Chindogu isn’t the name of an actual invention, it’s the Japanese name for the creation of pointless inventions that work but aren’t practical. The word chindogu translates as ‘useless tool’.
Heath Robinson Design. Imagine a device designed to grab toast as it pops out of a toaster, one that used a mechanical hand attached to a powerful spring to catch the bread in mid-flight.
This would require complex engineering to carry out what is an unnecessary task. If flying toast was a problem, the easier option would be to loosen the spring on the toaster or simply to buy a new toaster.
Some chindogu inventions, such as an umbrella that can shield you from rain from head to toe, would certainly get you noticed, but not for the right reasons, that is if you ever dared use it in public.
An easy chindogu invention to get you started would be a long stick designed to push the buttons on your TV. Who needs remote controls
Some Ideas That Didn’t Catch On (if they had they wouldn’t be chindogu!)
Portable zebra crossing
Roll it out like a mat and cross roads anywhere!
Like a glue stick but used to apply butter to toast
Duster slippers for cats
Your cats clean your floors as they walk around!
Catch 40 winks while you travel on public transport – without falling over
Great idea in principle, but it can’t work in the dark!
‘Heath Robinson’ is a term used to describe any ingenious but ridiculous and complicated contraption, and is named after the English cartoonist W. Heath Robinson (1872-1944), who is best remembered for his delightful depictions of eccentric inventions.