Spring-loaded skates that give hockey players a boost
By Bjorn CareyPosted 06.07.2012 at 11:00 am 0 Comments
David Blois manages condominium properties near Toronto, but at any given time he's usually also working on several inventions—a solar-powered smoke detector, say, or an age-spot-erasing skin cream. In 1998 he was ice skating at his local rink when an idea popped into his head: a hockey skate that used springs to harness a skater's kinetic energy. "It's really hard to invent something new," Blois says. "As I researched patents, I got more excited. No one had ever tried this before."
When Kelly Anderson shed her arm cast two months after a wrist operation, her joints were so stiff she couldn't turn a doorknob. She didn't fully recover for another four months. Daniel Amante suffered similar post-cast complications after he injured his knee; Amanda Harton watched her soccer teammates struggle following various injuries; and Clara Tran saw even greater suffering among the frail patients in the nursing home where she volunteered.
For some people, making soup is the height of tedium. Now, a Japanese dentist has created the easy chair of kitchen equipment: a specially sculpted pot that stirs itself.
Hideki Watanabe came up with the Kuru-Kuru Nabe (Round and Round Pot) while experimenting with dental plaster at his office.
LiquiGlide, developed by a team at MIT's Varanasi Research Group, is a surface coating that liberates the notoriously non-Newtonian fluid ketchup from its glass- or plastic-walled prison. The research came in second in MIT's $100K Entrepreneurship Challenge, and is almost certainly destined for a bottle near you. Watch its graceful performance below in a video from Fast Co.Exist.
Don't wire a circuit—doodle it. To connect batteries to devices such as resistors and LEDs, a newly developed ballpoint pen uses silver-based ink that conducts electricity through lines drawn over paper, wood, plastic and even some textiles. Jennifer Lewis, the materials scientist who led the pen's design at the University of Illinois, says she is now looking for business partners and hopes to have products that integrate the pen and ink on the market within a few months. Check out video of the ink below!
This is extremely impressive. It can multiply, divide, trigonometrize, figure roots, graph quadratic functions, and everything else you always need to do when you're playing a video game. All the calculations are done by blocks.
This Toshiba scanner, just demonstrated in Japan, knows what vegetables look like -- just hold up your daikon or mizuna to the camera at the cash register, and it tots up the item. No need for stickers on your food, no need to consult a human, no need to even know what kind of onions you're buying. This is the future.
Do you have an invention you KNOW will someday change the world? Have you been toiling for years in your basement, building prototype after prototype to PROVE that your idea works? If so, tell us about it! Enter the sixth annual PopSci Invention Awards. We're looking for game-changing products that come from the passionate drive of independent inventors (rather than those born in the R&D labs of universities and corporations).
If you've seen his vacuum commercials, you know James Dyson loves nothing more than solving a deceptively simple engineering problem. Oh, how it delights him. But when his company introduced its nifty but ultimately confounding Air Multiplier fan last year, it solved a problem suffered by no one: the "uncomfortable buffeting" of air flowing from a common, bladed desktop fan. The engineering involved in shooting air forcefully and smoothly from the Multiplier's eye-catching ring was impressive, but its reason for being fell flat.
As it turns out, all it takes to turn a good-looking but ultimately strange product into something legitimately, usefully innovative is the addition of hot air. The Dyson Hot—essentially an Air Multiplier fan with a heating element—is proof.