… add in some unbalance. Nice video though!!

  1. The real casualty is the lawnmower itself – one of the few well-made flip handle corded electrics. B&Ds newer models as well as their competitors (all apparently coming down the same chute somewhere) are awful.

  2. I would glue a sturdy mirror to the blade at 45 degrees, put the camera pointing down, and have a heavy plexyglass shield between the two.

    It would be far easier, put less weight on the blade, cheaper, and safer. Not as cool, sure, but safer.

    1. This is very clever. You’d need to rotate each frame to line it back up, and then also do image stabilization as the angle surely wouldn’t be exactly aligned between the mirror angle and the camera position. I’d enjoy seeing this worked out as much as I enjoyed seeing this physical build.

  3. That was spectacular. For myself, I enjoy the nickel ball and hydraulic press too, but this was way more technically sophisticated and interesting.

    Was I the only one chanting “Battery! Battery! Battery!” right at the end there?

  4. Now THAT…is a hack that can hack!

    very mechanically and visually impressive, as someone who knows what happens when I don’t dynamically balance my motorcycle tires I can appreciate his explanation here and it’s very cool to see the result of it on a lawn mower.

    This is the kind of thing I come to hackaday for. Really impressive vid, an incredibly cool and unique View of things being sliced apart in constant motion like this. It’s kind of like everything is flying into this wedge because the cutting edge is shown as stationary because of perspective so everything just looks like it flies itself apart

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