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Gadgeteer Genius

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"He said: 'To hell with moisture detectors. I'm going to build a giant robot.' So we built a giant robot."

It doesn't matter if they're 7 years old or 700, they're the greatest scientific genius in the universe and can prove it by building a 50,000-horsepower battle robot out of tin cans and an old transistor radio. Overnight. Sometimes their creations fail with entertaining explosions, but they always work for at least a little while. In Anime, the Gadgeteer Genius is usually female, and often still in grade school. In Western depictions the gadgeteer is usually male and can be of any age. Either way, any morality applies, as sometimes does MacGyvering.

They often live in a Gadgeteer's House.

There can be a very fine line between Gadgeteer Genius and Mad Scientist (or Bungling Inventor), when there is a line at all. As with The Engineer (who may also be this), they are disproportionately likely to be a Southern-Fried Genius in American stories, while one from the UK and Commonwealth is more likely to be either a Scot or a New Zealander.

A Wrench Wench is a slightly more realistic depiction. Expect her Battle Cry to be "For Science!". A Tech Bro is a more-extroverted version of this, focusing on pride show-off and self-confidence.

When the Gadgeteer Genius's creations cannot be replicated by lesser minds, see The Spark of Genius. When the results are impossible according to internal logic and Played for Laughs, it's Impossible Genius.

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Skuld from Ah! My Goddess. When she comes into contact with an actual professor of robotics, he almost goes mad at the sight of a little girl who can make functional battle robots when he's struggling to make a robot that can walk. She's the goddess of the Future, so it's slightly excusable. Turns out Skuld isn't one of these. The only reason her inventions work is because she subconsciously infuses them with her goddess magic.
  • For a Jidaigeki series, Ayakashi Ayashi has one hell of an example — Masurao, a member of the "People of the Craft", proves capable of whipping up devices in feudal Japan that would be considered revolutionary today — including a fully-functional handgun made from paper. His Moment of Awesome, however, comes when he is pursued by the heroes through a construction-site, grabs some random pieces of wood and some tools without slowing, and crafts them into an attack-robot to sic on his pursuers. Without ever stopping.
  • Nina Einstein from Code Geass. She invents a nuclear weapon in "Zero" using the contents of a high school science lab! Granted, it's only semi-functional and breaks down before detonation, but still impressive. In the next season, she does build a functioning bomb... with disastrous results. By the end of Season 2, she builds an anti-nuclear weapon in a month. It works, both for Lelouch and her fandom reputation (partially, in the latter's case).
  • Doraemon
    • Doraemon: Nobita and The Space Heroes, a Superhero Episode of the series, have the gang getting assorted superpowers from Doraemon's gadgets, the expert model-builder Suneo in particular having the ability to conjure assorted weapons and machinery from his gloves. From turning his right hand into a drill, to producing a dozen robotic hands to work on multiple machines all at once, and taken to the extreme in the final battle when he turns a pile of random junk into a spaceship in five seconds.
    • Nobit the Moobit from Doraemon: Nobita's Chronicles of the Moon Exploration is a genius inventor who creates most of the Moobit community's equipment and technologies, including a Moon-traversing vehicle, his own version of the Take-copter, and even reverse-engineer and mass-produce the Fringe Theory Club Badges which allows the Moobit army to enter our reality and pull a Big Damn Heroes in the climax.
  • Dragon Ball: Bulma will single-handedly perfect time-travel, launch the space exploration industry, and artificially produce energy comparable to a small celestial body if it will help Goku or Vegeta. Gotta love that girl. Her son Trunks later inherits her skill with machines.
  • In Endride, Pascal and Joseph both have incredible inventing skills, having created everything from flashlights to flying vehicles (independently of the other!) in a canon that otherwise has the technological advancement of your standard Medieval European Fantasy setting.
  • Hotaru of Gakuen Alice possesses the Invention Alice, which grants her the ability to build robots and other useful devices.
  • Hozuki from Galilei Donna. Built a fully armed and operational airship (shaped like a goldfish) in her basement, complete with holographic (goldfish-shaped) AI, among other things. And she did this when she was thirteen.
  • In Guardian Fairy Michel, both Dr. White and Evil Genius Meggi are capable of making astounding creations. Salome capitalized on this by hiring Meggi and stealing White's inventions.
  • Gundam:
  • Hanaukyō Maid Team: Ikuyo Suzuki, head maid of the Technology department. Among her inventions are a Weather-Control Machine, an amphibious giant robot in the shape of a brontosaurus, and a vehicle capable of teleportation.
  • Chie from Hyakko is still in high school, but is quickly advancing in the field of robotics. Her most notable achievement to date is Mecha-Torako.
  • Constanze Braunschbank Albrechtsburger from Little Witch Academia uses technology with her magic to create complex gadgets and machinery.
  • Kaolla Suu from Love Hina. Among other things, she's created Mecha-Tama and a turtle-tracking radar.
  • Shari of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS, who by the age of 17 has already created the Danger Room-like training grounds of Riot Force 6 and the Intelligent Devices of the rookies.
  • Moriarty the Patriot has Von Herder, a blind engineer who is the top inventor for MI6 as "Q", as well as making whatever gadgets and weapons Professor Moriarty needs. At one point, he also invents a car slightly before automobiles were actually created. Despite his disability, he's still able to tell a British replication of a Russian gun from a genuine Russian one based on wood type and screws.
  • Mei Hatsume from My Hero Academia, with a dash of Mad Scientist to make things more interesting. A student in the Support Department at U.A., she has designed a plethora of gadgets ranging from grappling hooks to hover boots. And keeps designing them as well, as her supervisor Power Loader notes that she works late into the night designing new "babies", such that one corner of the workshop is filled ceiling to floor with gadgets that Mei invented and then tossed aside to make something new.
  • Irina Woods, one of Arika's friends and roommates from My-Otome, has taken a great interest in engineering. She even tries to build a giant house-cleaning machine to assist Arika with her punishment duty (which breaks down almost immediately, but at least she tried).
  • Kazari Otogi of Nanbaka, who despite threatening her husband Okina with a divorce still manages to whip up a room full of the most modern games (and it is implied from her skillset that she is the creator of their "daughter", Kagu 8).
  • Niea from Niea_7 is shown to have built a functional UFO out of trash materials, and powered by a regular AC power outlet. Unfortunately, it explodes once it's unplugged.
  • One Piece:
    • Franky, shipwright of the Straw Hat Pirates, is a top-notch shipwright with a hint of Mad Scientist; he modified his own body into a cola-powered cyborg, built battleships that could take down Sea Kings as a teenager, built cannons that could fire shockwaves also powered by cola, and as of the Time Skip has actually managed to build a Transforming Mecha.
    • Usopp is no slouch, either. He's nowhere near Franky's level, but he has that original flavor; before the Time Skip, when he fell back on using Fantastic Flora as his primary ammunition, he could create all kinds of projectiles for his slingshot, turning the childish toy into a lethal weapon. But his best example has to be the weapon he built for Nami, a Weather-Control Machine compressed into the form of a staff known as the Clima-Tact.
  • Pecola: Dr. Chu and Little Chu count; both build all kinds of inventions. Dr. Chu is even responsible for the construction of Robo-Pecola.
  • In The Pet Girl of Sakurasou, Ryuunosuke develops most of Suiko's gadgets, including "Maid".
  • B-Ko from the Project A-Ko series, who introduces a Humongous Mecha, complete with heat-seeking missiles, laser weaponry, and titanium armor, with the nonchalant disclaimer that "it did take me most of last night to build". She's not bluffing, either: until she eventually settles into a Powered Armor suit, she spends about a week going through more and more elaborate new mechas on a daily basis.
  • Spanner and the future Giannini from Reborn! (2004). They can do anything. Including building giant robots and motorcycles which are as quiet as mimes.
  • Hayashida Heihachi in Samurai 7, a combat engineer who's built a massive, battleship-piercing crossbow.
  • Rin-Rin from Sister Princess can build custom laptop computers overnight for pocket change, complete with her own hand-written operating system. She's also built an android duplicate of herself, but the poor thing can't speak and is still a bit klutzy at household chores.
  • Sonic X: Tails as usual. He's capable of building planes and mechs despite being only age eight.
  • Ursula Hartmann from Strike Witches combines this with Improbable Age. A 10-year-old who is a rocketry expert.
  • Washuu from Tenchi Muyo!. In the original OVA she actually isn't much of a gadgeteer — most of her time is spent in doing research so complex that the viewers are rarely let in on what she's doing. The later TV-series increased her gadget-building role considerably.
  • In Tomica Hyper Rescue Drive Head Kidou Kyuukyuu Keisatsu, Dr. Karigari is a Mad Scientist who can invent anything he may need for his revenge plots, ranging from weather control devices to giant robots. He treads the level of Impossible Genius when he finds a way to sustain the lives of his two beheaded subordinates.

    Asian Animation 
  • In Happy Heroes, Careless S. has the knowledge of how to build and operate weapons and will occasionally try his hand at other kinds of inventions, though some of them turn out weird-looking, such as the rice cooker that looks like a toilet.
  • In Motu Patlu, Dr. Jhatka makes tons of unique scientific inventions for Motu and Patlu to use, though his inventions sometimes lead to trouble.
  • Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf:
    • Slowy spends a lot of time in his room experimenting and making new inventions to help the goats.
    • Wolffy often designs his own gadgets and items to try to catch the goats with. While he clearly has some level of scientific knowledge, his gadgets aren't perfect and the goats are still able to foil his plans.

    Comic Books 


  • Batman is this to a certain degree. Though most of his larger contraptions (like a satellite that monitors all meta-human activity down to the slightest) are built by a subsidiary of his corporation, WayneTech, making this overlap with Crime Fighting With Cash. That being said, most of his arsenal (including the Batsuit) is designed and built by himself.
  • Ted Kord as the Blue Beetle is the defining example of a gadgeteer genius superhero. He invented all of his gear himself, a lot of which is reverse-engineered alien technology (you think HTML code is tough?), up to and including a beetle-shaped flying ship. Guy Gardner has even said that Ted was smarter than Batman.
  • Al Jabr in Demon Knights. It's The Dark Ages and he has a telescope and an electrified whip.
  • The original, pre-Crisis version of Lex Luthor is the archetype of all comic book Mad Scientists, but he most displays his juryrigging skills with his trademark jailbreaks. For instance, a substitute prison warden is dumb enough to get him to fix a printing press, and he turns it into a tank-like escape vehicle to smash his way out. Sometimes he smuggles tools inside with him when he was carted off to jail — tiny tools hidden under a false patch of skin on his thumb for example — but he's perfectly capable of building an escape device without them.
  • From Legion of Super-Heroes, Brainiac 5. He's been described as a genius among a species of geniuses, the type of prodigy that comes along once in a millennium (which is how far the Legion is from the rest of The DCU). The solution and cause of a lot of the Legion's problems. Is currently working on rebuilding the economy of the United Planets and inventing a new way to break the speed of light.
  • Mister Terrific (the second one) holds no fewer than fourteen earned doctorates, many (but not all) of them in scientific or engineering disciplines (whether or not he also holds an MD has not been definitively stated, but he definitely has medical training). Despite having no actual innate superpowers, he's a valued member of no less an organization than the Justice League.
  • Tim Drake (Robin III/Red Robin III) was the first member of the Batfamily to figure out how to get fully functional access to the Batcomputer while on the go in his suit, designed and built several of his own weapons and vehicles, figured out new gadgets to weaponize his suit, figured out how to alter his cape for gliding, and was a huge fanboy of both Batman and Blue Beetle long before donning a mask himself.
  • Comic Book/Shazam!: The villain King Kull was capable of building all manner of fiendish devices for his schemes, including a spaceship capable of hopping dimensions, a ray that froze the gods in time, and a means of sinking entire continents. Not bad for a caveman.
  • Originally, Static was just a very bright kid, but in Scott Lobdell's Teen Titans, he became a full blown Teen Genius, designing Red Robin's glider wings and creating a new costume from scratch for Kid Flash that prevents his powers from vibrating him to nothing.
  • Wonder Woman:
    • Wonder Woman (1942): In The Golden Age of Comic Books, many of the Amazons of Paradise Island were quite impressive inventors, coming up with such things as the healing purple ray, invisible planes, and mental radio, but Wonder Woman's go-to one became her reformed and befriended former villain Paula von Gunther, who created a number of gadgets including a shrink ray, teleporter, and time machine for the princess.
    • Wonder Woman (1987): Diana befriends H'Elgn, who is able to reverse engineer captured Sangtee tech to create holograms that can be projected across a star system, new weapons with more non-lethal applications, the ability to track Sangtee Empire ships and cloak ships from them, and much more.


  • Too many Marvel Comics characters to list, really. Reed Richards, Bruce Banner, Henry Pym, Tony Stark, and the Black Panther are some of the most prominent heroes, while Doctor Doom, the Wizard, the Terrible Tinkerer, the Mad Thinker, and the Fixer are prominent villains.
  • Alpha Flight:
    • Supporting cast member Madison Jeffries has the mutant power to physically alter machines, metals, and related inorganic objects, which he initially used as a mechanic. (His brother Lionel had a similar power over living tissue, which had gruesome results when he went insane.)
    • Another more conventional genius is Roger Bochs, a paraplegic who uses his tremendous scientific skills to build machines that overcome his disability — namely, the robot Box. When Madison takes over Box, he uses his powers to turn it into a Transforming Mecha whose forms are only limited by his imagination, and whatever materials he has that can be added to it.
  • The aptly codenamed Gadget was inspired by Iron Man, mentioned above, to build a tech-suit in her garage. Probably from a box of scraps.
  • In Warren Ellis's newuniversal (based on The New Universe), this is the power provided by the Cipher Power Tattoo. Of the three known bearers, one was a prehistoric woman who invented electric lighting and energy weapons, but believed they were gifts from the gods; one was this world's version of Tony Stark; and the most recent is Humongous Mecha designer Dr. Jennifer Swan.
  • In Runaways, the "Wise Men" of the supervillain organization the Pride, the Steins, were a married couple of these. Their creations include x-ray goggles, a frog-like amphibious vehicle called the Leapfrog complete with AI, and a pair of weaponized gauntlets called the Fistigons. Their son Chase Stein lacks the educational background to take after his parents (not that he'd want to) but he reveals in the 2017 series that he's always had an instinctive understanding of how to repair things.
  • Squadron Supreme:
    • Master Menace has an arsenal of weapons that attest to his genius, from his battle armor to his servitor robots to his dimensional displacement rifle.
    • Tom Thumb, who fought crime with his own inventions, and once the Squadron implements the Utopia Program is put to work devising the technology used in it.
  • X-Men:
    • Forge has the ability to intuitively determine how anything works, and after years of exposure to all manner of gadgetry, he became able to whip up any manner of Applied Phlebotinum you can possibly imagine. We're talking Star Wars level. The writers of X-Men: Evolution decided that wasn't badass enough and gave him the ability to transform his arms into any imaginable tool to help him make his creations. Considering the tendency of his creations to get away from him, it can be wondered if he's not as good as his comic and 1990s series counterpart or if he's simply a lot less responsible.
    • Scalphunter, a member of the Marauders that regularly clash with the X-Men, has these technical abilities too, being able to reform mechanical components into anything he can think of. Given that he's a murderous Psycho for Hire, he generally tends to create shotguns, grenade launchers, high-powered automatic rifles, and other lovely toys.


  • Astro City:
    • Beautie's origin: She was built by a girl Gadgeteer Genius, the still more brilliant daughter of another Gadgeteer Genius. Her father's reaction leads to Bad Things for both Beautie and the daughter.
    • The Junkman, who uses stuff that's been thrown out to create his devices (as he considers himself cast off by society because of his age). Despite the self-imposed handicap, he is one of the few villains in Astro City who actually win, as it is implied that he gets away from his trial with the recognition he craved and all the loot he stole.
    • Jack-In-The-Box, who is the CEO and lead inventor at a toy company, and whose weapons are enhanced versions of his various products. He's also smart enough to cobble together a quick-freeze spray from leftover car parts in a junkyard.
    • Demolitia, leader of the Unholy Alliance, once escaped from prison by building a jackhammer out of a toilet.
    • The briefly seen Vivian Vector, who seems to be a Robot Master of the Doctor Doom variety (applied ranting and all). However, most of her inventions were actually stolen via Mind Rape on her college roommate.
  • The Engineer from The Authority. Her "powers" are derived from the "nine pints of liquid machinery" that was developed from a combination of her own research and that of another genius. It basically gives her New Powers as the Plot Demands, because she can create virtually any device she can conceive of on the fly.
  • In Catstronauts, Blanket is the tech expert of the team. He builds Cat-Stro-Bot in book one.
  • Disney Mouse and Duck Comics:
    • Gyro Gearloose from the Disney Ducks Comic Universe can build literally anything. In one story he builds a functional space rocket out of a couple of toasters and duct tape, overnight. In the Paperinik classic stories, he builds the various super-gadgets for Donald's superhero alter-ego.
    • The Phantom Blot, Evil Genius and Mickey Mouse's Arch-Enemy from the Mickey Mouse Comic Universe, likes to use impossible technology to either commit Impossible Theft or, sometimes, as part of some grandiose Take Over the World scheme. He often builds it himself. One time, they let him fiddle with electronic gadgets in prison as a hobby, and he escaped by inventing a device that lets him turn into electricity.
  • Hardware (1993), the resident tech expert of the Milestone universe.
  • Jupiter Jet has Chuck Johnson, Jacky's little brother, who builds gadgets that she uses to defend the city.
  • Lewis, Mechanika's armourer in Lady Mechanika, is an ex-Blackpool engineer and makes much of her more exotic equipment.
  • Frank Einstein Jr. in Mini Monsters, though his inventions have unwanted effects.
  • Mortadelo y Filemón: Subverted in that Bacterio's gadgets almost never work right and usually fail in some spectacular way. Once in a blue moon, they'll actually work correctly, and the failure will be due to the agents using it improperly. Or because there are other things about them that they haven't been told. Lampshaded in a feature about the first movie in a Top Comic album, where a brief allegedly written by the Superintendent states that Bacterio was hired as a lab intern while the T.I.A. searched for an actual scientist, and the reason he's still around is that the position remains vacant.
  • PS238:
    • Angie combines the ability to make just about anything out of old cars and other junk with having the mindset of the cast of Pimp My Ride. Bling-bling and Explosive Overclocking tends to riddle whatever she ends up building, which is just the way she likes it.
    • The school also hosts Zodon and Herschel Clay, who both have significant gadget construction and tinkering skills in addition to (or due to) being prime examples of, respectively, the Evil Genius and the Mr. Fixit.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics) has Sir Charles Hedgehog, better known as Sonic's Uncle Chuck. He was the mechanical genius who invented the Roboticizer as a medical device. Too bad a certain rotund Overlander decided to sabotage it to Take Over the World...
  • Fantasio of Spirou and Fantasio is a talented inventor in the earlier volumes. Later volumes ignore this attribute, but his skills are alluded to in "Aventure en Australie", where he fixes a broken-down train despite everyone in town insisting that it's beyond repair.
  • The Transformers: More than Meets the Eye: Brainstorm, as the Lost Light's resident Mad Scientist, has a habit of building ludicrous or impractical devices as a hobby, with his lifetime's goal being making a time-machine contained inside a set of briefcases.
  • The Wacky Adventures of Pedro's eponymous burro creates several interesting inventions, such as a mirror that doubles as a time machine, and an outfit that can digitally change its appearance.
  • Wizards of Mickey: Goofy builds a bona fide Humongous Mecha dragon for his team, in addition to modern inventions such a photographic camera, in an otherwise medieval setting.

    Eastern Animation 
  • This is the premise of the Polish series Pomysłowy Dobromir. The eponymous hero may not build giant robots or steampunk wonders, but he's still a kid who is apparently able to come up, from scratch, with the basic principles for a number of technological innovations (such as the spyglass or the gramophone) and build working prototypes from household materials, all within a matter of minutes.

    Fan Works 
  • All Mixed Up!:
    • Just as in canon, Oscar is this by default as a Scientist in the Science department of Odd Squad, and the Lab Director of Precinct 13579. Funny enough, he's the third of the main characters to be anagrammed by Mariana Mag, following Olive and Oprah.
    • Mariana Mag also has skill in gadgetry, and easily repairs her own lifeline in addition to building an alphabet keypad to control it. It's explained that she gained this skill from watching Scientists in the Odd Squad lab and then attempting to make her own word-based gadget, back when she worked for the organization.
  • Antipodes: Jigsaw's special talent is working with machinery. He tends to intuitively understand how machines work, and is very good at fixing them.
  • At the Edge of Lasg’len: Fëanor is introduced to modern, 21st-century technology. It doesn't take him long at all to master mechanics and engineering (including armchair cruisers).
  • Atonement: Theo can build anything from robotic drones to Powered Armor to surveillance tech, all with little to no loss in quality.
  • Jessy in the Better Bones AU is a genius inventor. One notable achievement of hers is designing the paralyzed Briarlight's mobility device.
  • A Bridge Once Broken: Tony Stark's aptitude for machinery saves the universe (directly and indirectly) in part five.
  • Calvin is exaggerated into this in Calvin & Hobbes: The Series. His inventions include the MTM, Mega Shrinker 5000, Time Stopper, Movie Transporter...
  • Chronomistress: Out of Time: Minuette, Time Turner, and quite possibly all members of the Order of Timekeepers are very good at mechanics.
  • Luke Skywalker (aka Luke Lars) in Civil Wars, Whistleblower Tactics, Schematic Drafting, And The Finer Points Of Sith Adoption: The Essential How-To Guide For The Engineering Jedi first manages to vastly improve Tie Fighters, despite having no resources other than what he can get from a local scrapyard, to such an extent that Darth Vader orders the improvements be made standard. Then Luke completely redesigns Stormtrooper armor in less than a month's time, creating armor that not only would require several sniper rounds to compromise but is so light and mobile that a trooper wearing said armor completes an obstacle course in a third of the current record time. That's not even getting into the improved sensors, air filtration system, and deflector shield. Even more ludicrous, the new armor only costs twice as much as the current armor.
  • Sky Bolt from The Dusk Guard Saga. Her latest commercial design, The Alicorn, had to be reverse-engineered, because nobody understood how it worked exactly, and so she would have been the only one able to maintain it. Her pet project is an improved steam engine with an estimated 250% power increase over regular ones. She plans to use it in The Hummingbird, a miniaturized airship.
  • Equestria Divided:
    • Applebloom is House Earthborn's chief engineer and the creator of most of its weaponry and war machines.
    • The Cult Of Laughter Toymakers.
  • Brainiac from Hellsister Trilogy is the galaxy's greatest genius, capable of building anything you can imagine, including tailor-made cells for Humanoid Abominations.
  • Hivefled: Equius and Sollux manage to create Alternia's first ever removable psionic helmsman rig. Nobody's ever bothered to even try before, and they hook one up out of junk they have on hand.
  • In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic story The Iron Horse: Everything's Better With Robots!, the appropriately named young inventor Gadget has a knack with machines despite Equestria's dearth of them. Her most obvious invention is a set of four mechanical arms she wears to help her manipulate small machinery, as she doesn't have unicorn magic to do it reliably.
  • Theecat Stefnable in The Keys Stand Alone: The Soft World is one of these. He describes himself as a "genius tinkerer and rogue for hire." His creations include robot horses that can combine into a giant mecha and a tiny marble that can absorb one hostile spell aimed at the bearer and then break apart to reveal a secret message.
  • In Nobody Dies, Asuka is reimagined as this since she never trained to be an Eva pilot. Here she actually demonstrates that college degree she claims to have in the original series, enough that Yui Ikari takes her on as a research assistant.
  • In the A.A. Pessimal version of Discworld, there is Ruth Smith-Rhodes-Stibbons, third and youngest daughter of wizard Ponder Stibbons, who has inherited her father's intellectual curiosity and her mother's practical streak. Ruth becomes a creator and a crafter of things; she is called a "girl genius" by appreciative people for whom she does minor repairs. note 
  • The Palaververse: Meadowbrook, Starswirl's apprentice, whose special talent laid in magical engineering and crafting complex enchanted objects.
  • Pokémon: Clefairy Tales: Like her anime counterpart, Viridian's Nurse Joy is a hobbyist. However, whereas the anime version contented herself with fixing fried bikes in her spare time, in this story she's practically an inventor.
  • Princess Trinity has Inkie Pie as an ingenious inventor (her creations include artillery and a Giant Mecha prototype), who nevertheless finds herself constantly stymied by her useless hooves. She dreams of inventing mechanical arms, but for the time being, she needs a two-armed minotaur assistant just to turn a wrench for her.
  • Rocketship Voyager. Faced with aliens with Faster-Than-Light Travel, Chakotay suggests to B'Elanna Torres that they could reverse-engineer the technology. B'Elanna scoffs at the idea that she can "create a supra-light drive in Voyager's machine shop", but by the end of the story she's drawn up a plan for building an Alcubierre Drive.
  • Shinji And Warhammer 40 K has Kensuke Aida. He manufactured the first functional Boltguns all by himself.
  • A Spark of Ice and Fire: Not just Agatha but Willas Tyrell. After studying Agatha's notes on aerodynamics, he manages to create a tiny but working airplane.
  • Total Drama: Battle of the Generations: B. It especially comes in handy for him this time as he creates a singing device that allows him to not get disqualified without having to actually speak.
  • In the Triptych Continuum series, there is the story of Ratchette, the owner of Ponyville's only magitech convenience and device repair shop. She is also known for being an engineer. Her cutie mark makes her qualified, her species doesn't. Most gadgeteers are Unicorns, she is a Pegasus.
  • Lord Shen is shown to be this in The Vow. He has designed himself his modified Guan Dao and the Iron Claws protecting his feet. He also invents firework shooters to ensure safe launches. He later uses those designs to create his cannons. He's also the one who's hired to invent the restraint that keeps Tai Lung mobilized for twenty years.
  • "We Are Not Shining Stars" transplants the characters of Firefly into the universe of Battlestar Galactica (2003). Initially trapped on Caprica after the Cylon holocaust as Serenity lacks an FTL drive, when Zoe asks Kaylee if it would be possible to upgrade Serenity with an FTL drive Kaylee confirms that the only reason she hadn't done that already is that they never had the money for such an upgrade. Once the resistance steals a Cylon raider with help from Sharon, Kaylee is able to make Serenity FTL-capable in just a few hours.
  • In one arc of You Got HaruhiRolled!, Kyouko builds a Humongous Mecha to help take Haruhi's powers from her. This is at odds with her characterization later on, which is The Ditz and The Fundamentalist par excellence.

    Films — Animation 
  • The 3 Little Pigs: The Movie: Rublad the fox creates a canning machine that can subdue and can animals whole, alive, for ease of storage and transportation, all to improve his meat supplying business. According to Rublad's comments, the machine also functions as an entire factory unto itself, capable of processing animals into individual cuts of meat, as well as more complex meat products like sausages and pies.
  • Eggs shares a knack for tinkering with his adoptive family, The Boxtrolls. He seems to have inherited it from his biological father, Mr. Trubshaw.
  • Flik from A Bug's Life is able to make some amazing inventions with nothing but sticks, leaves, pebbles and the like.
  • Coco:
    • Miguel has a shrine to Ernesto de la Cruz, with an old black and white TV and ancient VCR which looks as though it was scavenged from the garbage.
    • Miguel made his guitar from scratch. Those weren't frets: they were nails. He probably spent years scavenging parts to build it, which makes it all the more heartbreaking when Elena destroys it.
  • In Epic (2013), Professor Bomba has built gadgets that allow him to adjust to the "speed" of miniature creatures, allowing him to communicate with them.
  • Oaken from Frozen. It is further mentioned in Frozen: Reunion Road that he comes from a family of inventors, with the golden paper clip he sells to Anna being an invention of his brother.
  • Oh from Home (2015), who makes modifications to Tip's car to make it fly using various machines found in a convenience store, primarily a slushie machine.
  • Jojo McDodd from the 2008 adaptation of Horton Hears a Who!, as it turns out, has been doing much more than playing with his yo-yo. He's built incredible, giant mechanisms to create music.
  • How to Train Your Dragon: Hiccup is an apprentice blacksmith who builds inventions to help Berk defend itself against dragon raids. (With little success and much disapproval from the other Vikings.) He does better building a replacement tail wing for his dragon.
  • The Incredibles:
    • Word of God on the DVD commentary says that Edna Mode is a mix of this trope and a fashion designer. She directs her genius toward the superhero costumes she designs, including some phenomenal materials she apparently created.
    • Syndrome. There seems to be no limit to what he can build, like for example moving walls made of lava.
  • Méliès from Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart. In the past, Méliès spent a lot of time inventing gadgets in order to impress a girl he loved. He still likes to tinker with things, inventing such things as a performing stage that can fold up into something the size of a suitcase.
  • Lewis from Meet the Robinsons. In the climax, with a newly regained confidence, he manages to fix the film's time machine, as well as create the inventions that are used in the future.
  • Dr. Cockroach from Monsters vs. Aliens manages to build a working computer out of a pizza box and paper clip, and that's after an experiment turned him into a humanoid cockroach. If he ever gets his hand on a box of LEGO bricks and some uranium, watch out! And his PhD is in dance.
  • Up has Charles Muntz, who has devised equipment that allows his dogs to talk and fly planes and amplifies their intelligence, and prior to leaving for Paradise Falls, he devised several other inventions for his dogs, including automatic doggy-baths and walkers. Toward the end of the film it turns out that he's not just a Gadgeteer Genius, but a sinister Mad Scientist.
  • Yogi Bear has some shades of this, with his crowning achievement being the high performance roadster he builds out of scrap in Yogi's Great Escape.

  • Appointment with F.E.A.R., a superhero-themed gamebook, allows you to choose between four superpowers before the adventure, one of them being Enhanced Technological Skills (ETS), in which you'll automatically pull out a gadget in every single situation (which you have an unlimited supply off, since your microbelt can shrink your equipment and retrieve it for yuou at will). It's actually one of the most useful powers you can start off with (second only to the Flying Brick Super Strength), as more than two-thirds of the battles can be instantly avoided thanks to your tools.

  • Frankie in Angelmaker. She creates many a complicated and intricate device, but most importantly the Apprenhension Engine, which defies all logic. She just happens to be working under the Big Bad.
  • Foaly from Artemis Fowl. He is stated to be the reason the People are still ahead of humans.
  • Butler Parker builds all of his gadgets himself, such as ball-point pens that shoot blowgun darts or contain a load of thermite; has retooled his taxi so he can disable abductors; has built a blowgun into his umbrella; etc.
  • Brother Kornhoer from the second section of A Canticle for Leibowitz creates a working electrical generator and an arc lamp with wagon wheels, melted coinage, a bit of graphite, and some newly-recovered theoretical knowledge. The Isaac Newton expy is floored to see it.
  • In the The Camp Half-Blood Series, all of Hephaestus's demigod children are this. Their cabin is much Bigger on the Inside due to very clever (and probably impossible) design. Leo Valdez from The Heroes of Olympus is probably the most notable example in the series. Even when he's doing nothing in particular, he still can fashion incredible machines. When he puts his mind to something, he can make automatons or huge warships. Other notable examples include Inspirational Martyr Charles Beckendorf from Percy Jackson and little 8 year old Harley from The Trials of Apollo.
  • Willy Wonka from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a Candy Genius, which wouldn't normally qualify. However, considering he designed/built not only the Factory itself but such wonders as the Television Chocolate setup and the Great Glass Elevator, one suspects his skills go a bit beyond chocolate. And he has an army of Oompa-Loompas — some of which may have helped with or come up with the designs themselves.
  • The main character of The Chronicles of Professor Jack Baling is able to build a disintegrator gun out of parts from his microwave, flatscreen TV, laser pointer, refrigerator, and his wife's hair dryer that plugs into any standard wall socket.
  • In Jeramey Kraatz's The Cloak Society, Gage's father was one, endlessly striving to have his skills substitute for the superpowers he lacked, and died in a lab accident when his efforts led to his exhaustion.
  • Terry Pratchett's Discworld:
    • A recurring character is the befuddled genius inventor Leonard of Quirm (an obvious parody of real-world Renaissance Italian inventor and painter Leonardo da Vinci).
    • In Thief of Time, we encounter the gadgeteer Qu, an obvious parody of James Bond's Q.
    • The late bungling inventor B.S. "Bloody Stupid" Johnson is a peculiar inversion of this trope, whose inventions frequently bend the fabric of space and time in order to not work correctly (to say nothing of his architecture), and often turn out to be extraordinarily useful for purposes they were never intended to fill and insanely dangerous when used as intended. For example, Hogfather mentions an ingenious contraption of his used by the kitchen staff at Unseen University to automatically peel potatoes... which is labeled by Johnson as an "Improved Manicure Device".
  • Evadne Stephens from The Extraordinaires is highly intelligent and hugely inventive. Amongst her other inventions are a series of special spectacles that give her a range of vision based abilities.
  • Feliks Polon and his father in Feliks, Net & Nika. Their house is full of more or less useful gadgets, multiple functions are performed by robots, and the basement is stuffed with things that don't work. Mr. Polon works in a government top-secret tech center where he programs rockets and Feliks built huge a humanoid robot called Golem when he was 15.
  • Char from Feral: The Story of a Half-Orc is his universe's equivalent. He creates weapons and armor using both modern metalworking and blacksmithing techniques and his world's version of magic. Later he reveals a crude blunderbuss and a stink bomb he's created, as well as other tools.
  • The Freddy the Pig series has Uncle Ben, who creates a Mobile-Suit Human, a rocketship, and a flying (well, gliding) car, to name only a few examples. All with only early 20th century technology.
  • In The Girl from the Miracles District, Nikita has her housemate, Aleks, who works as a mechanic by day, and has fun by improving vehicles entrusted to him far beyond what the producer thought they'd be capable of.
  • Cogs in The Grimnoir Chronicles books are exactly this. Unlike most other examples though, Cogs tend to be specialized.
  • Heart of Steel features one of these as the male romantic lead. He has spent the last ten years building everything he thinks he might need to take over the world in his lair within a remote island in the South Pacific. By the way, he's also a Cyborg Mad Scientist.
  • Honor Harrington: Shannon Foraker, who is pretty much the reason the Republic of Haven managed to stay within shouting distance of Manticore's technology. Unlike most Havenite tech-heads, she saw Manticore's technical superiority as a challenge.
  • The District 3 boy in the The Hunger Games and Beetee (also from District 3) in Catching Fire. District 3 makes electronics and explosives, so, yeah...
  • The Infernal Devices:
    • Henry Branwell's defining character trait. He spends his waking hours in the crypt of the Institute, inventing fabulous machines and weapons out of cogs cams and gears.
    • Axel Mortmain. It was he who created the Ridiculously Human Clockwork Creatures.
  • Asfi Al Andromeda from Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? is a magical version; she's already acclaimed as one of the five greatest Item makers alive, making her a combination Inventor/artisan.
  • Oscar Diggs, otherwise known as the Wizard of Oz, from the Land of Oz books. He had to rebuild all of his parlor tricks and theatrical illusions from scratch. In later books, he is shown to make all kinds of fantastic inventions, including a steampunk-era cell phone.
  • Legacy of the Dragokin: Rufus is the brightest engineer in Drewghaven. A Mini-Mecha is only his latest project.
  • The Lensman series is full of people that might qualify, but LaVerne "Thorny" Thorndyke in particular is known in-universe for being this — and that really says something, when the universe in question is the Trope Namer for the Lensman Arms Race. He was the project leader for building at least three of the planet-destroying weapons in the series, among other things.
  • Manifestation: One of the main characters, Tock, is an engineering student who manifests the magical ability to create and repair arcane machines.
  • Ras Thavas, the eponymous Master Mind of Mars. His plot-relevant developments tend to be medical/biological, but he's something of a polymath.
  • In the novelization of Metropolis, Rotwang is one of these mixed with Mad Scientist Classic. He was Joh Fredersen's right-hand man in building the titular city, and in only a few years designed all of its major technical achievements: the workers' underground city, all of the machines, the reservoir, the subway, the road system, and the New Tower of Babel. (Even the soundproofing in Fredersen's office is named for him.) Even in his stagnant period following the loss of his wife Hel, he builds a mechanical replacement arm and a robot companion. Fredersen essentially imprisons him in the city to act as an emergency technical advisor.
  • The sixth Micro Adventure book, Robot Race, introduces agent Gizmo, who looks like an old cowboy but carries a miniaturized arsenal of self-created gadgets on his person. When he goes through a weapons check at a high-security facility, he declares that he has "no guns, knives or any of that hardware."
  • Nerdycorn: Fern is seen building a small robot at the start of the book, and spends most of it working on a zero-gravity ice cream maker. It gets completed at the end of the book.
  • Larry Niven loves this trope:
    • Known Space has the Pak Protectors: near immortal and superintelligent. One of them crashes on a primitive planet, builds himself a hibernation pod, and comes out every generation until he manages to uplift the locals to the point where they can build him an interstellar spaceship. The Pak Protectors also built the Ringworld.
    • The Mote in God's Eye:
      • There's an entire subrace of the Moties, the Engineers, with genetic technical ability, needed to rebuild and then improve tech invented in previous boom/bust cycles of their civilization.
      • There's also the Engineers' rat-sized but no less able pets the Watchmakers. When they get loose on a ship, it takes only days for them to take it over and make it nearly invincible.
  • Prince Sameth of the Old Kingdom books. He prefers to spend time in his workshop, making things that range from toys to weapons to a fully-functioning prosthetic for his aunt, Lirael, after she loses her hand.
  • Pellucidar: Abner Perry from At the Earth's Core is the inventor of the Drill Tank that takes him and David Innes to Pellucidar.
  • In Please Don't Tell My Parents I'm a Supervillain, this isn't uncommon, and most are also mad scientists. Cybermancer is one of the few that isn't a super genius, just highly above average.
  • Aeshes in A.L. Phillips's The Quest of the Unaligned have as their secondary power Haesh's Trace, essentially a burst of Super Intelligence. This means that a lot of them tend to be Gadgeteer Geniuses, especially the ones living undercover in the technologically advanced city of Tonzimmiel.
  • The Radiant Dawn's Rick Sylvan. Among other things, Rick repairs and boosts the signal of the comms array, crafts a superweapon to be powered by the titular hero, reconfigures a radar array to do things radar arrays aren't normally capable of, and hacks the US government's defunct satellites to redirect the superweapon blast.
  • Nova from Renegades has an almost uncanny talent for turning household items and trash into supervillain gadgets, which she uses to augment her own supernatural abilities.
  • Violet Baudelaire in A Series of Unfortunate Events. This girl used a window shade and six roller skates to make an automatic rolling pin. When she was five.
  • In Shadow of the Conqueror, the biggest advantages of the Dawn Empire were the technological advances that Dayless could bring to his forces by inventing new engines of war. Even in the present day, he remains the most skilled sunsmith who ever lived, creating things that other engineers regard as impossible wonders.
  • In Super Powereds, Will is one. It works out for his twin sister Jill, who's a Technopath, so he tends to focus on building gear for her. It's stated that, until seven years before the events of the first book, this ability wasn't classified as a superpower. Unfortunately, this was changed not through research and deliberation but because a villainous example killed a nigh-invincible Hero with one of his advanced weapons, bringing the ability to the public's attention. Besides building combat gadgets, he also builds gadgets for everyday use, such as a self-writing pen for taking class notes (obviously, he can't use them in classes with non-Supers).
  • Soledad O'Rourke of Those Who Walk In Darkness is a specialist, only designing Abnormal Ammo. However, she deserves to be on this list after creating BLAM bullets, which "lock in on molecular structures in a state of hyperkinetic motion", turning in midair to target foes who possess Super Speed.
  • Tinker in Wen Spencer's Tinker novels is amazing with computers and technology, specializing in combining human technology with Elfhome's magic.
  • Older Than Television: Tom Swift is the ur-example. Each book begins with Tom inventing some new gadget that conveniently proves essential to resolving the plot.
  • The Wild Cards series features quite a few gadgeteer characters, such as Jetman, but in a subversion, the gadgets they make don't actually work. Some of them actually have no means of operating. The gadgets are just tokens that serve as a crutch for their powers.
  • Tor from The Young Ancients uses Magitek, but otherwise plays this trope entirely straight. Within the first six months of story he has invented an instant dryer, a nearly invulnerable personal shield, human flight, a color-changing aura as a party favor, heat/air-conditioning, a personal temperature regulator, a fire-starter, an earth-mover; saved a city with a massive water filter (their sewers ruptured into the drinking water); and built a flying river to bring water to a drought-struck region. And all this is nothing compared to what happens when he really gets going.
  • In the Zachary Nixon Johnson series, Dr. Randy Pool creates the many useful gadgets used by Zach — and, occasionally, by Zach's enemies.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Fitz on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., who can modify bits of airplane engine into gamma ray blasters and is said to be "like a ninja with this crap." Fitz-Simmons jointly could also count as this since together they can make some pretty impressive tech, but Fitz, as the engineer, is the one who's usually cobbling together gadgets from bits of other things.
  • Seamus Zelazny Harper from the spaceship Andromeda is both an engineering genius (which by later seasons extends itself even to human cloning) and also a hyperactive archetypal Mr. Fixit and tinkerer.
  • The Buffyverse:
    • Warren Mears from Buffy the Vampire Slayer is capable of building highly advanced robots which can easily pass for ordinary humans; even vampires, with their enhanced senses, are incapable of differentiating the robots that he made from actual people, even though their mannerisms and speech patterns are stilted and imperfect by human standards. The Buffybot he builds successfully masquerades as Buffy for several weeks when the real Slayer is dead, even fooling Buffy's friends and family. Some of his other creations, which fuse magic and technology, include an Invisibility Ray; a Freeze Ray; a small microchip capable of slowing time; a Cerebral Dampener, which strips the will of any female within its range, rendering her a slave; and at least two jet packs.
    • Fred on Angel fits this, especially with her improvised flying blade of beheading in Season 3's "Fredless".
  • Magical version: In Charmed, Billie manages to "MacGyver up" a magical potion from the contents of a hostage's purse, despite the show always stating that potion ingredients are quite specific.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Doctor can save the universe with a kettle and some string, though they usually do so off-camera. They also have a knack for taking diabolical inventions cobbled up for some nefarious purpose and subverting their intended purpose, usually with disastrous results for the villain of the day. To name some more specific examples:
      • In "The Time Monster", he builds a device to disrupt the Master's temporal experiments out of a Moroccan burgundy bottle, spoons, forks, corks, keyrings, tea leaves, and a mug. (Apparently it's the shape and composition of the components that matters, not the function.)
      • The Timey-Wimey Detector from "Blink". Which goes ding when there's stuff, and can boil an egg from twenty paces, whether you want it to or not.
        The Doctor: I've learned to avoid chickens, it's not pretty when they blow.
      • In "The Lodger", the Eleventh Doctor builds a scanner using, among other things: an umbrella, a bicycle, a walker, a lamp, a broom, a canoe paddle, an ironing board, Christmas lights, and a rotary clothesline.
      • In the Big Finish audio "The Foe from the Future", after the villain Jalnik has destroyed his own time machine (so thoroughly that the Doctor explicitly states he can't fix it in time) and left the Fourth Doctor stranded in a base that's under attack from giant monsters, the Doctor manages to create a new time machine using components from Jalnik's discarded prototypes.
      • In "The Day of the Doctor", Ten explains that he built the shape-shifter detector he's using, which is clearly an adaptation of the Timey-Wimey Detector, himself. It also boils eggs at twenty meters and can now download comics from the future.
        The Doctor: I never know when to stop.
      • Throughout Series 9, the Doctor has a pair of sonic sunglasses instead of his normal screwdriver. While he insists that it's an upgrade, the amount of times the glasses break, prove useless against the monster of the week, or just plain don't work implies that he just got bored one day and decided to make sonic sunglasses for no real reason.
        Osgood: Why would you add a sonic function to sunglasses? Isn't that a bit like a visual hearing aid?
        The Doctor: I made an invisible watch once. Spot the design flaw.
      • In "Under the Lake", the Doctor asks Clara why he doesn't have an alarm clock on the TARDIS. She reminds him that he disassembled it and used the parts to build a clockwork squirrel.
      • In "The Woman Who Fell to Earth", the Thirteenth Doctor makes a new sonic screwdriver in a very short time using remnants of an alien transit pod and components lying around a garage in Sheffield. Later, she uses the same components to make a mid-range teleporter.
    • Professor Yana, the Master in disguise, who builds a rocket's computer system "out of food and string and staples".
    • Drax, a fellow Time Lord in "The Armageddon Factor", builds an effective Shrink Ray out of a random pile of junk he has lying around. He also designed the intelligent battle computer that's been waging genocidal war for the last umpteen years.
    • Lampshaded by the tenth doctor in the 2007 Children in Need Special "Time Crash", when talking to the fifth doctor:
      Tenth Doctor:Hey, I'm the Doctor! I can save the universe with a kettle and some string and look at me, I'm wearing a vegetable!
    • Lampshaded by the Doctor when she repies to one of the maintenance engineers protesting that she can't build a new ionic memnbrane with some bits of junk.
      The Doctor: I could build you with some crayons and a bit of spam.
  • Don't Look Deeper: Even as a child, Sharon could take apart her mechanical doll to see how it worked. She grows up to make androids (including Aisha) who can pass for human, in concert with other expert engineers.
  • Cisco in The Flash. He makes Barry's suit originally as a new turnout for firefighters, and by Season 4 has added a flotation mode, self-destruct sequence and even Iron Man-like energy weapons in the gloves to name a few. Oh, and in Season 1 he makes a time machine for Dr Wells/Eobard Thawne.
  • Supposedly, the Professor from Gilligan's Island, though just how good he is remains something of a mystery as he can't patch a hole in a boat. Either he can't make a patch that will hold long enough out of local materials, or he's just playing dumb with fixing the boat, knowing that he'll never get a better shot at Ginger and Maryanne once they get back to civilization.
  • Micah from Heroes is a ten-year-old boy whose mastery of machines allowed him to make his own circuitry for his computer. This is later explained to be his superpower: control and knowledge of machines.
  • Riley of Julie's Greenroom is the show's resident theater tech expert; they're not only in charge of every machine with a screen in the theater (save for people's phones), but are also capable of building a fog machine entirely from scratch and modifying a tiny hand fan to Blow You Away levels.
  • LazyTown:
    • Pixel is able to build almost anything, from hovering cameras, to a device that can transport people into storybooks, to a remote control which can control literally everything, from random electronic things he has in his room to people. In "Secret Agent Zero", the James Bond parody episode, he plays the role of Q. And he is 9 years old.
    • Robbie Rotten can build anything out of anything he has in his lair. He even has a microwave which creates the inventions for him.
  • Lois & Clark: Many of the villains are this trope, notably The Prankster.
  • MacGyver (1985):
    • The titular character is one of the most famous gadgeteers of TV, although he's more of a tinkerer. It's the series that spawned the term "MacGyvering".
    • There's also an episode where MacGyver teams up with a classic Gadgeteer Genius girl — an ultra-intelligent schoolgirl who can match him move-for-move.
  • Ms. Marvel (2022): Kamala Khan's best friend Bruno has a laboratory atop the Circle Q shop where he works. In this lab, he builds voice-activated devices, including an Amazon Echo knock-off that he calls "Zuzu". He also makes Kamala a pair of LED gloves for her cosplay.
  • It doesn't come up much, but Joel Robinson of Mystery Science Theater 3000, as well as a number of other characters on the show, are this. In the theme, they even say that Joel used the "special parts for controlling where movies begin and end" to create the four seemingly-sentient robots, three of whom watch movies with him. The original premise of the show was that the Mads (mad scientists) stranded Joel in space specifically so that they could steal his inventions. In several episodes, during the Invention Exchange, Joel complains when the Mads steal his ideas. Out-of-character, the Invention Exchange was an excuse for gadget-comedian Joel Hodgson to incorporate his self-designed wacky gizmos into the show. It didn't really last long after Joel left, however. Instead of inventing stuff, Mike would fill his time by either confusing the Mads (for example, by pretending to be a drive-though restaurant, or shilling them "bold" BBQ sauce), or attempting to escape (for example, challenging Pearl to a game of three-card Monty). When the series was Un-Cancelled, the gizmos came back with Jonah Heston and Emily Conner both being adept in invention making
  • The crew of Mythbusters, since the whole show is centered about building various contraptions to check the veracity and replicate the results of various urban legends and other tall tales. Grant especially counts, being the show's resident robotics engineer.
  • Odd Squad has Scientists, who all work in the aptly-named Science department. Their job is to build and repair various gadgets for other agents in other departments (namely Investigation) to use.
    • Oscar serves as the Lab Director of Precinct 13579 before being promoted to President of the Scientists in Season 2's "Oscar Strikes Back", and is revered as a hero among his co-workers due to the department being created in his name by Oprah. He has an incredible knack for fixing and building gadgets, which helps agents fight oddness and beat villains.
    • Oona, Oscar's apprentice and eventual successor, is also well-versed in the realm of gadgets, and is able to build, repair, and even invent gadgets with ease. It's revealed in "Who is Agent Otis?" that she has also made a Powered Armor suit, proving that her skills don't lie solely in gadgetry.
  • Power Rangers has had several characters who can apparently create/repair Humongous Mecha in a matter of hours:
    • Billy Cranston, the Blue Ranger from Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, invents a collection of wristwatches that can be used both as personal communicators, and can remotely activate an alien teleportation grid. Villains aren't the only ones who could Cut Lex Luthor a Check. The most impressive part? He puts the teleportation thing in by accident. He was just trying to connect to the alien communications network. The day after meeting the aliens for the first time.
    • The most egregious example is the Ass Pull of two fully-functional copies of a mecha introduced out of the blue in Power Rangers Ninja Storm. Cam's just that good.
    • Kendall Morgan from Power Rangers Dino Charge gets points for managing to somehow merge ancient artifacts with modern technology seamlessly and often on a whim.
  • Red Green of The Red Green Show aspires to this. Usually he doesn't make it and his inventions backfire horribly, but on rare occasions they actually work. A forklift built out of a K-car is truly a wonder to behold.
  • Scholar Mek of Spellbinder begins the second series by designing and building a transdimensional boat... when he was supposed to be making a set of musical jewels for the Dragon Lord.
  • Star Trek:
    • Basically every Chief Engineer from the franchise is an engineering genius: Scotty, Geordi La Forge, Miles O'Brien, B'Elanna Torres, "Trip" Tucker. In fact, Starfleet Engineers in general seem to have a reputation for this. In the Deep Space Nine episode "Rocks and Shoals", a wounded Vorta says of a broken transmitter system, "It needs repair, but I'm willing to bet that you've brought one of those famed Starfleet engineers who can turn rocks into replicators." Further, in the Expanded Universe there's an entire novel series called Starfleet Corps of Engineers. Justified with the Enterprises because, as capital ships, their officers are the best of the best from an organisation spanning hundreds of planets, or in the case of Enterprise, at least the whole of Earth.
    • Presumably, the dry dock engineers are geniuses too, since they manage to survive and repair all the alien tech that all homecoming vessels seem to be infested with.
    • Star Trek: The Original Series:
      • Scotty's status as this is lampshaded in the 2009 movie: He's just a little too smart for his own good, having beamed "Admiral Archer's prize beagle" across the galaxy for a bet. To allow him time to wait for it to arrive, he's sent to the Starfleet equivalent of a remote Alaskan radar station. Apparently, Porthos was going to re-materialize at the very end of the film, but it was cut for time, alas.
      • Spock is sometimes expected to be a Gadgeteer Genius, even with only primitive materials to work with. In "The City on the Edge of Forever", he expresses his frustration at having to do this with 1930's technology: "I am endeavoring, ma'am, to create a mnemonic memory circuit, using stone knives... and bearskins." In general, while Scotty does an impressive job MacGyvering and is a remarkably fast and thorough Mr. Fixit, plot-resolving new technology usually requires a teamup with Spock, who is otherwise fairly consistently presented as a theoretician and IT man.
    • In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Time's Arrow", Data proves his gadgeteer skills when he builds a functional temporal scanner using 19th century materials (and probably a few of his own circuits).
    • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
      • Plain and simple, Garak from is a man of many hidden talents. Give him toys to play with and he can come up with anything. It becomes a plot point in a couple of episodes, most notably in the double-episodes "In Purgatory's Shadow" and "By Inferno's Light", where Enabran Tain uses his own unique brand of Gadgeteer Genius to alert Deep Space 9 to the survival of various Alpha Quadrant prisoners in the Gamma Quadrant, and then Garak has to finish what Tain started after Tain dies because he's the only one with the skill, expertise, and creativity to convert a system into something it originally wasn't designed to do so that they can escape prison. Oh, and he has to do it all while suffering chronic claustrophobia, too. Even the Klingons are impressed.
      • Miles O'Brien was actually Chief Petty Officer on a Federation outpost, and they don't hand those positions out readily.
    • Star Trek: Voyager:
      • Maquis, being outlaws with secondhand gear, have to do a lot of MacGyvering, and apparently Torres was just the best at it.
      • Tuvok earns his Gadeteer Badge when he improvises several phasers from parts scavenged from sonic showers and food dispensers when the crew is imprisoned in a artificial environment aboard a giant space station in "Displaced".
  • Superman & Lois has Natalie Irons, the 15-year-old daughter of John Henry Irons and an alternate Lois Lane. She seems to have an innate understanding of advanced tech and has pretty much built most of John's Powered Armor (although John himself is no slouch in the tech department either). She then builds a suit for herself and makes it nigh-indestructible, something her father learns when trying to disassemble it.
  • Becky from Thunderstone is like this to an extent. She makes a device which can disable the Holocops that patrol North Col, is able to replicate her older brother's time travelling feat just by reading his notebook, and can fix electronics that her own brother is having trouble with.
  • In the Torchwood episode "Fragments", it's revealed that Toshiko Sato once built a working sonic screwdriver from incorrect blueprints. This is what got her hired, actually. The alternative was life in prison.
  • Warehouse 13:
    • Over the years, Claudia Donovan's helped Artie develop the systems of the Warehouse.
    • H.G. Wells is a villainous version of the trope, having invented an actual time machine. Unfortunately it only sends your consciousness into the past and you can't really do anything to change it, just observe.
  • The Wild Wild West:
    • As noted above, Artemus Gordon cobbles together all sort of useful gadgets for his partner James West to use.
    • Unlike the film, the series' Dr. Loveless is this. The widgets and blueprints around one of his early episode labs include a blueprint for a turbofan engine. Another episode has a tagline from Artie mentioning some crazy invention to throw sound and pictures through the air...
  • Siroc from Young Blades is known for his (frequently anachronistic) inventions, including a submarine, a machine gun, a metal detector, a bomb concealed in a hollowed-out watermelon, and a machine that generates static electricity by turning a wheel of artificial feet wearing socks so that they rub against a static-generating material.

  • Kids Praise: Psalty is an inventor as well as a praise leader, having invented a vehicle made of musical instruments, surveillance equipment that shows people in spiritual need, and even managing to invent a time machine by accident!
  • The tinker in Voltaire's "The Mechanical Girl":
    In a glen beyond the castle wall
    There was a tinker
    And he was a thinker
    The smartest man in all the world
    He made a mechanical girl
    Especially when it turns out what the girl is capable of doing...

  • Belzagor from Brimstone Valley Mall is a demon of invention, and worked in Hell's engineering department before being sent up to Earth. Nowadays, she spends her time coming up with new gadgets such as "the Fur-Baby" and "Me-Tube"... before deciding It Will Never Catch On and scrapping her plans. However, whenever she does get past the planning stage, her inventions work wonderfully.
  • Pretending to Be People:
    • Silas Cole, founder of Contention, gained his wealth through his technology. Subverted in some iterations of the Stable Time Loop, as it turns out that he's actually Keith Vigna, who stole the original Cole's blueprints from the future, then traveled back to the past and replaced him.
    • The strange, spiky-haired scientist working for Marvin Glass is quite gifted with cybernetics. She's teaching these skills to her protege, Francis Beans.
  • In Trials & Trebuchets, Winsler's roommate Kurt Orlain is usually seen tinkering at some invention or another, and does most of the work when assisting Winsler in creating the golem Yog.

    Print Media 
  • One of the Mascots of Top Secret is Prof. Dzemik, originally facetiously created as an expert who responded to the readers' technological questions, and also stars in the magazine's comics — usually as a plot device (inventing a time machine, describing a dimensional transporter etc. as needed by the plot).

  • In Dawn of a New Age: Oldport Blues, Ivy's superpower grants her random and temporary moments of genius wherein she can create incredible inventions with whatever materials she has on hand. She has no control over what form her inspiration takes, which could lead to her making something niche or useless, but she can also make useful inventions like a miniature EMP from a mobile, or a drone from her computer.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Mad Scientists in Deadlands are similar to the Wild Cards series example above; the devices they make barely work on their own, if at all. The power behind their science-breaking steampunkness is evil spirits the characters are unwittingly channeling. Well, not Hellstromme, he knows exactly what he's doing.
  • The Artificer base class from the Eberron campaign setting of Dungeons & Dragons is a magical version of the Gadgeteer Genius. It returns as a class in the 4th and 5th editions of the game.
  • GURPS has two levels of this. Gageteers can build things that break the laws of physics if they have lots of funding. Quick Gageteers can do the same thing in half the time with rubberbands and cheese.
  • Magic: The Gathering has an entire creature type (Artificer) based around making insane gadgets.
    • Urza and Mishra, the Brother Artificers, build enough weapons and doomsday devices in their lifetime to leave their world a nearly-blackened cinder by the end of their lives.
    • Venser can build, repair, or alter just about anything.
    • Tezzeret's powers give him a particular knack for creating Mecha-Mooks or other magitek, enough that he actually manages to pass unnoticed on Kaladesh, mentioned below.
    • Steamflogger Boss. He helps every other Rigger assemble twice as many Contraptions... except Contraptions and assembling Riggers don't exist in the game outside of Unhinged.
    • Kaladesh, which is basically a whole plane of these. When you've got clean-burning, mana-bases, diesel fuel seeping in from the Blind Eternities, you may as well use it to power robot foxes, giant freight trains, and lightning guns.
  • In Rocket Age, Gadgeteer is a trait that allows characters to make just about anything.
  • Traveller: The Terran Confederation is this in Intersteller Wars. When they first meet the Vilani, they are thousands of years behind. However, they surpass them in less than two hundred years.
  • Warhammer Fantasy:
    • The Skaven clan Skyre hold a monopoly on technology in Skaven society, and are in constant competition with each other for creating ever-newer, more effective and more spectacular weaponry, although their slap-dash approach, refusal to share knowledge and nonexistent safety guidelines mean that their inventions are usually very unstable and prone to malfunctions. In addition to things like laser cannons and mechanical limbs, their constant experimentation has also produced more mundanely useful things such as mass transport systems and a long-distance communication network.
    • Subverted with the Dwarfs. They might at first appear like this, but their constructions aren't that improbable, and most are old engines based on experience, with new inventions being rare.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • Ork Mekboyz can construct Humongous Mecha out of a mound of scrap metal and a hot water heater. Every piece of Ork technology, from cars to guns to back scratchers, is made in this way. However, it's played with in that while Mekboyz have an instinctive understanding of technology, it rarely goes beyond pointing out the "gubbinz" and "spinny bits" that make their contraptions work. A lot of the brilliance of Ork technology is really Justified by the Orks' latent psychic energy — if a large number of Orks in close proximity believe something should work, it will work even if by all logic it shouldn't. Now, don't get the wrong idea, this won't allow a single Ork to defy the laws of physics and basic logic (say, picking up a lead pipe and shooting bullets out of it) but it will allow the Orks to "plug gaps" in their technology. Say a mob of Orks are driving to the battle in a trukk and it comes grinding to a stop, the Mek saying that it's run out of fuel. However, the Nob says, "But Iz sur I filled it up to da brim before wez left!" and gives the Mek a proppa smack for making a mistake. The other Orks will believe him, and hence the trukk will begin driving again even though it has no fuel in its tank.
    • The Jokaero are a race of exceedingly rare space orangutans that manage to put even the Mekboyz to shame. Despite being, to all external appearances, cyborg monkeys, the Jokaero are able to create technological marvels beyond that of any other race in the galaxy, and there is no problem that they cannot solve by analysing it long enough. Unfortunately, they also act like monkeys as well, so there's no telling whether they will cobble together a ring that doubles as an anti-matter gun capable of levelling a city block, or a nuclear-powered banana peeler. They also happen to be natural escape artists, which can lead to a somewhat comical situation should anyone try to imprison them, as their Gadgeteer Genius nature conflicts with their desire for freedom — it's fairly common for a Jokaero to escape a prison cell, tinker with the cell to fix its technical shortcomings, and then become trapped by their own improved prison.
  • The World of Darkness:
    • Old World of Darkness:
      • Mage: The Ascension: The Sons of Ether/Society of Ether are Mad Scientists in the purest sense, with oft-retro aesthetics ranging from Raygun Gothic to Victorian-esque steampunk. The Virtual Adepts are technomantic computer hackers with Urban rebel Cyberpunk flair, doing in the real world what Neo does in The Matrix. Finally, there's the Technocracy, which has lots of gadgeteer Genius Engineers of their own, especially among Iteration X; the difference being that the Technocracy encourage a mass-producible, utilitarian type of gadgeteering, while the Etherites use idiosyncratic gadgets that may or may not work for others, and the Adepts fall somewhere in between.
      • Werewolf: The Apocalypse: One tribe of werewolves, the Glass Walkers, has adapted to modern times and learned to use their spirit magic to talk to the spirits of machinery and urban landscapes.
      • Changeling: The Dreaming: The Nockers are changelings whose fairy souls are drawn to technology, although their curse means every gadget they build will have some sort of hidden flaw, which sometimes results in explosions. They're also capable of scaring a piece of machinery into working temporarily by cussing at it. The evil counterparts of the Nockers are called Gremlins, who in their Fairy self look nothing like the creatures in the movies of the same name, but more like small pointy-eared people with green skin and sharp pointy teeth... and they grin a lot, especially when they've just planted a booby-trap somewhere or sabotaged a piece of technology.
    • New World of Darkness:
      • Werewolf: The Forsaken has the Iron Masters, who tend to stay close to humanity and urban habitats. They have an affinity for Technology Gifts that, at the highest level, allow them to make a technological device out of the base materials (that is, a circuit-board out of plastic and sand).
      • Mage: The Awakening has the Free Council, modernist mages whose studies lead them to explore magic through a humanistic lens, drawing on human art, culture, science and technology — the last of which often results in SCIENCE!!!
      • Changeling: The Lost has the Wizened, who were kept as caretakers, craftsmen, and busybodies for the True Fae. They have an affinity with Contracts of Artifice that allow them to manipulate and construct (or deconstruct) machinery; the top level of one set allows them to make a hovercraft out of a go-kart and an inflatable raft. And due to the fact that any changeling can purchase Contracts of Artifice like the Wizened (it's just more difficult for others), virtually any changeling can be a Gadgeteer Genius as well.
      • And then there's the fanline Genius: The Transgression, where most of the player characters are these, capable of making inventions that bend the laws of physics to the breaking point. Powerful Geniuses are easily the most effective at gadgeteering; whipping up an entire fleet of spaceships is possible.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: Dorothy/Farmgirl has restored the derelict Kozmo Sliprider for her own use and built her own robotic companion, which is seen in her card artwork.

  • In Pokémon Live!, Giovanni built MechaMew2, a giant robot Mewtwo, all by himself.

    • Two of Nuparu's most notable engineering feats are creating the Vahki and the Boxor.
    • Avak is skilled at building machinery from scratch. He made the Destral Cycle and recreated the Zamor Sphere launchers from old blueprints stolen by the Dark Hunters.
    • Telluris built the Skopio XV-1, a massive war machine, in a desert, with a pile of scraps.

    Visual Novels 
  • Code:Realize depicts Impey Barbicane as a self-declared "genius engineer" who frequently proclaims the wonders of science and intends to someday travel to the moon. His inventions have a high likelihood of exploding in massive clouds of steam or otherwise going humorously awry, except for when the cast really need them to function, at which times they always seem to come through. Among other things, he creates a fully-functional ornithopter and teaches Cardia to fly it.
  • Danganronpa:
  • Chigara Ashada from Sunrider. Not only did she build two Humongous Mecha by herself, but in her introductory scene she replaces a damaged power converter that took a team of engineers a month to make with one she made the night before — in her sleep, no less. The new part works so well that it actually improves the overall power efficiency in that part of the ship by 20%. Unsurprisingly, Kayto Shields takes her on as the Sunrider's Chief Engineer.

    Web Animation 
  • Sudoku from Banananana Ninja has built a Transformation Ray and a Swiss-Army Weapon (the Omni-Functional Kitchen Gadget, an all-purpose kitchen tool that can transform into a Humongous Mecha).
  • Barbie: Life in the Dreamhouse:
    • Ken tries to help Barbie by making such inventions as a Master Computer to index all the clothes and accessories in her Unlimited Wardrobe, and a Shrink Ray to keep her countless trophies and awards from flooding the trophy room.
    • Skipper also proves herself a competent inventor when she "Skipperizes" Barbie's boutique with new makeover machines.
  • A Day With Bowser Jr: Iggy Koopa is a scientific genius who is seen using multi-function hi-tech glasses and Koopa GPS devices.
  • DSBT InsaniT: Eel built a now-destroyed machine that mass-produces Spell Balls. He notes how difficult it was to make without arms.
  • Gwain Saga: Luna, the primary antagonist of the series, is practically a well-adjusted female Tony Stark, manufacturing purpose-built robots and advanced technology. She appears to be the owner of Moon Tech, the company that manufactures most of the world's technology.
  • Sniffles from Happy Tree Friends. He's able to build a functioning rocket ship out of the remains of a school bus and a Time Machine out of a washer, for starters.
  • Test Tube from Inanimate Insanity, who even has her own secret lab. Her inventions include a time machine made from a calculator and a pair of bowties that can turn their wearers invisible, among other things.
  • Clock from Object Overload is pretty much this. He built the recovery center for the show and even made Toothy's alliance fall off (or die, whichever happened) with a robot butterfly bomb.
  • In Shrapnel, when Alouette was younger, she figured out how to make a teleporter out of spare parts to help Brynn get back to his home dimension.

  • In The Adventures of Dr. McNinja, Sean "Dark Smoke Puncher" McNinja, the brother of Dr. McNinja, is shown to be particularly technologically adept, and his own brother has noted that his own Mecha-Mooks are more dangerous than normal.
  • The titular pair from Casey and Andy love inventing.
  • Dr. Nonami stars a young female scientist who invents a variety of machines to fight evil.
  • Walter from Dubious Company, regularly upgrades the ships he steals with complex Magitek, and is the go-to-guy for Techno Babble. His first on-panel instance of this is in the "Shipwrecked in Paradise" arc, where he builds a fully-furnished house in the course of an afternoon without tools. It's also a Visual Gag about his animal instincts.
  • El Goonish Shive: Tedd zigzags this trope. At first it seems like he's made a magitek system capable of putting spells into nondescript items - he uses toy "gadget watches". Then we learn that he's a seer, and his system wouldn't work for anyone else, and he doesn't need the system to empower items. Then we learn that the system does make it easier to set specific parameters for spells, something vitally important since The Will of Magic decided to proverbially take off the training wheels.
  • Agatha Heterodyne of Girl Genius, and the other Sparks (Mad Scientists). An example of Schizo Tech because Sparks are able to screw with the laws of physics. Examples include electrical lightning moats, cloning pods, Death Rays, giant airships, autonomous robots, and Frankenstein monsters in a world that is otherwise at the tech-level of the 19th century.
  • Discussed in an author footnote to a Grrl Power strip. Too many Geniuses would change the society of the characters even more than just having superheroes/supervillains, especially when — in a case of Cut Lex Luthor a Check — a fight occurs, and a hero decides to patent a villain's left-behind tech.
  • Guilded Age: Gnomes in general, coming up with a myriad of fantastical machines with a heavy Clock Punk influence.
  • Kat from Gunnerkrigg Court builds an antigravity generator out of a thermos and coat hangers for the school Science Fair. She doesn't see this as anything special, and builds it simply to grow experimental protein crystals properly. Much to her chagrin, nobody cares very much about proteins, but are fascinated by her anti-grav machine.
    Signs: Protein is Great!
    Student: Wow! Zero Gravity!
    Kat: No! Protein!
Later, she converts it into a personal aircraft.
  • Belt boy from The Heroes of Crash invented a Hyper Space Arsenal belt with built-in A.I. and a robotic hand/Arm Cannon for a friend.
  • Equius Zahaak from Homestuck uses his mechanical skills to build new body parts for his wounded allies. He also builds robots for various personal uses.
  • The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!:
    • An artificially (or rather, accidentally) generated creature, Molly is less than a year old and has the common sense of a little girl, but is quite capable of building a robot out of a milking machine, and an interstellar transmitter out of an umbrella and a Speak n' Spell.
    • Her sister Galatea is no slouch, either, being able to adjust a cloaking device to project a deflector shield instead just from watching the device being put together.
  • Sev'vil and Anira in Juathuur are the greatest scientific minds in the world.
  • A more specific version, but Megatokyo's Largo can build a computer out of almost anything, including cereal boxes.
  • Narbonic has Dave Davenport, the guy who gives office appliances sentience and turns rusted mail sorters into death rays because he's a latent Mad Scientist specialising in computers and robots.
  • Penny Arcade:
  • Record Wisdom Bonus Yield upgrades Ruby from a Wrench Wench into this trope. Not only did she design a blueprint Crescent Rose in less than a week, she claims that she can build it, has been referred to as a roboticist, and is studying rocket science.
  • Scarlett from Sequential Art is either this, or an idiot savant. Several strips indicate that she'd be an engineering genius were it not for her crippling case of ADD. It later turns out that she's actually one-fourth of a biocomputer gestalt, and she's a lot more competent when she's with her "sisters". Though they do have a disturbing tendency to make things that explode... including bug nets and self-motivated slinkies. That explode.
  • Tess, main mechanic of the Sisterhood in Sinfest who, among other things, built Xanthe's tricycle, which flies and has a force field.
  • Skin Horse:
    • Dr. Virginia Lee's main claim to fame is that she is able to reproduce some of the products of Mad Science in the context of "sane" science. This does not, however, imply that she is sane, it just means that she's not breaking the laws of physics in doing so and her work is reproducible. The researchers at the Institute for The Sane Study of Mad Science have this as their aim as well, but unlike Dr. Lee, no one is buying it when they claim to be sane themselves.
    • Sergio Mendoza, originally from the Narbonic spin-off Li'l Mell, becomes one of these. Certainly, he's a Renaissance Man in a trailer park, comes up with incredible inventions including a device which can travel across universes built out of IKEA partsnote , and probably is the only person capable of keeping up with Artie, but he's not and seemingly never will be Mad.
  • Sluggy Freelance's Riff has built several robots, a device for opening gates to other dimensions, the Omnitaser Supreme, and a staple remover with a 100 feet range.
  • Dust Puppy in User Friendly writes Erwin the Artificial Intelligence overnight, in Cobol, only 53 days after Dust Puppy himself is born.
  • Light Bittencourt from Vinigortonio is a girl with a giant lab-house who makes inventions for a hobby.
  • Voodoo Walrus has a "house badger" by the name of Professor Kaboodles who has seemingly evolved in the background from being a simple pet badger to a full-on goggle-and-lab-coat-wearing inventor. Though no one notices. Even when he's shooting lasers at floating pygmy cows.
  • Doc and Roger from The Whiteboard tend towards this, triply so (at the very least) if alcohol is involved. Notable inventions include a fusion-powered paintball gun capable of firing through time, and a micro air compressor which runs on nitroglycerine, as petrol isn't powerful enough.

    Web Original 
  • In Brennus, this trope is the superpower of "Gadgeteers" such as the main character. While never impossible, Gadgeteer technology is decades or even centuries more advanced than normal technology, making it a very useful power to have.
  • In Caelum Lex Cyrus Soliveré and Adrasteia Atelier, both engineers from a young age, consistently override security protocols, wrangle together engine pieces, and build any gadget needed for a specific mission.
  • Enter the Farside: Artifex is a slight variation in that he can't actually invent anything, but he can take any existing piece of technology and simplify it to the point of being leagues ahead of what it was before. He's currently building a set of Powered Armor as a side project.
  • The main character of Legion of Nothing, Nick, is a Gadgeteer Genius with his own suit of Powered Armour, with which he fights crime as a superhero called "The Rocket". He's helped by having access to the work of his deceased grandfather, who was also a Gadgeteer Genius. While their work can be replicated by ordinary people, it's a lot more advanced than normal technology. It's unconfirmed whether this is an actual superpower or just natural intelligence.
  • Neopets: Katie, the Genius Inventor of the Seekers (and niece of the faction leader), is presented this way.
  • SCP Foundation: SCP-2801 ("A Dress-Up Box"). One of the people affected by SCP-2801 temporarily gained the ability to create an anomalous device. It could emit a low-frequency sound that neutralized the hazardous effect of a deadly chemical.
  • A staple villain type in Super Stories, usually with their own, restricted specialty:
    • Veldron is a whiz at electronic circuitry.
    • Clockwork is brilliant with medium-scale engineering such as, well, clockwork.
    • Devnull is a programming and hacking genius.
  • In the web novels Trinton Chronicles, there are two characters who fit this:
    • Robert, who took actual schooling on robotics.
    • Brandon, whose super power actually allows him to understand machines.
  • Whateley Universe:
    • The various gadgeteers (follow the laws of physics) and devisors (consider them more of a guideline) have this as their mutant talent. Ironically, Word of God has canonically stated that even they can't actually make a giant robot that works. Not that this keeps the relevant perpetual school project nicknamed "Tiny Tim" from having its own Moment of Awesome during the Halloween battle...
    • Jobe Wilkins's father is a Gadgeteer Genius villain. He resents Jobe for being a bio-devisor instead of a gadgeteer like him.
  • Worm: Parahumans with the power to instinctively visualize and understand how to put together advanced technological devices are called Tinkers. It is unclear as to whether everything a Tinker makes follows the laws of physics or can be mass-produced by normal people, although some Tinker-made tech seems to be in widespread use. Some are more competent than others (Leet can build any type of device only once, and the closer an invention is to something he's made before, the more likely it is to misfire). Other tinkers specialize in certain fields of technology (Bakuda makes various kinds of bombs, Bonesaw works with biological organisms). Dragon, who mainly builds suits of powered armor, has the reputation of being the most powerful and skilled Tinker in Worm's universe, though it actually turns out that she is an extremely advanced AI who was built by a now-deceased Tinker, and is able to design things through her advanced intelligence. Word of God later clarifies that despite Dragon's nature, she does have a parahuman ability, and although she's technically a Thinker rather than a Tinker, because her power is to understand Tinker-tech that makes her a Tinker herself in actual practice.

    It is eventually revealed that Tinkers are actually tapping into the knowledge of the entities that grant them their powers, and as those entities have visited — and destroyed — countless other planets in the past, they have access to advanced technologies devised by alien civilizations. In some cases, they also have a subconscious ability to scan their surroundings and determine how the recorded information can be applied to Earth-specific situations.

    Web Videos 
  • Penny in Caper built what is essentially the Iron Man suit. She then stole it from the Tony Stark expy, who had funded it.
  • Critical Role has Percy de Rolo, an exiled nobleman who, with a bit supernatural help, invents of the first gun — along with everything that entails. As Vox Machina's resident tinkerer and inventor, he creates a grappling-hook arrow, a saddlebag bomb, an electrified gauntlet, several explosive arrows, a grenade, a prosthetic hand, and perhaps most impressive, a spring trap that's able to hold an ancient black dragon to the ground for several rounds of combat. His inventions are also notable in that Taliesin, Percy's player, must prove that each of them can be created with the materials and technology he would have at his disposal before he gets the go-ahead from the DM.
  • The eponymous protagonist of Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog probably qualifies, making a trans-matter ray (which... sort of... works), a working remote control for a van (which operates by a small device that magnetically adheres to the roof), a freeze ray (which stops time), a stun ray (never used), and a death ray (never shown actually working, for... reasons).
  • Gourmet Makes: Discussed during the Pringles Episode.
    Delany: You know, Q, in James Bond, the one who has all the technology? You, you need a Q!
    Claire: It's is kind of Brad, but first of all he's not here now and second of all is usually not that helpful...
  • In Noob, this apparently comes with being a neogician who puts plenty of work in his or her optional inventor job.

    Real Life 
  • Ladies and gentlemen, Simone Giertz the "Queen of Shitty Robots" (her own words). Though it's largely Played for Laughs for how impractical they are and how spectacularly they fail, her machines all work wonders from a purely mechanical standpoint. It's very telling that she was inspired to become an inventor by Gyro Gearloose.
  • The book The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind is about a real-life example of this. William Kamkwamba, a fourteen-year-old Malawian boy, was forced to drop out of school because his family could no longer afford the tuition. Using some books from a foreign-aid-funded library and parts from a scrapyard, he constructed a fully functional windmill to run appliances in his family's home, largely creating the design from scratch.
  • Wolfgang von Kempelen was a real life example from the 18th century, known for creating, among other things, a speaking machine and a chess-playing "automaton". The later required an operator sitting inside and controlling the puppet through an elaborate mechanism, and using several other mechanisms to conceal himself when the machine is opened up, creating the illusion that the whole structure is fully mechanical.
  • Sun Jifa, a 51-year-old Chinese farmer, built himself a pair of working prosthetic arms out of nothing but scrap metal after losing his old ones while making a bomb to go blast fishing with.
  • Nikola Tesla. For example, while he never actually demonstrated a laser, he claimed to have invented a Death Ray (which he called the "telefactor") that, based on some comments he made about how it didn't work, may have borne at least some superficial similarities to a laser (but probably wasn't, if in fact he had one at all). Scientists still are divided on whether Tesla was a genius, a crackpot, or a little of both. Majority opinion seems to incline towards the last of these, given that his first big claim to fame — the polyphase AC induction motor — reputedly came to him in a dream, and he had so much trouble explaining how it worked that it took another eccentric genius of the era, Charles Proteus Steinmetz, to figure out all the details in an intelligible manner. He also suffered from an extreme form of OCD, and in his later years the overwhelming love of his life was a pet pigeon. At the same time, it would be pretty much impossible to dismiss him as just a crackpot given the scope of his real-world achievements and enormous technical talent.
  • Wu Yulu is a 46-year-old farmer from a rural area of China near Beijing. While he has very little in the way of formal education, he has over the past thirty years built over 26 robots to do everything from light cigarettes, to scale walls, to drive rickshaws, building them out of scrap metal. In true Mad Scientist tradition, he nearly drove his wife to divorce, plunged them both into tremendous debt, destroyed his home, and scalded his face with acid. All For Science! Or at least his crazy hobby.


Otto van Cooper

Noted as being a brilliant mechanical engineer.

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