Halloween is just days away, and we all know what that means: candy! Also, jack-o’-lanterns and all manner of spooky decor. When it comes time to carve your pumpkin, you can take one of three basic approaches: scary, goofy, or artsy. The last one is just pretentious, which is why most of us go in one of the first two directions. But, if you’re YouTuber William Osman, you ignore polite convention altogether and turn your pumpkin into a hovercraft instead.
Osman, along with his friend Morgan, built the jack-o’-craft to compete in a robot battling tournament. They started the project just 12 hours before the event, which is good for avoiding rot but bad for time management. The basic principle behind making a pumpkin hover is the same as any other hovercraft: pump a high volume of air underneath so that it creates a cushion of air for the craft to float on. Once it’s hovering, traditional props can be used to provide thrust.
For the air pump, they used the blower from an ordinary handheld vacuum. The props and motors appear to be the same kind you’d use for a drone. While it sort of worked right off the bat, they noticed that it was very unstable. Osman came to the conclusion that the height of the pumpkin was causing the instability, so they carved a new pumpkin that was a lot shorter. That worked surprisingly well, but they don’t say if they ever made it to the tournament — or how the pumpkin hovercraft held up if they did.