You can build a microscope out of your smartphone camera and some materials you probably already have in your home. The overall cost? It’s only around ₱35, as one Filipino engineering graduate has demonstrated.
To build this cheap yet effective microscope, all you need is a laser pointer and hairpin according to Jeremy De Leon, a manufacturing engineering graduate from Mapua University. Inside the laser pointer is a lens that, together with the hairpin, you simply attach to a smartphone camera to complete the entire setup. His contraption, which he calls a “make-roscope,” can magnify samples up to 400 times.
For his smart innovation, De Leon won first place with a ₱20,000 cash prize in the #PinoyInnovator TikTok challenge by the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development. De Leon is applying for funding to sell his contraption as a smartphone keychain accessory.
Other winners of this TikTok challenge—one that’s for a good cause, unlike others—include a way for doors to automatically lock if a person with high temperature holds the doorknob, a do-it-yourself fumigator, and a secure way to receive parcels and packages.