Some or many are probably wrong as I'm not in the business of precision, but I am posting that here, public domain. If some want to add to it or share resources of such kind of information, that'd be nice. I'm looking for such a book. For now, I won't be dealing with that further. Have a nice day
You can measure distance with a LED and a photoresistor, as the farther it gets, the narrower the angle, so the less light
You can get 2D or 3D position of a foreign object by crossing the beams of 2 or 3 ultrasonic transducers, with distinct echo patterns
You can get linear 1D or 2D position by using a conductive material with high resistance, and using it as voltage divider. It can work 3D with electrolyted water.
You can syphon a liquid container with high simplicity and for low energy using gravity and the Pythagorean Cup principle. There is a height threshold where the liquid enters a syphon and pulls it all by suction and gravity.
A DC motor can be used as a speaker
It takes less energy to make hearable sound through cranial bone conduction, instead of through the ear canal
You can measure distance with laser, as it projects a red dot, so you measure the intensity of red in the path of the laser.
A LED can be used as a 1-pixel camera sensor, as it generates a voltage according to the light it receives, and it filters light frequencies through its encasing
You can project a light beam through slits forming a shape, and look at the way it is projected. That tells information about both the projected-on, and the projector.
You can make a pixelated projector by shining powerful light through a disassembled LCD display
You can make lenses with water in a cup, or with a 3D printer, or with curved plastic case filled with water
You can make a mirror from a transparent material by physically smearing silver or gallium, or chemically plating silver or copper, or by stretching a sheet of mylar
You can make conductive crystals through electrolysis in a bath of silver ions
Some graphite pencils can write conductive paths
A joystick is fundamentally two potentiometers together, and that can be used to tell how a skeleton cord bends through space
You can trade length with force using pulleys, and the 'block and tackle' mechanism, using the concept of 'mechanical advantage'
You can trade rotation speed with force using gears, using the concept of 'gear ratio'
You can use any sensor as an array of sensor, if you just move it, or move a reflector in front
A fresnel lens takes less space to focus than usual lenses, at the expense of quality
The thicker an usual lens, the closer the focus, so more economy of space in a head-mounted device
With a guiding canal filled with small balls, you can transform any linear push into any 2D motion, or even 3D
You can make carbon with sulfuric acid and sugar, and it takes on more practical volume than the starting ingredients
Activated coal is granular porous stuff with very high surface area, so it can filter smells
You can get the rough orientation and world position of a device by looking at a digital compass (magnetometer) and the direction of gravity (accelerometer)
Bizmuth is an element which repulses magnets, as a contrary to ferrite, though the effect is very weak. That is diamagnetism.
You can cheaply calculate 3D position with one camera, by looking at 3 red/green/blue balls assembled along 3 axis, and looking at how they are spaced apart in the captured image, and with which angles
Convective Heat is impeded by void, and that is the principle of coffee thermos, using a layer of void.
Radiative Heat is impeded by mirrors, and it can be used to measure temperature at a range, using a 'thermocouple' sensor
You can make electricity out of heat, with a thermocouple module. At its most basic, it is made of 2 wires connected at both their ends. Heating one junction gives a voltage at the other.
You can heat and cool by compressing or decompressing a gas. That is pV = nRT formula (pressure / volume / atom count / universal constant / temperature).
As you can make sensor array by moving one sensor, you can make a display by moving a LED or a line of LEDs. That is using persistence of vision and is called 'POV display'.
You can make oxygen out of yeast and hydrogen peroxide. To breathe it cleanly, you need first to filter it through for example a bubbler.
Polarized filters can tell how something is angled at a distance, according to how much light it lets shine through, as long as that light is unpolarized, so not a laser
Prisms can tell the angle if it is a light of many frequencies going in
You can use a 555 frequency timer or multiple RGB LEDs as a source, then look at how each component has been changed through diverse frequency or color filters, to cheaply gather information about the system that it went through. It is the physical equivalent of passing a blank paper around, and scribbling on it.
A charge moving through a conductor generates a magnetic field
A charge accelerating through a conductor generates an electromagnetic wave
A charge moving through a magnetic field creates a mechanical force along the 3rd axis. That is the Lorentz force.
Using the Lorentz force, you can make the simplest motor with just wire, a battery and a magnet. It is called homopolar motor.
Using the Lorentz force, you can glide as a train a battery tied to magnets, either in or on a coil of copper.
In an even conductor, electricity moves as waves, in all directions evenly
Regarding gas and liquids, you can trade surface area with force of pushing
You can get a more powerful ultrasonic response, if you focus the sound beam into a point, so by knowing the distance first hand, or scanning it
You can widen the path of a sound using diffraction, which means passing it through a slit or along a border