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Tag Archives: engineering

Engineers and Neurosurgeons Develop The Vicis 01 Football Helmet, Designed To Absorb Impact Markedly Better Than Current Tech

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We keep hearing about football players developing lifelong brain damage due to the heavy impact they receive on their heads while playing the game. So we find it relatively sad that it’s taken this long for engineers to come up with a better approach; it appears that in the Vicis 01 Football Helmet, they may have succeeded, and late is definitely better than never. The system works by combining two systems that work in tandem: the Lode Shell and the Core Layer.

Absorbs impact load by locally deforming, like a car bumper. Automotive safety engineers have used local deformation to protect people for decades. We’re the first to bring this proven innovation to football helmets.

Employs a highly-engineered columnar structure that moves omni-directionally to reduce linear and rotational forces. The columnar geometry used in our CORE Layer is based on principles first described by Leonhard Euler, a Swiss physicist in the 1700s.

The LODE Shell and CORE Layer work together to reduce impact forces, leveraging well established engineering principles and materials long-used in stringent aerospace and automotive applications. Tested to withstand multiple seasons of play, the VICIS ZERO1 delivers 21st century innovation built on bedrock scientific principles.

Additionally, each helmet is nearly custom fit to a player’s head, providing uniform protection rather than the current (limited) segmented size approach, due to its 12 possible size and geometry configurations. It looks like something the NFL sorely needs, but players will have to wait a little before they can try them on for size. There’s a waiting list, and we don’t know how much they cost.


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This Pan Uses Rocket Tech To Be More Efficient


‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ goes the saying. But sometimes things are more broken than we realize, and this much is true of conventional saucepans. When you’re heating stuff in a conventional pot, the heat partially transfers to the liquids through the bottom, but the rest is lost up the sides. Oxford engineering Professor Dr. Thomas Povey and his team of master’s students thought there should be a more efficient way to transfer this heat, and the Flare Pans using FIN-X Technology are the result of their efforts. The fins make for a more even distribution of heat and actually reduce the amount of energy needed to achieve temperature parity by 44%. This is clearly seen with thermal imaging equipment.

So while you may not impress your guests with your cooking skills, at least you can “entertain” them with your tales of efficient thermodynamics. The Flare line of cookware will be sold starting next month through retailer Lakeland, with prices starting at £49.99 ($85 roughly) for a frying pan. Efficiency, apparently, isn’t cheap.


[ Product Page ] VIA [ Telegraph ]

Unpickable Bike Lock Appears Overengineered, Is Actually Kind Of Cool


Securing your bike in public is usually done with a U-shape lock or a simple chain. But that’s not nearly secure enough in the eyes of some, so the Forever Lock was designed. It’s decidedly ingenious. The way it works is by hiding the keyhole out of reach, so that it can’t be accessed with traditional lock picking tools. You have to physically insert the specially-designed key inside of the mechanism, through a combination of actions that are hard to describe in words. It’s sort of like a Rubik’s cube, but much less complex. Watch the vid if we’re not making any sense.

They’re not officially available on the US market, but the guy who made this video is selling them for $140 a pop. That may seem like a lot of a lock, but you’ll understand once you see the vid that this is just about as secure a U-lock as you’ll ever see. Sure, it’s not going to stop someone with a blowtorch, but that’s a little conspicuous in public.

VIA [ ]

This Is How You’re Supposed To Hold Your Burger


Burgers, along with pizza, are quite probably the most versatile (and satisfying!) food items ever invented. But a burger can be challenging to eat if you’re doing it wrong. Tired of ending up with half the bottom bun contents being spilled while eating, producers at the Japanese TV show “Honma Dekka!? hired experts in fluid mechanics, engineering, and dentistry to determine the best way to hold a burger so that you don’t end up wearing most of it after one bite.” The results of their “research”? Well, hold your burger with three fingers on the top bun, and two on the bottom. Your thumb and pinky finger will serve to hold the bottom bun in place, while the top three fingers… prevent the top bun from flying away?

This editor prefers to up the ante and use three fingers on the bottom and two on top. This way the burger is carefully cradled and the toppings don’t even try to escape from the sides. One could even argue for a 4-1 configuration, but that may be living life too dangerously for some.

Alternatively, one can try the daring one-handed 3-2 hold, so as to free one hand for fry retrieval, but that too may require excessive amounts of coordination and dexterity.

[ Kotaku ] VIA [ ThatsNerdaLicious ]

The Confectionary Cannon Shoots Marshmallows Straight Into Your Mouth


Because what’s the point of going to engineering school if you can’t make a rig that shoots candy into your mouth, amirite? Well, a team of students at Olin College have created just that, and they called it the Confectionary Cannon. With a budget of $250, they took “four servos, a webcam, a solenoid and an Arduino Uno to make up the electrical system, which uses Python and OpenCV”, and created a device that’ll make anyone with a sweet tooth and a love of tech salivate just a little. Face recognition software looks for your mouth and the press of a button delivers the goods. Yeah, it doesn’t look like it has the most perfect accuracy in the world, but a little head movement on your part should be enough to bite down on the flying sugar.

No, it’s not available for purchase, but knowing that it can be made for that little money must mean some business minded person somewhere is working on it, right? Right?

[ Product Page ] VIA [ HackADay ]

Think That 12 Inch Subwoofer Is Badass? Try 6 Feet On For Size!

Let’s get the sad part out of the way from the start: you can’t buy this monstrosity. But it’s nice to know that in the spring of 2011, with a bit of elbow grease and a $600 budget, some engineering students from the University Of Wisconsin were able to create a subwoofer with a cone 6 feet in diameter. It was simply called The Giant Speaker. Seeing as this was done on a shoestring budget, the best materials for the job couldn’t be selected. The driver was made of fiberglass, instead of the preferable carbon fiber for instance. Still, the team used 24 Neodymium magnets to drive this giant cone with the voice coil driver being fabricated by hand with three layers of 18awg wire wound onto G10 form attached to a fiberglass disk for support. The giant speaker was then placed in an 8′ by 8′ by 2′ cabinet and set in motion by a “20kW PWM voltage sourced inverter (intended for motor drives and microgrids) which was powered by a 400V DC power supply. At low frequencies (~10 Hz) peak coil currents were 100A.” Turn out it was able to run at frequencies between 5Hz and 50Hz, after which the inertia just became too much for the system to handle. In tests, the group found out that the resonant frequency of the building they were in was 7Hz, which resulted in several complaints from the other tenants and lots of high-fives from the students. No word on whether they found the Brown Note.

[ Project Page ] VIA DamnGeeky ]

Video: How Accelerometers Know Up From Down

By David Ponce

The above video features Bill Hammack, The Engineer Guy, talking about one fascinating piece of circuitry that we’ve all pretty much started to take for granted: the accelerometer. It’s ubiquitous in our cellphones and mobile devices, and it’s what allows them to know up from down, and to detect even the most minute movement you make. But how do they work? How to they get the system to fit within a chip as big as a couple of grains of rice? Bill has the answer in the video, of course, and it makes for a fun viewing. At least for those geeks that are into understanding how everything around them works. Which we hope is most of you.

VIA [ GeeksAreSexy ]

DenGyo Rectenna Harvests Lost Microwaves

By David Ponce

Looks like people are still trying to harvest stray electromagnetic waves and convert these into usable energy. Some of you may remember the huge controversy we generated two years ago with news of RCA’s Airnergy, a device that claimed to make electricity from WiFi signals. Most of you agreed this was bunk as there was just not enough power in these signals. Ok. But what about microwaves? Japanese company DenGyo has announced the Microwave Regenerative Converter, which is what they call a “rectenna”. This stands for antenna and rectifier, smushed together, and not for anal antenna. The idea is that you’d place the device inside a microwave oven and any energy that doesn’t go directly towards heating up your food would be converted back into electricity through this device, up to 100W. Since the water content of your food determines the oven’s efficiency, the rectenna would be doing the most converting with old stale bread or some similar dry things.

If you follow the links, you’ll be treated to all manner of mathematical formulas. We can’t understand them, but we think this could work. Any engineers want to set us straight?

[ TechOn! ] VIA [ Reddit ]

JetMan Yves Rossy Does Aerobatics With Actual Fighter Jets

By David Ponce

Yves Rossy is the world’s only flying man. He attaches himself to a custom-built wing and 4 turbojets, and simply takes to the skies (dropping from a helicopter for now), tilting his body to control his flight path. He’s been making headlines for a while, especially when he first crossed the English channel with his wing, back in 2008. And now he can add another feather to his cap: he’s flown in formation with two L-39C Albatros planes from the Breitling Jet Team, flying at their minimum speed. You can see what it looked like in the video below.

A little on the wing itself. It has a wingspan of 2m and weighs 55kg (121lbs) fully fueled and with smoke solution, 30kg (66lbs) dry. It’s propelled by 4 Jet-Cat P200 turbojet engines, with 22 kilograms thrust each. It has an average speed of 200 km/h (120mph) and a top speed (in descent mode) of 300 km/h (180mph). Finally, the amount of fuel on board lets Yves fly autonomously for 10 minutes. After that, it’s parachute time.

VIA [ TechEBlog ]