Simone Giertz’s Earlids–It Might Work!

Robot builder Simone Giertz dreams up whimsical inventions that tread the line between the peculiar and the practical! Watch Simone problem solve, put together, and test her fantastic machines. In this debut episode, Simone ponders why evolution hasn’t given humans a way to close their ears like we do our eyes, and then works on a solution to that problem of her own design.

Comments (60)

60 thoughts on “Simone Giertz’s Earlids–It Might Work!

  1. A breakthrough in Aviation, Fashion and Robotics. The Earlids- Now available in standard and highspeed- Sick of listening to bullshit? Flap your robot ears and fly away.

  2. Does no one think this kind of stuff dilutes Tested’s maker cred? There are incredible young kids out there trying to make the world a better place through making.

    Simone, you’re cute, and that’s gotten you far, but in these difficult times where America is apparently being run by elites, I challenge you to come up with something that isn’t about solving a Seinfeld (aka “First World”) problem that doesn’t exist. Otherwise, Tested could do better.

  3. Smithpad: I take it you didn’t see Adam’s Duck Bomb, Will’s table or any of the other dozens of videos equally as silly as this one? Your take on this site’s “maker cred” (whatever the fuck that means) is curious, given that this site is, and has always been, about entertainment and goofy projects. Did you arrive here yesterday? There is more than enough space on here for both silliness and serious stuff, but it won’t be Tested without the former.

    However, I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that you *really* have some personal issue with the maker, rather than the project. First, the patronizing sexism in your second paragraph makes the disdain pathetically clear, second, the fact that you either haven’t seen this video, or are commenting using a sock-puppet account (hint… you are not a Premium member, and this is a Premium video).

  4. Kim:

    Fair points, all around, I was lashing out emotionally. No, I didn’t watch the video, and no, I don’t have a Premium account. But I’m not new here.

    I don’t have any personal issues with the maker, just the content of her making. Adam and Will have kind of earned their rights to make silly stuff through all the wide variety of material they’ve made. To call out Adam’s duck bomb or Will’s table just goes to show that they have so much material that doesn’t fall into the silly category. They’re teaching us real skills EVERY DAY, many of which I’ve adopted myself. I would just like to understand why Simone was brought onto the site, because the absurdity of a popcorn feeder that doesn’t work AT ALL just doesn’t seem to fit the rest of the amazing work on this site. Makers demonstrate their skill through what they do.

    There’s a one-trick pony aspect that seems to be going on here, which is simply Simone’s hands-free hats. I get it, she’s the queen of sh*tty robots, it’s shtick. But this isn’t “Comedy Hour with Simone.” If it were, I’d respect it more. Tested’s take on making has always foremost been about achievement, skill, and results. You know, testing.

    As for the patronizing sexism, guilty, I apologize for that statement. I try to think I’m better than that. I won’t even defend it. It’s just frustrating to tune into Tested, excited for a new video, only to see, yet again, a cartoon on display: a “hat” that’s supposed to leave your hands free, and has no regard for practicality, has no understanding of the social ramifications, or even seems to care if it actually works correctly.

    That’s enough to make anyone lash out emotionally.

  5. But I’m a hard audience. I wasn’t thrilled with Frank’s addition of all the SFX stuff…if felt like Adam’s influence, and not what Tested used to be like. Times change…

    One thing, Simone. Give me just one thing that isn’t a big joke…

  6. This absolutely is comedy hour with Simone. Comedy is what she does, and every once in a while, there is some cool techniques in there too. Personally, I’ve been inspired by her approach to organize a monthly electronics project at work, where we hang out after hours and make something silly over beers. Low stakes, low ambition, but we still learn how to build things and everyone can participate regardless of skill-level.

    It isn’t about saving the planet at all times, but stuff we’ve worked on in those sessions have already trickled into prototyping for the serious projects we do (I work at an industrial design agency, where we often work with stuff like healthcare, public services, green technologies, circular economy etc.).

    If you’re not a fan, that is fine, we can’t all love all the content on the site. As someone that has had this site as my homepage for five years, I certainly skip lots of it.

  7. Ah, interesting. I guess I’m missing the point. I do tend to take this stuff very seriously. And thanks to Adam, Tested takes “making” very seriously. Simone’s addition has just been a very jarring change of tone, in my opinion. I don’t come here as often as I used to, because I feel like I’m “aging out”.

    And not to start kitchen sinking about this, but that’s honestly how I’ve felt about the organized Maker community these days. I can’t afford Makerspaces (like OSML) because they cost too much per month just for me to use a 3D printer or laser cutter every now and then, and I’m not a student, so I don’t get the discounts. An older maker, I’m feeling more and more ostracized. The libraries don’t have enough incentive to offer these things for free, so I’m out of luck when it comes to newer technologies.

    So don’t call me a sexist, call me an “ageist”. I’ll own that one. Tested bringing in younger blood with an apparent sense of entitlement hasn’t gone over too well. 🙂

  8. well, for what it’s worth, i think the earlids are – albeit treated with a metric fuckton of levity – much more closely related to ‘our difficult times’ than adam’s hey-witness-the-serious-and-substantial-life-improvement-of-the-new-dog-bed-for-my-new-prius.

    and don’t get me started on ‘earning their right to make silly stuff.’

  9. Ah, I could debate that one. At least with Adam’s dog bed, people might have a reason to want to replicate that in their own lives, even though it’s not saving the world. The ears aren’t good for much more than entertainment, as far as I’m concerned, or maybe “inspiration”, per what Kim said above.

    But more importantly, Adam has an ocean of work, and “silly” does not holistically define what he does here on Tested. Not the case for Simone. That’s what I meant by “earning” it. He’s a maker. She’s apparently an entertainer with a comedy show I didn’t know about.

  10. I actually find this quite encouraging. Sure the crappy robots are crappy, but they show that things like Servo motors and Arduino boards are accessible to anyone willing to learn and experiment, even if the results are rubbish, you have a laugh and you move on. Partially this shows problem solving and shows that its accessible to everyone, not just people with special effects experience and/or a deep understanding of RC cars ect.

    I’d like to see more of Simone can do when working on a project/concept that is serious too. There was a video showing off her apartment and the things she made for that were awesome. But the whimsical crappy robots make me happy.

  11. Simone, your enjoyment of these ears is infectious. I enjoyed the video and I’m looking forward to more in the series.

    Also, thank you for showing the difficulties you had in making this. It’s a relief to see someone else eliminate features because they’re just too hard.

  12. SmithPad, I guess you missed Simone’s spool table, her hanger hanger, her metal cup holder stand (blanking on what she called it) and her truck bath tub. Not a one of those were silly, humorous, shitty builds.

    Simone. Keep it up! I loved seeing how you persevered when the build didn’t go your way. There is a HUGE lesson in there for young builders!

  13. smithpad: i’d counter: sewing a dog bed is indulgence without merit. (beyond seeing adam get excited, which i consider a lot of merit, but is an easily dismissed thing) maybe it’s me, but a stuffed pillow to collect pooch hair, that could’ve come off the shelf just as well, doesn’t inspire me much.

    when simone works on a robot, she has to tackle several disciplines, usually from mechanical to electronic, and occasionally to code. she often makes the point of how little time it took her to get to being able to do this. her results never look pretty or polished. i regard this as a feature: when all potential future makers see is perfectly executed work, it’s easy to feel frustrated when your results don’t have the same polish. i feel there is good in making craft seem unthreatening or welcoming. silliness can be a way to do that. (and hey, how easy is it to have a random idea and think of it as a valid thing to tackle because it is so much less zany than one of simone’s?)

    if you’re being this strict on simone, i don’t feel it’s fair to not apply the same scrutiny to adam: worked as an FX guy, i.e. built superficial playthings for mere entertainment. mythbusters is critiqued because they don’t adhere to scientific protocol but go for the spectacular, the silly, or the next big explosion – for mere entertainment. making-wise, i can only speak to his woodworking, but i’d not be surprised if it’s similar in other disciplines: his work is sloppy, his technique superficial at best, and compared to serious woodworking, borders on the unethical. his subjects are the toys of a manchild: tons of replicas of things from the pulp end of entertainment.

    but we both know that this tirade is missing the point by miles. adam is about legitimising enthusiasm and being true to one’s passions, to care about the meaning and story of things. i think simone’s as much an enabler as adam.

  14. I love that the ear covers look like ears. Now people will think you are listening carefully with those big ears, when you’re actually not listening at all. Or something.

  15. Yes please, more “It might work” segments. Note to Simone, you may want to program it to accept a “safe” word and not “bulls$%t”. The default term may create problems in a small meeting. Another option (for us in the states) is to program it to accept the Swedish word for “bulls$%t”.

  16. Does no one think this kind of stuff dilutes Tested’s maker cred?

    Absolutely not. There is no claim that this kind of think is world-changing or something useful.

    The point is about you do not have to be a professional like Frank or Adam or Charles to make something (an you do not have to be male). You do not have to be afraid of failing when making something. You do not have to make something useful. Your plan does not have to be perfect from the start.

    Simone, you’re cute, and that’s gotten you far, but in these difficult times where America is apparently being run by elites, I challenge you to come up with something that isn’t about solving a Seinfeld (aka “First World”) problem that doesn’t exist. Otherwise, Tested could do better.

    If you seriously think that Simone is trying to solve a problem with her creations, then you’re much more a problem of the “difficult times” than the “elite” that runs your country.

    Sometimes you just make something for the very sake of making something. Not the result is what matters, but how you got there, and what experience you made on your way.

    The credibility of those kind of videos is to encourage beginners to just fiddle around, there is no wrong or unworthy result if you enjoyed yourself (and others) and learned something by doing it way.

    Seeing someone fail/something not going as planned and being able to see the workaround/see the plan evolve is more interesting than just seeing the finished product. So in a way people like Simone are the reason why there is a new generation of makers that then might do “important” stuff. Everyone starts small. If you don’t save the world with your first creations – it is perfectly fine.
    After all art objects also often enough don’t have another purpose than to be pretty (or ugly/irritating/whatever) and won’t solve a problem.

  17. making is making is making and Simone’s whole shtick is her shitty robots. Sometimes we just need some silliness in the world.

    “Tested bringing in younger blood with an apparent sense of entitlement hasn’t gone over too well.”

    what’s that even supposed to mean?

  18. Smithpad Because the last thing the world needs now is some simple joyous laughter?
    (makes a change from the cynical mocking sort that has infected ‘the rest’ of us just lately)

  19. SmithPad

    I don’t quite agree. Younger people should make silly things, or practical things or whatever they want. I believe the point is getting them to make something. The learning process is the same whether the project is practical or not. If a silly project like this gets younger people interested in learning more about mechanics, servos, electronics, sewing or whatever the end result is still positive. A person, young or old has picked up a skill or learned something. That is always a good thing.

  20. Don’t know why you have added Simone. She just doesn’t fit this site. Let’s have

    more Adam and real builds.

  21. I have a solution. Build one of Simone’s wake up robots and install it above your couch. Program an arduino to activate the servo at random intervals giving you a good hard slap in the face at least four times an hour. I suggest the contact point should bel above the right eye as this is where the sense of humour is located.

    If this doesn’t help, medication might be in order. Consult a doctor before taking any medication.

  22. I could make a thoughtful, cogent argument, but at this moment suffice it to say this is just lame. Would someone please get a stopwatch and add up how much time of this video is spent just listening to her laugh? This is Premium content? Her ridiculousness reaches the height of content juxtaposition at the 7 min 25 sec mark when we see Sean behind her-someone who takes the time to prepare thoughtful, meaningful content and is clearly committed to his contributions to this site. Were I the powers-that-be at Tested, I would not only be concerned about losing my credibility, but also alienating my meaningful contributors.

    Fun can be had while still showcasing meaningful ‘Tested’ ideals(see early content as examples); but mocking the very notion of using these incredible tools(arduino, servos,etc) in new and innovative ways seems contrary to Tested’s core values.

    Sometimes you test something and it doesn’t work. When this happens you must have the fortitude to scrap it. More power to Simone via some other venue,just not here.

  23. It is rather funny seeing the influx of <5 post members dictating the site's editorial choices in absolute terms.

    Someone mentioned entitlement?

    It is funny because this is a site whose most popular video for years was of a dog testing the iPad, and that made its name through hours of drunk live-streaming and ranting about raccoon death-matches and using The Force to choke children.

  24. you have to admit, there is a sort of beauty in simone stating the necessity of filtering out bullshit, and the comments immediately filling with people proving her point.

  25. I don’t pay money to watch internet randos harass the Tested crew. I can get that on youtube for free. Tested should ban non-premium from commenting here on premium videos (Will was right).

  26. All the best Magazine titles out there balance their content. You need some levity interspersed to add variety and this is where I see a piece like this sitting. Simone has shown her more serious side and technical skill, the cotton reel and coat hanger hanger for example. But here is someone just making something and showing the joy it can bring to the maker. It made me laugh and for just under 8 minutes it was good value. For those people wanting more serious stuff there is plenty of depth and breadth to the Tested content. But every once in a while showing a maker have a giggle and make something for the hell of it is just what the doctor ordered. Simone adds greatly to the Tested team and I am very happy to see her involved. I look forward to all her future contributions, whether serious or light hearted.

  27. What a fun idea and entertaining build. A great example of how you don’t need to build a ‘serious’ project in order to learn a new skill.

  28. This is not the level of content I want to see on premium channel.

    You shouldn’t get premium to see additional locked-down high quality stuff. That is not what premium is about. It is about explicitly supporting the open content as it is, with some additional raw bonus videos.

    Just look at the premium content that is available. Hour long Lego builds/kit assembly or similar is not what I would consider “high level” content either (not to mention the shitty player for premium videos). Tested’s premium is not about having first class experience behind a paywall.

    That being said: I also liked Adam’s spacesuit accessories build much better, especially the failures/learning process. But just take premium content as it is: additional bonus stuff. The good stuff is public, and you support that good stuff with going premium (although I wouldn’t mind actually having the unauthorized movie commentary as a series).

  29. Excellent points, I’m feelin’ it! I guess call me too self-focused in my critiques, but upon further review, I am duly swayed. Man, I hate it when I’m wrong!:)

  30. It is rather funny seeing the influx of <5 post members dictating the site's editorial choices in absolute terms.

    Someone mentioned entitlement?

    It is funny because this is a site whose most popular video for years was of a dog testing the iPad, and that made its name through hours of drunk live-streaming and ranting about raccoon death-matches and using The Force to choke children.

    never has my lawn needed more offgetting!

  31. Well that was different, and funny. It’s great to see more of what Simone’s working on for Tested.

    By way of constructive criticism, this feels like one of Simone’s youtube videos thrown behind the Tested paywall. Simone’s videos are great art/satire/inspiration, for youtube. In the Tested context, some closeups and explanations of what’s being done would be great, much like the One Day Build videos. Time lapses with name drops of “arduino” and “servomotors” as explanation for what’s happening aren’t quite enough.

  32. specifically Constantine’s blessed knuckles. When I was building the workshop I felt they belonged there – and you never know.

  33. They aren’t brass knuckles, they’re a paper weight. Seriously, I don’t know for sure, but with the government half the battle is to define something.

    Since they’re on a set of ear protection it gives new meaning to the term “Eyes and ears” on the range.

  34. Love the joke and just, fun builds. I know tested normally does only serious stuff, and I love that even more but… I love to have a nice funny video every once and awhile 🙂 Good Job Simone, keep up the series!

  35. This elicited an actual LOL. More of Simone and her creations is only a good thing. Looking forward to more of this series.

  36. Second the idea of taking the time to break down the actual build a bit more. Maybe via a project page to go with the video? A lot of her inventions are fantastic examples of core skills needed to make micro controller based gizmos.

    In general I liked the look and feel of the segment. Decent concept for lots of ideas and it doesn’t self definelimit her to punch line content if shetested doesn’t want to keep it there. Think it would be fun to see a growth of skills over time in these… IE an initial segment here of knocking out the basic idea, but also go ahead and finish the voice recognition, maybe adding active noise cancellation etc… IE following through ideas like this beyond just the immediate comic angle and on down the rabbit hole to absurd and functional.

    Bottom line though, I enjoyed the segment. Keep it up Simone!

  37. Those ears would make any Ferengi jealous!

    Honestly, I think they are way funnier blinking like that on an ongoing basis instead of whenever you call “bullshit”.

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