What Jamie Hyneman Has Been Up To Since Leaving Mythbusters

Mythbusters has been off-air for years but since then, one of its hosts, Adam Savage returned to television to host the spin-off Mythbusters Jr. But what about its other host, Jamie Hyneman — the incredibly stoic counterpoint to Savage's more chaotic spirit?

Before the show, Hyneman was already an interesting character, at least on paper. He ran a sailing charter business in the Caribbean before changing careers and working as a special-effects artist for more than 800 commercials and several movies, including Robocop. He received an undergraduate degree in Russian Linguistics, but it was his special effects work that got him an honorary Doctor of Engineering degree from Villanova University, among others like Finland's Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology. "Never been there or to a white tie ceremony. I think it works for me," he later tweeted.

Hyneman was also the first of the two to be involved in Mythbusters. The production company behind the show approached him to host, but he felt he needed a co-host to be more interesting, according to his biography on the Mythbusters official website. He asked Savage, whom he'd known for several years and worked on battle robots with, to join him. They would host the show together for 13 years, until 2016, bringing science to the masses. They also blew up a lot of stuff along the way.

He built a fire-fighting tank

These days, Hyneman spends more time on personal projects and new inventions. He'd previously collaborated with Villanova University and the US Office of Naval Research on innovation projects while filming the show, making cool sci-fi stuff like blast-resistant armor and those cool robotic camera systems that track athletes at sporting events. That fire for incendiary new tech exploration hasn't died.

His latest invention is a tank to help fight wildfires, according to Popular Mechanics. The Sentry, as it's known, was built using a non-armored military tank Hyneman bought from an Army surplus store and is driven remotely via virtual-reality headset, allowing it to brave raging wildfires. He told Popular Mechanics his inspiration for The Sentry was a robot he built for a 7-Up commercial. The robot had tank treads built into it and was controlled remotely. It shot out bottles of soda and inspired the type of glee within Hyneman that only science could. So he took that idea and ran with it.

Hyneman in the douse

Hyneman and his partner for the project, the start-up Anduril run by Oculus VR co-founder Palmer Luckey, aim for the Sentry to become a self-driving fire-fighting tank, per CNET. For now, the Sentry won't be driving itself, as Hyneman needs to refine the remote driving aspect before moving on to self-driving. He envisions the Sentry as the first in a line of remote firefighting vehicles that will keep the community and firefighters safer, while limiting water usage by operating from a much shorter distance.

"Let's say a fire makes it into a neighborhood, as happens in some cases. Well normally you'd have to evacuate, but these [robotic vehicles] are made from surplus US military armored personnel carriers that we can repurpose. We could set up a mobile fire brigade and stop the fire," he told DesignNews.

The Hyneman behind the mustache

The Sentry is not Hyneman's only recent innovation project. New Atlas reports that he helped design a prototype for electric shoes called Vortrex. The shoes pack a technological punch with wheels that look like tank treads (see a pattern?), motors, Bluetooth connectivity, and infrared sensors for obstacle detection. Hyneman envisions them to be wearable moving walkways, letting people walk faster without minimal additional effort.

Like the Sentry, Vortrex shoes are also connected to a virtual reality system, at least while being tested, and grew out of an old project where he stuck cordless drill motors onto rollerblades. Hyneman created six prototypes before launching an Indiegogo campaign for the seventh sample that fell a little short of its goal in 2017.

Beyond that, everyone's favorite science walrus still runs M5 Industries, where most Mythbusters episodes were filmed, and often uses it as his personal workshop, and he's been known to dip his toes in new bioengineering tech, according to DesignNews.

"I'd say bioengineering excites me the most right now," he stated. "Bioengineering is having an, as yet to be fully appreciated, profound effect – the ability to manipulate genes."

As for a red-headed reunion, Savage has told Business Insider he and Hyneman will never work together again but at least they're both staying involved with science, and undoubtedly, making things explode for the greater good.