For the better part of Frank Will’s life, he has been consumed with improving engine performance. He started racing motorcycles as a teenager in Germany in the 1970s, winning a world championship race in 1991, and later became an automotive engineer at Ford in Australia. When he left his job in 2008, he applied his passion to a new endeavor: Over7, a system that by redirecting and then heating an engine’s oil, cuts gas consumption by 7 percent and emissions by up to 30 percent.
No matter how intelligent a robot might be, it’s nice knowing you can pull its plug to halt the anti-human insurrection. Whoops, not anymore. A new cohort of ’bots that make energy by gobbling organic matter could be the beginning of truly autonomous machines.
There hasn't been such a scare over the future of green since Soylent Green. But a DARPA-funded robot that forages for biomass will only consume plant matter, as opposed to dead bodies or wayward pets, its creators assure us.
The makers of the Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot (EATR) have issued a statement saying that "this robot is strictly vegetarian," after news outlets ranging from Fox News to CNET pounced on the flesh-eating potential of the bot.
A DARPA-funded robot that refuels itself on wood, grass--even decaying biomatter--whatever it can consume has met its perfect match--a biomass engine system called the Cyclone which we featured last year in our annual Invention Awards. Cyclone has just completed trials of their engine that will eventually digest EATR's foraged meals into power, just like Mr. Fusion.
An easy-to-install, gas-powered wheel turns any ordinary bicycle into a moped
By Lauren AaronsonPosted 06.01.2006 at 2:00 am 0 Comments
Cycle your way out of traffic jams and high fuel costs-without breaking a sweat. Simply slide a canister of gasoline into your water-bottle holder, clip a throttle to your handlebars, and swap your front wheel for the Wheel, designed by Denver-based RevoPower (revopower.com). The Wheel's hub holds a 23cc, two-stroke internal combustion engine and a superthin gear train; less than three inches thick, it all fits between the prongs of your bike's front fork.
By Matthew PhenixPosted 06.22.2005 at 2:00 am 0 Comments
As a social lubricant, ethanol's place in American history is secure. As a motor-vehicle fuel, however, the ethanol story reads like a barstool tale of woe. Mistrusted and misunderstood, ethanol has time and again enjoyed surges of popularity, only to stumble and fall before hitting the big time.
By Suzanne Kantra KirschnerPosted 06.09.2005 at 5:00 pm 1 Comment
Car engines have been governed by computers for years, but Honda’s iGX440 (honda.com) is the first power-equipment engine with a microchip. The electronically regulated iGX440which will show up in lawn mowers, water pumps and pressure washers later this yearruns at a constant engine speed even under changing loads. Thick grass usually causes mower engines to slow, bogging down whomever's pushing the machine, but the iGX440 maintains speed, and thus power, by giving the engine more gas and manipulating ignition timing.
Saabâ€™s BioPower engine gives ethanol a kick in the pants
By Matthew PhenixPosted 06.06.2005 at 2:00 am 2 Comments
With all the buzz about hybrids, it´s easy to ignore our homegrown alternative fuel: ethanol. Clean-burning and infinitely renewable-we´re talking grain alcohol-ethanol is dear to environmentalists and economists alike. The standard 85/15-percent ethanol/gasoline blend (E85) is widely used in Sweden, but there are only 313 E85 fueling stations in the U.S.
American visionaries, cranks and con men have long sought the simple key to boosting the efficiency of the gasoline engine. Now a barefoot tinkerer in India believes he has unlocked the door. Is he for real?
By Charles GraeberPosted 09.23.2004 at 6:00 pm 4 Comments
India is booming. The expanding population has overwhelmed the Bangalore-Mysore road the way a river floods its banks, and the flow of two-way traffic is choked with a living history of human transportation. There are belching herds of diesel trucks, diesel buses and iron-framed diesel tractors. There are wooden-wheeled carts pulled by brightly painted Brahma bulls, and two-stroke-motor rickshaws fueled by kerosene or cooking oil or whatever else is flammable and cheap. There are mopeds and bipeds and bicycles and motorcycles, and every conceivable type of petrol-powered, internally combusting automobile, from doddering Ambassador cabs to gleaming 16-valve Mercedes miracles. But there's only one car like the one Somender Singh and I are riding in right now.