Today in grandiose space ambitions that would make even Newt Gingrich balk: a $60 billion, 1,000-mile long, 12-mile high, 20,000-miles-per-hour maglev train that starts on the ground and arrives in low Earth orbit. The minds behind the Startram project think it could reduce the cost per kilo (that’s like 2.2 pounds American) for cargo from roughly $10,000 to just $50.
On the morning of October 25, 1999, captain Michael Kling and his first officer, Stephanie Bellegarrigue, piloted a Learjet Model 35 out of Orlando and set a heading for Dallas, where their passengers—the professional golfer Payne Stewart, Stewart’s agents Robert Fraley and Van Ardan, and golf-course architect Bruce Borland—were planning to build a new course. The Learjet, a plane often used for such trips, was a marvel of engineering: It could climb 4,340 feet in a minute and cruise at up to 530 mph. In 1976 a similar Lear, the Model 36, set a round-the-world speed record.
Researchers in Japan are trying to get a new kind of high speed train technology off the ground, and to prove they’re serious they’ve built a ground-effect robot that floats on a cushion of air. If their demo project works satisfactorily, it could set in motion a plan to build commuter trains that essentially fly inches from the ground, cutting friction and increasing overall efficiency.
It may have been an unglamorous 15 hours from JFK to Shanghai in coach, but once on the ground, my transportation prospects improved significantly: I floated into the city levitating on a magnetic field at 160 mph.
Slot machine junkies and poker sharks could soon ride one of three futuristic high speed trains from Los Angeles to casino mecca Las Vegas. But that's assuming developers get on board with a tubular rail, a maglev transporter for cars, or an air-cushioned train.
Ranging from the simple, like publicly available electric bikes and moving sidewalks, to the more futuristic, like a personal helicopter backpack and personal maglev car/pods, a new vision breaks down the future of public transportation. In the latest issue of European Union Infrastructure Magazine, it features the pros, cons and feasibility of implementing the world's most advanced public transportation system.
By Gregory MonePosted 03.05.2008 at 11:27 am 0 Comments
Manipulating virtual objects on a computer screen is no big deal—we all do it daily. But haptic, or touch-based, interfaces add another dimension to that experience, relaying a sense of touch to the user. Now Carnegie Mellon researcher Ralph Hollis and his team have produced a set of advanced, magnetic-levitation-based haptic interfaces that they say produce the most realistic sense of touch of any device of its kind in the world.