Last year an ex-NASA engineer and YouTube content creator Mark Rober made the rounds with a motorised dart board that guaranteed bullseyes with every throw. Now he’s backed, and teamed up with Sean Hodgins to combat porch theft with glitter bombs.
This particular incarnation of the idea is rather complex. Inside there’s a custom PCB that can detect movement which links up to GPS to tell if the package has been removed from a certain area.
When that happens a few mechanisms are activated. Firstly the glitter itself, which sits in a bowl that is rotated at high speed to fling the glitter far and wide.
Next is a foul-smelling aerosol triggered to spray its disgusting load on a timer.
Finally, and maybe the silliest part of the whole project, is four phones placed on each side of the build. These serve a few functions: these provide the GPS system mentioned earlier, they record the whole event so we have an entertaining video to watch (which can be uploaded to the cloud should they be harvested from the device), and the GPS information is used once again to recover the project should the thief throw it out.
All of these components are housed in a 3D printed structure made to sit inside of an Apple HomePod box. It’s worth noting that the four LG G5 phones that were used here are probably close in value to a single HomePod, even if they were bought dirt cheap secondhand.
While this is still probably the cheapest way to make this build, it’s still a bit ludicrous offering up these valuable phones as bait to be stolen. Then again, it’s for a video and we’re sure the pleasure of the footage (assuming the thieves aren’t paid actors) is worth the money.
You can see how this all works in the video embedded below, as presented by Rober. If you’re more interested in the specifics of how this was made, make sure to watch Hodgins’ video on the topic, as it seems he did most of the construction here.
If you’re all jazzed up to glitter bomb someone at this point – either with your own improvised glitter device or with one of the many services that offer it – we have to recommend against it. Not only is it just a generally mean-spirited thing to do with your victim needing to spend a substantial amount of their lives cleaning it up, but your country may have laws against such things, especially with the recent bomb threats in the USA and the fact that Americans are usually liable to litigate.
All of that is also ignoring the potential backlash of a thief, who knows your address, returning to your home for revenge.