I wouldn’t describe myself as a builder. My biggest projects to date have been assembling an Ikea filing cabinet, writing a handful of AppleScripts, and swapping the hard drive in my old computer. But this past weekend at Maker Faire Tokyo I saw a glimpse of what’s possible with a little bit of hardware, a handful of inspiration, and a lot of spare time.

Maker Faire might have started in the US, but in the six years since its launch, the events have spread out over the world, including the country I currently call home. Japan’s role as a technology and research hub, along with its tradition of outrageous inventions, make it fertile ground for the kinds of weird experiments the event is known for. I was curious to see what kind of Arduino-based novelties people might come up with, and sure enough the day’s builds ranged from the purely practical to the more artistic, and from the nobly scientific to the consummately absurd.