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Tag Archives: Concepts

So This Lady Wants To Make A Countertop Maggot Breeding Machine, You Know… For Eating…


Yeah, so this is pretty gross. But there’s some sense in it as well. Designer and Fulbright scholar Katharina Unger wants to tackle the looming problem of overpopulation and food shortage with something she’s calling Farm 432. It’s a countertop contraption whose only purpose is to provide a fertile environment for fly larvae (otherwise known as maggots) to breed, grow, and… turn themselves into food. In as little as 18 days (or 432 hours), 1 gram of fly eggs can turn into 2.4 kilograms (5.3lbs) of theoretically edible maggots; Farm 432 just makes it simple as pie to grow and harvest them. You feed them scraps of leftover food, and very little water and the insects take care of themselves. Once the eggs hatch, and the larva have grown somewhat, they prepare to pupate and turn into flies. So they’ll look for a drier, safer place to do so, which leads them up a ramp and into an eventual trap. Once in the trap, it’s your turn to grab them and… cook them. Maggots are 72% protein, as well a lot of calcium and amino acids.

Granted this all sounds awful for a western population that generally doesn’t eat insects. But looked at through a purely practical point of view, it’s not a completely unreasonable contribution to one of mankind’s biggest problems of the relatively near future. Farm 432 only seems to have a prototype (or maybe even just some good CG renders) at the moment and we can’t find information on commercialization. We don’t expect there to be much demand for this either… for now anyway.

Hit the jump for a few more pictures, including some of the, uh, resulting food.

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This Crowdfunded Project Hopes To Have A Working Hoverboard By 2015


Let’s call this one a really long shot. One Robert Haleluk has launched an IndieGogo campaign, hoping to raise $1 million, with the aim of developing a working hoverboard by 2015. Yes, that’s the same year that Marty McFly hops on the device in the movie. And no, it doesn’t plan to use some form of magnetic levitation (or whatever it is in the flick), but good ole propellers:

The boards would be constructed from a honeycomb carbon fiber to keep weight to a minimum. In terms of power source, Haleluk is looking at two promising new lightweight battery technologies – a Lithium-Air battery in development by IBM with the goal of powering a car for up to 500 miles on a single charge or a unique energy device being researched by Stanford which can store power in a sheet of paper with special ink infused with carbon nanotubes and silver nanowires. Of course, neither of these technologies is in production yet, so that certainly creates a risk factor for the Hoverboard project. Current off-the-shelf battery technologies would likely be insufficient to lift a passenger for any meaningful period of time.

So we’re going to make another call here, and say that this isn’t just a long shot. It isn’t going to happen. The guy wants a cool million, just to possibly maybe find the technology that can make this a reality. And then to possibly perhaps assemble it all into a working product. Sure. Not to mention that the minimum pledge that will get you an actual hoverboard is $10,000! Yeah… we’re all for innovation and crowdfunding, but we like a little smidgeon of realism as well.

We’re not the only ones who think so; the project has raised $61 as of this writing.


[ Project Page ] VIA [ Technabob ]

3D Printed Cast Lets You Scratch And Wash


The only good thing about being in a cast is that you get to have all your friends draw stuff all over them. Once you’re out of high school however, that starts getting old pretty quick. Instead, you’re left unable to scratch or wash your limb for weeks, which sucks. Luckily, advances in 3D printing may change all that. Called the Cortex, the 3D printed cast pictured above is a concept and prototype from Victoria University of Wellington graduate Jake Evill that could once day replace the casts of today. Made from a complex honeycomb structure, it allows for air and water to circulate, as well as making it possible to scratch and clean your skin. Sounds wonderful.

The process starts with an X-Ray and 3D scan of the limb, after which the cast is designed and printed specifically for the type of fracture present. It would be attached using non-removable fasteners that remain until the healing process is complete. Made out of polyamide, the casts take about 3 hours to make, while regular plaster casts take 3 to 9 minutes. With advances in 3D printing technology however, we may see the Cortex in hospitals within the next few years. Jake is currently looking for funding to take his idea further.

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Is A Ridiculous Paper Pulp Bike Helmet Better Than Nothing At All?


Keeping the contents of your head on the inside is a priority shared by many cyclists, thus the popularity of the bike helmet. But there’s a situation where helmets are rarely used: bike rental/sharing (like Montreal’s Bixi, NYC’s City Bikes or London’s “Boris Bikes”). Since most people don’t walk around with a helmet, they’re unlikely to have one when they decide to hop on a bike, so they ride without. The Paper Pulp Helmet concept looks to offer an alternative. Made from paper pulp derived from recycled newspapers, the helmet is vaccuum formed and can conceivably be sold for around $1.50, which is cheap enough to be paid for alongside a bike rental. The grooves that you see serve multiple purposes, like allowing for straps to be used, as well as providing aeration to prevent a wearer’s overheating. An organic additive is included in its preparation which makes the helmet waterproof for six hours. And when you’re done, simply toss it in a recycling bin and move on with your day.

Will a paper helmet keep you safe? It allegedly meets “stringent European safety standards”, though even if it doesn’t, some protection is arguably better than none.

And yes, this is only a concept at the moment, with no word on when or if it’ll ever see light of day.

[ Project Page ] VIA [ Gizmag ]

Concept LED Light Could Light Up Cyclists’ Path Like A Fighter Plane


Riding your bike at night can be a little tricky, especially without headlights. Regular headlights are great, but the Lumigrid is a conceptual LED light that would kick things up a notch.

It can be difficult for night cyclists to get a good sense of the condition of the terrain ahead, even with a typical bicycle lamp. In many cases, a bicycle lamp will cast shadows on both concave and convex areas of the ground. This can hinder the rider’s judgment of the road surface ahead, and increase the potential for danger.

Lumigrids can project a grid onto the ground. On a flat road surface, the grid will consist of standard squares. On a rough road surface, the grids will deform accordingly. By observing the motion and deformation of the grids, the rider can intuitively understand the landforms ahead. In addition, the luminous grids can make it easier for nearby pedestrians and vehicles to notice the bicycle, reducing the likelihood of collision.

Unfortunately, it is just a concept at the moment, even if it did win Sichaun University a Red Dot Design award in 2012. There doesn’t seem to be any concrete plans for bringing it to market, but given the current state of technology, how hard could it be?


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Lamborghini Egoista Concept Is Only Missing Jet Engine, Wings


It’s true that when you’re designing a concept, you’re only restrained by your imagination and not any of the real-world limitations that are imposed on road-worthy cars. That can partly help explain why the above Lamborghini Egoista looks as outlandishly awesome as it does: it’s never going to be sold to anyone, and there’s only one like it. It was created to commemorate the company’s 50th anniversary, and was on display in Italy last Saturday.

So why Egoista? This means “selfish” in Italian, and that’s because the car seats one. Its looks were inspired by an Apache attack helicopter, and is powered by a 600hp V10 engine. But that’s just scratching the surface:

This unique concept is centered around a single-person, carbon fiber and aluminum cockpit that’s actually removable, and is designed around the driver, with a racing seat, four-point restraints, and a heads-up display. LED clearance lights replace traditional headlights, hidden xenon headlamps provide distance lighting, and flaps on the bodywork help increase stability and airflow to the 600hp, 5.2L V10 engine. If that wasn’t enough, the body and wheels are made from anti-radar material.

This is what unrestrained automotive exuberance looks like when Lamborghini is the one partying it up. But again, it’s more of a fancy anniversary trophy and demonstration of technical ability, than it is anything that anyone will ever be able to buy. Sadly.

VIA [ Uncrate ]

Concept: Saddle Lock Bike Needs No More Securing

The sad thing about concepts is that they often remain just concepts. We suspect the above Saddle Lock Bike by designers Lee Sang Hwa, Kim Jin Ho and Yeo Min Gu will receive the same fate. On the one had, this is sad, because we think it’s a cool concept: you can lock your rear wheel by simply pivoting the saddle downwards and pressing a button. Then, you’d enter the combination to unlock. It’s smart! On the other hand, there’s somewhat of a glaring problem: what’s to stop anyone from just grabbing the entire bike and taking off to some safe spot for a more leisurely lock-cutting session? It’s not like this is a much-heavier motorcycle, where you can get away with simply immobilizing a wheel… We figure that there might be times when the Saddle Lock Bike will be safe enough, but we can’t think of any.

Still, bottoms up for nice ideas, even if they’re somewhat impractical. Hit the jump for a few more pictures and links.

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Students Working On Futuristic Looking Bike With Spherical Wheels

Wheels, it turns out, are very passé. Balls is where it’s at. At least that’s what a student team from the Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering at San Jose State University is out to prove with the above early prototype of the Spherical Drive System, a self-balancing electric bike that rolls on spheres friction-driven by three off-center rotors. This setup should technically give the vehicle omni-directional manoeuvrability. Why? Because the future, that’s why. And also because the students believe it to be safer than conventional bikes, and that it would provide the rider with more driving freedom. We… buy the freedom thing, but we’re not sold on the safety part.

Still, the balls themselves are solid, made from carbon fiber and fiberglass with an industrial rubber coating, and the team has already taken delivery of them along with other essential parts. They’re still assembling the prototype as well as working on the software and they hope to have it ready to test by the end of 2012. Obviously since this is a student project, it’d be really optimistic to expect fast development and commercial availability any time soon, although they are looking for sponsor. Consider this project a proof of concept for now, a concept for which there may not even be a demand. But hey: the future!

Hit the jump for pics and links.

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Hole Measuring Tape Is Just A Concept, Should Be A Real Product

We like it when an already useful design becomes even more so with just a few simple changes. Measuring tapes, for instance, have been around in their current form for quite some time. The above concept by Sunghoon Jung adds a couple of really useful tweaks to it and suddenly a simple measuring tool becomes both a line tracer and a compass. It’s called the Hole Measuring Tape and is a 2012 iF Design Talents Award entry. We really wish it was something we could buy.

VIA [ Yankodesign ]