In the late 1960's, the Canadian Navy asked Richard Sewell to develop a machine that could clean up harbor oil spills, which were serious fire hazard. Sewell thus invented the Oilevator, which used a canvas conveyor belt lined with terry cloth to absorb oil. While it appeared unsophisticated, the device could pick up 30 gallons of oil a minute, or 43,000 gallons a day.
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.