Stanley Bostitch created the Hurriquake nail in 2006 to save homes from two great natural threats—high-winds and shaky ground. Redesigning this humble building component—and adding just 15 bucks dollars to the cost of a home—makes houses twice as likely to survive a hurricane and makes them 50 percent tougher against earthquakes. This innovation swept the Hurriquake to our innovation of the year award in 2006.But here's a side benefit: It also helps pre-fab homes weather the open road on the way to the building site. Todd Langston, the marketing director for Stanley Bostitch, told us that major manufacturers of modular homes such as Sturdy Built now use Hurriquake to reduce damage in shipping. That saves work for construction crews, who previously had to partly rebuild the components once they arrived: The jostling on the back of a truck was similar to what a house would experience in an earthquake.
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.