Introduction: Supa Dupa Led Throwie Retreval System

You know how annoyed mother nature is?
Don't wait for her to shout at you!
Clean up you beeping flashing thingy!

In here is just an outline of an idea someone should expand on!

Step 1:

Get a Led Throwie
Get a set of velcro
A ball of blue tack

Cover the throwie with blue tack, and wrap it with the hook side of the Velcro facing outward.

---Making the retriever----
Get a flat floor mop
Glue the Velcro (furry side) strip to the mop

Thanks for reading this little idea of mine.
If anyone has the time, can they post another tutorial(With pictures), using these ideas above. Because i like to see this adopted widely.


pt (author)2006-05-19

i dont think you can judge what is or isnt art right? the makers i know who have made throwies disposed of the batteries, reused the magnets and the LEDs.

DIY-Guy (author)pt2010-10-23

Re: "i dont think you can judge what is or isnt art right?"

The idea that nobody can say something isn't art is designed to shut people up. (Nothing personal intended to you friend.) It is moral relativism. It's designed to leave a whole generation confused.

Example: If throwing something at a sign to mark it in some way MUST be considered art, then shooting a paintball at a sign also MUST be considered art. And people who would follow that logic MUST accept unwanted doggie doo on their steps to be "art."

Obviously something does not work if we use the logic that all things must be considered "art."

But back to the retrieval of throwies, has anyone experienced trouble with the police while retrieving throwies? Sadly, sometimes innocent people who are cleaning up will get accused of causing the mess in the first place.

It's easy to imagine a scenario that goes something like this-
Cop: "Hey you, the kid with the stick! I see you've got a bag full of those flashing things that are making everybody in town scared of some kind of attack. YOU MUST BE THE PERSON PUTTING THEM UP ALL OVER TOWN!" etc.
Geek: "No, no, no, really! I'm collecting these. Not distributing them!"
Cop: "Don't lie to me sonny boy, give me your wrists!"
Geek: "Honestly officer, it's just ART! I'm sure these are just simple battery powered electronic circuits that aren't dangerous at all! Lots of people are doing it, I read about it on the internet!"
Cop: "Riiiiiiight. WHO are these people you know!? Tell me the names of the other perps right now."

fungus amungus (author)pt2006-05-21

This is some weak art, if you can even call it that. It's just decoration. But the real point is that the whole throwie idea put out there has been all about throwing these around and enjoying their glow for two weeks. The whole philosophy is to throw 'em and forget 'em. Basically, to waste them because it's cheap and it looks cool while you're drinking your PBR. Sure, you can retrieve them if you want to. Just get an extension pole and glue some magnets to a flat painting attachment. The thing is that this has always been put out as an irresponsible hack. Watch the videos or read the text, there's no mention whatsoever of how to get them back or what to do with them afterwards. The makers you know have been responsible. The ones who wrote this up haven't.

mmt (author)pt2006-05-20

I think, and artists I've talked to seem to agree, that an individual can't levy out what is and is *not* art. That, more particularly, things can be classified as *being* art basically when they have inspired or somehow directed a new generations of artists. Thus it is fairly easy to say in retrospect what is art, but hard to say what will be in the future.

However, as these throwies are not at all novel, except for their ease of creation (for which the actual "inventor" is not responsible) I think we can't safely guess that throwies are not art, but merely a fad.

And, they *are* really bad for the environment. Coin cell battery disposal rates up with industrial processes as primary contributor of mecury in the ocean. You're can't eat tuna more than twice a week because some unlabeled fraction of batteries we stick in dumps (let alone throw out on the ground) contains mecury.

Be careful with batteries.

mmt (author)mmt2006-05-20

Upon futher reasearch:

GRL ( hacked LED throwies as part of several other composite projects. And, as was in the back of my head, the construction of throwies has a sort of "democratizing" aspect due to its low cost and ease.

However, making techie chachkies doesn't really stand as art. Throwies stand as a medium, but as long as we participate in them only for their instant gratification, and simple aesthetics, they aren't art in my book.

rotor (author)pt2006-05-19

It's not art, it's litter. Annoying litter. If you honestly think a flashing light is 'art,' I really don't know what to say to you. Maybe you'd like to come over to my house around christmas and I can show you some large art installations.

Junkyard John (author)2006-05-19

Certain kinds of art appeal to only certain kinds of people. I, for instance, just don't get modern art. Rotor, throwies are a kind of art, but they just don't appeal to you. Even graphiti is a type of art if you think about it. It only appeals to the creator though.

rotor (author)Junkyard John2006-05-22

A definition of art that admits -anything- as art renders the term meaningless. If anything is art, why even have a word for it? I refuse to accept that an LED taped to a battery and stuck to a stop sign is art, and so should anyone who thinks art is important. That said, ksosh has it right. Whatever you do, at least have the decency to clean up after yourself.

alexus09 (author)rotor2009-01-26

okay so you're bashing the idea of trashing the environment. Humanity is ruining it also, so why bother with pieces of metal and tape? Try the bigger issues, global warming if you will. and would you rather kids be making little lights and putting them up or contributing to crime, or doing drugs. The kid that walks by you smoking, maybe blowing it in your face is doing more harm than a kid with brains to do something relatively harmless

rotor (author)alexus092009-01-26

Good point. I guess that makes it ok then. I mean, after all, since someone else creates more pollution than I do, I guess my littering is ok. Thanks for putting that all into perspective, dude.

alexus09 (author)rotor2009-01-27

Well it's not necessarily littering, it's pretty much self expression, it's a movement. not throwing trash allover

DIY-Guy (author)alexus092010-10-23

If you leave a throwie attached to something that does not belong to you, it is littering. While the batteries last it may be possible to convince yourself that it's art, but that's not a justification to deface property.

Once the batteries die there is no question that a throwie becomes garbage. Not to be gross, but nobody likes it when someone comes and spits mud or something worse onto their windows, house, or car. It's just a matter of property rights, even public property.

Just a suggestion, but perhaps the owners' refrigerator could be "beautified" with throwie "art." At least it will be where the "artist" can constantly appreciate it and nobody else will have their property marred.

And don't forget the possibilities of decorating your own metal lawnmower shed in your yard! Then the throwies can be retrieved, batteries changed, designs updated and improved, etc.

My own throwie retrieval system (on my own property, of course!) is a stiff push broom. Raise push broom to highest point, press against the metal surface, pull down throwies. BONUS: Cob webs, leaves, and even some dirt will often come along as well and the wall starts to look cleaner!

rotor (author)alexus092009-01-27

Oh, totally, me too. When I throw old Chee-Tos bags on the ground, I'm expressing myself. There's a bunch of us doing it, you may have seen our work recently, let me know what you think.

Junkyard John (author)rotor2006-05-22

I believe that visual art is something that causes appeal or awe

pinkunicorn (author)2010-04-08

Retrieving throwies sounds like a good idea on the surface, but not making the throwies in the first place is a *much* better idea.

Articas (author)2010-03-20

kewl idea i mean youcould go on a rampage on christmas and then clean up befor dawn

-Aj- (author)2009-12-21


i use alkaline button cells stacked in my throwies so instantly there goes your lithium problem.
the rest of the stuff in them will either rust or decompose under uv from sunlight, and the remnants of the led itself will be no more then a rock like ball of resin. such a waste of an amazing little thing, an led, but they are so cheap now. i just buy the led christmas lights and strip them out, you get a few hundred for only 20 buck or so.

art is defined as a product of deliberately arranging elements in a way that appeals to the senses or emotions. or a product of a persons creativity.
if you create something, it is art. how good it is and what its purpose is depends on the 'artist'.

while i would not call throwing a random throwie a piece of art, tactfully arranging them in a certain way and colour pattern to be visually appealing i would call art, as that requires creativity on the throwers behalf. if done right it can look quite good, i save it for holidays though, such as the few hundred i plan on making up for new years. such fun shall be had <(^^,)>

-Aj- (author)-Aj-2009-12-21

*plays thread necromancer*

dbrew (author)2006-05-30

This is stupid. I hate to be hostile but there have been some seriously obtuse arguments presented. The creators of throwies, wittingly or unwittingly have created true art. Throwies are a pop-cultural phenomenon. A "fad"; trite, vapid, fun, irresponsible. The throwies themselves couldn't be simpler. They're inexpensive, require no special tools or skill to build. The motive to throw them is simple too. Its the combination of three fairly basic human desires. A desire for self-expression (whether its a profound or complex expression is of no consequence). People have been putting up graffitti since before there was language. Throwies are also a social activity. They're usually put up by groups of people. Its also a way to be on the inside of something unique and special. (Read the article on flash mobs in Harpers from a few months back. Totally fascinating) The throwie fad speaks of a world in which advanced technology is so accessable, inexpensive and simple, that its downright childs play. The youth have money to 'waste' on something fleeting with no more importance than its own existence. Be damned, the enviornmental reprocussions, whose effects are so far removed in both time and place from the thrower to be almost imaginary. To live a life in which actions have little if any reprocussions is no small source of existential confusion. (the source of many a science fiction plotline) This confusion is often acted out in whimsical destructive acts (the throwies themselves being a rather inoccuous form) The fact that they piss everybody off and fueled this big controversial thread is clear evidence that as art, they hit their target. Bullseye. They affected you emotionally, be that anger or joy. They got you thinking about what they mean and how they fit good or bad into our (twisted or not) society.

rotor (author)dbrew2006-05-30

The fact that they piss everybody off is not an indicator that they're art, it's an inticator that they're a retarded idea fobbed off by people who should really know better. The idiot who rides his Harley with straight pipes through my neighborhood at 2am isn't creating art, he's creating a public nusiance. Grow up and learn to see the difference.

dbrew (author)rotor2006-06-02

I see the difference, but I don't think that your argument is sound. True, it is a public nuissance, but that doesn't make it not art. The guy riding the harley is not creating the art. He is part of the art, just as in any performance. Whether he knows it or not is of no consequence. The next logical step from that would be that your reaction to his noise is part of the art. I suppose the real question is just how elastic is the term 'art'. I'm willing to bet that you don't buy the harley rider as art scenereo just as I don't buy that just because throwies are annoying and irresponsibly capricious that they are not an act of artistic expressiont. Thats ok. art is like that. We're arguing from different symantic viewpoints. If we cannot agree on the definition of the terms of the argument, then a true discussion is impossible.

Savage_Insight (author)dbrew2007-06-13

The whole point behind the movement which adopted the throwies was back in the late 80s/early 90s when there was a massive push for kids to find a career and/or meaning of life before they could even get a doctorate. The movement's whole point and idea was to rekindle and preserve the sheer joy, self-expression, and natural identity of a human being. This was done by showing people what it meant to create something that wasn't designed to last (human mortality), but so long as it did exist, it was random, sudden (like a wonderful surprise party), and wonderful to the eye and to the spirit. Like a carefully crafted photograph of a tear falling from an eye, the simplicity of a throwie used new materials born of the new age (LED and button cell technology) to represent an old idea: it's important to enjoy creating something for no more reason than creating the item itself. The temporary nature of a throwie is a pop-culture footnote that is identical to the poetry of a candle; With each person, a light. With every light, an idea. Every candle, every life, every throwie is temporary, and when the light is gone, nature reclaims what's left.

jakee117 (author)Savage_Insight2008-12-12

that was a moving message

Here, this is what the movement means to do; share a moment that is idyllic, random, and joyfully beautiful not because there's any deeper meaning than what's there, but simply because it is.

Oh, and if you're worried about the movement being a permanent source of pollution, don't. Our day when biobatteries are everywhere is not far off. You can buy them now too.

randomguy96 (author)dbrew2008-07-22

some people like me and other people on their computers at home (like me) dont know some of the words you just used there or what they mean, so use more simple words.

schimmi (author)dbrew2008-02-11

you talk about the enviromental repercussions, but that's tiny compared to that car you drive. that most people drive, why wast time about tiny little bits of alkiline acids when you could be help switch over to hydrogen?

Savage_Insight (author)dbrew2007-06-13

Good times bro. It's always a wicked trip to see someone familiar with the old guard still floating around.

Deeminga (author)dbrew2007-05-13

Too right dbrew! 100% spot on! And besides, throwies lack the perminance of traditional graphitti, so they can be reclaimed and recycled to use again.... and what's better for the environment than recycling!

rockyt (author)2006-06-28

The stereo you listen to, the tv you watch causes more polution then these things.

rotor (author)rockyt2006-08-02

I guess that makes it ok then. I mean, after all, since my TV causes more pollution than throwing a McDonalds bag out the window I should just start throwing all my small trash out the window. Thanks for putting that all into perspective, dude.

Aar000n3y (author)rotor2007-08-28

He's not saying that all because it doesn't pollute as much as other things means you should go and do it. The good things these things do for people outweighs the pollution it causes by far. These cause very little pollution too. If you go throw these on a public building, a worker there will be paid to remove them. Unless it's a building not in use, but why would you throw leds on a building like that? Even so, most would be picked up by city workers before the thing falls off.

mmt (author)2006-05-20

Its sad that they'll be hard to spot once they stop blinking. People should grab them before they die!

slayerforhope (author)mmt2007-02-25

most dont blink...

spinach_dip (author)2006-05-18

Better yet, just don't make Throwies. It's a horribly stupid idea. It's a gross waste of money, horrible for the environment, and it doesn't do anything useful or artistic.

Gr1D (author)spinach_dip2006-10-14

if your really concerned about the enviroment... go check out the dumpsters at some of the major night clubs in your area. LED wearable lighting is the big thing at least here in Miami Fl. At the end of the night, you can fill a shopping bag with all kinds of dead and dying battery powered lighting devices. Street vendors here sell them up and down South Beach. People wear them and and most end up tossing them somewhere by the end of the night. They sell these things on ebay so I doubt this fad is just limited to Miami. Of course if you have a buddy at a nightclub you may be able to tap an endless supply of LED stuff!

slayerforhope (author)Gr1D2007-02-25

what soil would it be polluting anyway in the city?

Monk (author)2007-01-30

why not just use one of those magnet pointer thingies?

Static_Cat (author)2006-12-09

Surely whether it's art or not depends entirely on what the finished piece has to say. Whether it's paint or bricks or a throwie it's not what you use but what you do with it and what it then says. I can't see randomly chucking them about as art but if they are creativly applied to produce a pleasing or thought provoking result (and cleaned up once project over :p) I can see how this could be considered art.

Eristic (author)2006-10-18

In 1917, an artist by the name of Marcel Duchamp signed a urinal, and hung it on a wall for display. In 2004, it was named the most influential modern art work of all time, from a poll of 500 art experts. Hell, Yoko Ono still sells albums, and I'd much rather hear that Harley at 2am than her singing. Just because you don't like/appreciate something doesn't mean it isn't art.

Ian01 (author)2006-07-27

The NdFeB magnets are stronger than velcro.

Vamos (author)2006-07-24

ghehe i was thinking of some ideas myself you could ofcourse take a sturdy long piece of string and a stronger type of magnet you're using on the throwies... after that its like fishing... (make sure the rope is strong enough.. if you miss and the string breaks you just lost another damn magnet)

osu1177 (author)2006-07-10

although more expensive, design a throwie whos magnetism stems from the battery via an electromagnet, rather than a traditional magnet. This way, when the battery dies, the throwie just falls to the ground, and you can collect it later. Actually, im not sure if this is even possible, considering the weight of the new throwie versus the magnetic force necessary to keep it attracted. Im not very familiar in this field.

bowakowa (author)2006-06-22

imho, art is an attempt at communication, be it conscious or otherwise. Perhaps on some level the throwies say,"We're bored and possibly stupid, we would like society at large or an individual to give us something constructive to do." Maybe like picking up throwies.

fleanine (author)2006-05-24

ART is about a process. Not necessarily the result. Anyone can look at "Art" and have a different feeling. that's why ART is ART. LED's (on the other hand) are LIGHTS..... This is why some people just carry Markers.

radiorental (author)2006-05-19

Art is subjective. I feel it isnt art but I dont not have the right to catagorly say so. LEDs and batteries will not cause a lot of destruction to the environment but that also is not the core issue here. Its simply a matter of responsibility. A nice little note at the start of each LED Throwie project asking makers to be responsible, to clean up after you throw as much as you can etc etc would go a very long way to addressing the concerns of the 'environmentalists' I think there is great value in these projects getting kids interested in engineering but I'm very dissapointed that I have not seen much in the way of any of the throwie makers (apart from 100100) talk about cleaning up. Whether they do or not is not important, there are some very legit concerns and ignoring them is also irresponsible.

prank (author)radiorental2006-05-21

Art is Wrong

ksosh (author)2006-05-21

Graffiti may be art in some cases, but most of the time it's illegal vandalism. Throwies are a "neat" medium (think paint, crayons, etc), but are not really "art" alone. It's what you DO with them that makes it art. And if you throw these all over a random public place, it's illegal littering. Bottom Line: Clean up after you're done being retarded, that's all.

Nietzsche (author)2006-05-19

Who said this only has applications in art? I did this project as an intro to electronics for my 7 year old cousin, and he loves it. Now, we're designing an "uber-Throwie" that employs a light-phasing RGB LED . . . Maybe a possible Instructible . . .

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