If you're a fan of things like MythBusters, Make magazine, Burning Man, the do-it-yourself movement and the like, you are probably going to love Prototype This
The new TV show, which debuts tonight at 10 p.m. on Discovery Channel, is a celebration of what intelligent, creative, and slightly crazy people can make when given freedom, expert help, and a bit of a budget.
The basic theme of Prototype This is that the four hosts, Terry Sandin, Zoz Brooks, Mike North, and Joe Grand take their combined skills and use each episode to conceive of and craft some entirely new design, product, or technology. The end result? A full season of prototypes that are off-the-wall, entirely practical, and everything in between.
In August, I spent a day shadowing the show's hosts and producers as they worked on creating some very useful new tools for firefighters (see video). Later, a colleague of mine wrote about a separate project in which the show chronicled the creation of an autonomous Prius.
'Prototype This' invents the future
Until today, the machinations of the show were entirely behind-the-scenes. Now, Prototype This is being unleashed on the public at large, and my hope--and Discovery Channel's as well, I'm sure--is that the efforts of this new-style band of TV stars will forever change the way people view geeks and the things they can make with the power of their minds.