Techie Birthday Present
August 3, 2012 8:16 AM   Subscribe

My wife's birthday is coming up in early September and I need help finding a birthday present Fast as I'm going to be tied up the next couple weeks. She likes "toys" like remote control cars, helicopters, preferably that she can build herself. I got her a helicopter last year and a remote controlled car kit already so those ideas are out. She has a basic arduino kit and is always looking for a new project. She also likes cool gadgets for cooking, grilling. And she's into all kinds of music. She has an iPod, iPad, a Mac, a PC (several, actually). I'd like to keep it under $150 if possible. Your ideas would be most appreciated!
posted by anonymous to Technology (20 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
This remote-controlled balloon shark is not a build kit, but it is totally freakin' awesome.
posted by carsonb at 8:20 AM on August 3, 2012 [2 favorites]

Does she like Lego? There are some large, complicated models that look pretty cool: Sopwith Camel, Town Hall, Tower Bridge, Space Shuttle, R2-D2.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 8:23 AM on August 3, 2012

Chantal enamel cookware. Best cookware I ever used. I actually liked cooking more because it worked better.
posted by Michele in California at 8:27 AM on August 3, 2012

Try for all sorts of cool and gadgety things. Have fun!!
posted by Yellow at 8:36 AM on August 3, 2012

Molecular cuisine kit!
I want one of these.
posted by rmless at 8:36 AM on August 3, 2012

I'd get her an Arduino motor shield, a servo kit and a power adapter (that's the one I got for my Uno; she may need a different kind. Don't plug a power adapter into an Arduino without being 100% sure it's the right sort.)
posted by griphus at 8:41 AM on August 3, 2012

Maybe a Raspberry Pi?
posted by backwards guitar at 8:44 AM on August 3, 2012

My brother in law has one of these immersion blenders and it is fuckin' great. Blends really well, and you can just toss the impossible-to-clean blendy bit into the dishwasher!

If she wants to get into case modding you could also get her a dremel tool kit, which come at all kinds of price ranges.
posted by kavasa at 8:44 AM on August 3, 2012

Oh, it looks like Adafruit has a motor kit as well. Hell, I'd just browse the different Arduino kits and accessories they have.
posted by griphus at 8:46 AM on August 3, 2012

Ice cream maker + the book "The Perfect Scoop"! I was gifted these last summer and the recipes from that book are fabulous.
posted by lyra4 at 8:57 AM on August 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

Does she have a decent set of drivers? I like this one because I've been able to use it to get into everything, even past Apple's pentalobe screws.
posted by jamaro at 9:02 AM on August 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

What about payload options for her RCs? Sensors and such. Or kits so she can make then more autonomous. (if she is down with the code and not just the building phase) A video camera she could mount on the RC helicopter.. altimiter, etc..
posted by Feantari at 9:35 AM on August 3, 2012

Lego mindstorms kit?
posted by Joh at 9:46 AM on August 3, 2012

Great ideas so far. My favorite idea for geeky chefs is a Thermapen (if she doesn't already have one). It's a great gift because it combines "this is so expensive I'd never buy it for myself" and "Oh my god; this is the greatest thermometer ever."
posted by Betelgeuse at 10:39 AM on August 3, 2012

My husband got really, really into making little synths and they're awesome. If she likes beeping: Bleep Labs.
posted by Gucky at 10:50 AM on August 3, 2012 [2 favorites]

Nixie tube clock kit.
posted by samofidelis at 10:54 AM on August 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

I'd love it if my husband bought me a whole bunch of different sensors to use for Arduino projects (pressure, movement, distance, accelerometer, etc).
posted by kitcat at 12:04 PM on August 3, 2012

I'm in love with my Bose earbuds. They sound spectacular, don't come out when I run, and are extremely comfortable. They come with a nice little case.

Also wonderful but not inexpensive: portable bluetooth Ipod speakers of good quality. Logitech's aren't bad and fall within your price range. They'll connect to any Ipod with a bluetooth dongle.
posted by bearwife at 3:00 PM on August 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

Wow, this is all so weird...It could be describing my husband. His birthday is coming up and there are some really great ideas here. I've already decided to get him a &$^%&&%$ Arrrrggg I THINK I'M BEING EATEN BY ALIENS!! I promise to report back later, if I'm able.
posted by ms_rasclark at 4:42 PM on August 6, 2012

Okay, time to come clean. This was for my HUSBAND'S birthday, which is in August, not September. I knew he would see this, KNEW he would know it was about him either way and decided to twist it so he could feel smug for a minute thinking he saw through a rouse that was never expected to fool him for a minute. I was hoping for some great ideas, which I got, and just maybe that he would add some of his own or "like" others, which he didn't. So this is what he got... a Logitech mini-boombox bluetooth speakers, a Coleman camping chair with built-in cooler and cup holder, 6 exotic chocolate bars, three books: Mind Teasers & Mind Puzzlers, The Ultimate Book of Optical Illusions (both from Goodwill, shhh), and Star Wars Character Encyclopedia. Also 2 pints of Talienti Gelato: Sea Salt Caramel and Black Cherry. Thanks for the great suggestions!
posted by rsclark at 8:21 AM on August 12, 2012

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