An underwater energy extractor that doesn't harm sea life
By Rena Marie PacellaPosted 05.20.2010 at 10:36 am 13 Comments
Today's featured Invention Award winner is the ECO-Auger, which accesses tidal energy without harming marine life.
W. Scott Anderson spent the past five decades creating complicated machines for manufacturing, including a lipstick labeler and a plastic-straw maker. So when two years ago the 77-year-old industrial engineer invented a fish-friendly underwater turbine that looks like a giant screw, it seemed a cruel twist of fate that every manufacturer he approached said it was too complex to produce economically. But that didn't stop him.
A rear-axle-drive system that makes snowmobiles go faster, brake quicker, and consume less gas
By Mark AndersPosted 05.19.2010 at 12:15 pm 3 Comments
Want to drag-race a snowmobile? Take today's featured Invention Award winner out for a spin.
Nobody would have expected the biggest innovation in modern snowmobiling to come from a self-taught engineer, a broken-down all-terrain vehicle, and a drag strip. No one except for those who know Shawn Watling. The 35-year-old Toronto millwright, who installs and services mammoth printing presses, is a former jock, a closet mathematician, an amateur chess champion, and a serial inventor with four patent-pending inventions to his name. He also has a lifelong addiction to snow and speed—he first rode on a snowmobile at nine months old and has been drag-racing snowmobiles and other vehicles for the past 15 years.
In the past three years, the thought of companies like Chevrolet and Nissan selling lithium-ion-powered cars has gone from laughable to old news. Late this year, the plug-in Chevy Volt and pure-electric Nissan Leaf arrive. Carmakers from Ford to Toyota will follow in 2011 and 2012 with new electrified models of their own. In the beginning, the electric-car revolution probably won't seem so revolutionary: a few thousand cars here and there.
This season's blockbusters prove that great science fiction and futuristic-tech-filled flicks don't need to rely solely on CG tricks—innovative props can still blow an audience's mind. Here are the best examples from this summer's lineup (we'll try not to spoil anything).
Today's cars may seem too sophisticated for tinkering, but the DIY auto movement is thriving, yielding designs and innovations too radical for mass production. Here are four awesome examples of modern garage-guy ingenuity.
Check out today's featured Invention Award winner, the KOR-fx, a device that makes you feel physically immersed in a videogame.
Shahriar S. Afshar has spent the past five years perfecting a device that pumps sound vibrations directly to your ribcage, intensifying videogame and movie experiences. But when we meet near his office, the 38-year-old first spends an hour talking physics. “The Higgs boson, the so-called God particle?” he says excitedly. “It does not exist!”
Electric cars haven’t killed the engine as we know it, yet. In fact, the century-old technology is getting stronger every year
By Lawrence UlrichPosted 05.06.2010 at 5:07 pm 30 Comments
With all the focus on hybrids and electric cars, you might assume that the internal combustion (IC) engine was headed for extinction. Yet more than 99 percent of the world's new cars still use one. That includes conventional hybrids, whose batteries and electric motors derive their energy entirely from gasoline. Even those automakers who are most bullish on alternative energy say that the IC engine will remain their primary propulsion system for decades.
And that's not necessarily bad news. Some IC powerplants achieve near-zero emissions of pollution-generating compounds (they will still emit carbon dioxide), while others can generate 600 horsepower more efficiently than ever. As governments begin regulating CO2 emissions, the latest trend sees automakers downsizing engines without losing the power and smoothness that drivers expect. Here, three intriguing approaches that will reach showrooms around the globe in the coming years.
Scanning your brain while you watch horror movies might hold the key to making them even more frightening. The findings could reshape the way scary movies—perhaps all movies—are filmed
By Steven KotlerPosted 05.06.2010 at 12:48 pm 0 Comments
There’s no popcorn sold in this movie theater. The screen is tiny, the seating awkward. In fact, I’m lying on my back inside a narrow tube, with maybe two inches of wiggle room on all sides. But more unnerving than my accommodations is the serial-killer flick projected on the screen a few inches above my face. There’s a woman tied to a chair in a dingy basement, struggling as a masked man sneaks up from behind and slowly stabs her to death. The scene is terrifying, but, according to the people who put me in this tube, perhaps not terrifying enough.
Advanced electric drive, autonomous navigation and other technological advances will revolutionize the way we drive. PopSci presents stunning visions for the future of the automobile
By Nick Kaloterakis and Bob Sauls (Illustrations); Research by Jon Alain GuzikPosted 04.29.2010 at 2:00 pm 8 Comments
In this month's Future of the Car issue, we've envisioned three ambitious concepts for vehicles of the future, based on insights and other concepts from some of the brightest automotive designers and engineers in the industry. You can see the others here.
"Modular mission" flexibility—the ability to rapidly revamp for a new task by simply swapping out gear—is already in the cards for future Navy warships. The same idea is at work in this all-purpose rescue vehicle, which is inspired by the Rescue X concept created for Ford by the German designer Robert Engelmann.