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 honorary doctorates from Villanova University, University of Twente, and 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 official "MythBusters" website. He asked Savage — whom he'd known for several years and worked on battle robots with — to join him. They hosted the show together for 13 years, bringing science to the masses until 2016. They also blew up a lot of stuff along the way.

He built a firefighting tank

These days, Jamie Hyneman spends more time on personal projects and new inventions. He'd previously collaborated with Villanova University and the U.S. 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, controlled remotely, and shot out bottles of soda. It inspired the type of glee within Hyneman that only science could, so he took that idea and ran with it.

He wants the Sentry to be the first of many firefighting robots

The Sentry is a joint venture between Jamie Hyneman and his partner, Oculus VR co-founder Palmer Lucky. They aim for their device to become a self-driving firefighting tank, per CNET. For now, at least, the Sentry won't be driving itself, as Hyneman needs to refine the remote driving aspect before moving on to self-driving. But his end goal is to have the Sentry serve 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.

He has a hand in numerous inventions

The Sentry is not Jamie 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 with 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 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. Per DesignNews, he's been known to dip his toes in new bioengineering tech. "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."

He's a professor of practice at LUT University

It isn't just practical science that's kept Jamie Hyneman busy since the end of "MythBusters." In 2021, the Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology (LUT) in Finland — which granted Hyneman an honorary doctorate four years earlier — announced that it had appointed him as a professor of practice for a five-year term. In the announcement, Hyneman said that his focus would be on student innovations in areas like transportation and the environment through the JHC — the J. Hyneman Center, a workshop named for him.

Hyneman has introduced a few innovations himself while at LUT. Having complained that communication through a laptop is stiff and unnatural, he developed the Hynebot, a mobile robot that can function as an avatar for a remote teacher in the classroom. "The physicality of the robot increases the sense of real-time interaction in virtual teaching," he told LUT's website. "You can see and hear the same things through a computer or smart phone, but the robot can tilt its head towards a student, pivot when a student calls out, or point to objects on a table." It's a useful invention for a teacher who works remotely as he does (he still lives in the United States).

He probably won't work with Adam Savage again

One thing that's not on Jamie Hyneman's agenda is a reunion with his old "MythBusters" co-host. Even while the show was on the air, it wasn't exactly a secret that Hyneman and Adam Savage didn't get along. When interviewed by Entertainment Weekly before the show's final seasons, they asked that the interviews be done separately. In his, Hyneman said, "We like to point out we've known each other for 25 years and never once sat down to have dinner alone together," and he seemed ready to be done. Savage left the door slightly open to future projects together, but he also said, "It has been an incredibly productive marriage, but I think this is plausibly the end of the line."

Among the points of contention between the two over the years was spinning a story around the topics they covered and being in the spotlight. Savage valued storytelling above all else and was resolved to keep working in television, which he has — he struck a deal for a new show with the Science Channel in 2019 and has his own YouTube channel, Tested. Hyneman was more focused on engineering and wanted to get back to that without the considerations of reality TV getting in the way. But at least they're both staying involved with science and, undoubtedly, making things explode for the greater good.