New tiny force sensors made out of paper cost just four cents apiece, possibly enabling cheap microelectromechanical devices in anything from consumer electronics to medicine.
Harvard professor George Whitesides developed the paper accelerometers using chromatography paper, tiny sliver and carbon contact pads, and vinyl stencils. The process is so cheap and easy that the sensors could be disposable.
No stranger to rough landings, NASA just engineered a crash of its own design to test a new crash countermeasure for helicopters. NASA dropped a donated Army MD-500 carrying four crash test dummies from 35 feet, to determine whether a new honeycomb cushion made of Kevlar strapped to the bottom of the copter could absorb the brunt of the impact. The result: a more or less intact MD-500, and the cool impact video below.
Despite the vehicles' armor, rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) can still take out Humvees and MRAP vehicles with ease. But a company wants to change that equation with airbags that neutralize incoming RPGs and prevent them from exploding.
The Netherlands looks to enact legislation mandating cyclist-protecting airbags on the outside of cars
By Matt Ransford
Posted 04.25.2008 at 11:59 am 3 Comments
Portland is arguably the furthest along of any American city as far as far as bicycle-friendly infrastructure goes (Seattle and Davis are close seconds). But none of them even approaches the level of cultural saturation prevalent in the Netherlands; the grand Mecca of cycle commuting. That is not to imply the American cities' efforts are futile, I mention the disparity only to convey the weight behind a statement this week from the Dutch Cycling Federation calling on the government to mandate the installation of air bags on cars. On the outside.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.