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  • 12.21.15

Cheap Computers, High-Tech Showers, And Pancake Bot: The Craziest Projects You Crowdfunded In 2015

Of all the things to throw your money at, you picked a robot that makes pancakes.

Earlier this year, the entire landscape of crowdfunding changed, when under the JOBS Act, the SEC voted that companies could award equity in exchange for crowdfunding dollars. No longer must you be content simply with a trinket as a reward for gifting a project with your hard-earned cash–now you can be a part owner.

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And yet, most of these projects offered nothing more than a chance to get in early on some hardware before the rest of the world. Perhaps you want a little more fun at your standing desk, and want to stand on a surfboard as you try to fill out your expense reports. Perhaps you’d like to grow your own food at home, and you’d like that food to be meal worms. Or maybe you prefer a robot to squirt pancake batter for you in whatever shape you desire. The possibilities were endless–and paid for by you.

As more people start to realize that they are often not giving money to a scrappy creative genius who needs a few extra bucks to make their dream come true, but are rather helping large companies get cash advances for products that they plan to bring to market anyway, perhaps the crowdfunding landscape will change. Until then: Hey, it’s your money.

1: Forget Treadmill Desks: This Device Lets You Surf In Place At Your Standing Desk

And you thought standing was good for you.

2: This Noise-Canceling “Nosepiece” Silences The Snores Of The Person Snoring Next To You

Instead of spending another night in the peace and quiet of the couch, there’s a technological solution.

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3: This Desktop Edible Insect Hive Grows Your Daily Protein At Home

If you can stomach the whole mealworm-eating part, it’s a lot easier than raising chickens.

Jessica Krcmarik

4: This Designer Is Saving Detroit’s Old-School Sign Typography By Turning It Into Fonts

As old businesses close and new ones move in, neighborhoods are losing their visual identities. But now they can have signs that stay true to the neighborhood’s roots.

5: This $169 Computer Is Designed For The World’s Emerging Middle Class

Your TV screen is your monitor, and an Internet connection isn’t necessary.

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6: The PancakeBot Will 3-D Print Your Breakfast And Turn It Into Art

Eat your favorite celebrity, landmark, or even your own drawing for an inspirational morning meal.

7: This Startup Is Reimagining Shower Design, So People Actually Want To Save Water

The unlikely water-saving product has raised more than $2 million on Kickstarter and has drawn investors including Apple CEO Tim Cook.

About the author

Morgan is a senior editor at Fast Company. He edits the Ideas section, formerly FastCoExist.com.

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