#2822: Manufactruck

I read today about how Seville oranges are useful for making marmalade. The shabby and amateur UK Govt’s brexit process has caused such delays that it may now be impossible to transport them in time.

So today’s invention is to mimic factory ships.

Just as these begin processing food in transit, we could have a fleet of large trucks, which when driving and parking for ages at some port, could be handling the various stages of food processing so that perishable goods would not be wasted.

Each truck could undertake a separate process for a given factory…eg chopping food up, boiling, pickling, jam making, refrigeration -whatever. They could drive in a convoy in order to help with the sterile transfer from one vehicle to another by air-to-air refuelling technology.

#2821: BlowPipe

Today’s invention is a new form of non-lethal baton round (or rubber bullet).

Rounds are each supplied in a cannister with a near vacuum ahead of the bullet. The weapon makes a hole in the rear face of the cannister, so that air rushes in and propels the projectile towards the front of the cannister, piercing it on exit towards the target.

My calculations show that even if some energy is lost in breaking out of the cannister and due to subsequent air friction, a standard sized baton round, fired from a 1m long gun, can deliver bullet energy of about 100J.

This is about 1/3 of the energy of a standard round (making it much safer) but requiring no chemical propellant.

In order to ensure that the energy from the air pressure is not all wasted in breaking the cannister open, I can imagine a way to make it super resistant to external pressure, whilst easily broken from inside.

#2820: TurnTurret

Today’s invention is a mobile fort.

In the middle is a green tank. This carries an outer, almost-circular wall, with a hollow interior and a chisel-pointed scoop at one point (red).

At a chosen location, the tank spins (anti-clockwise) around its vertical axis. This causes the chisel to scoop up a shallow trench of earth into the wall. Repeated circling part-fills the wall and embeds it into the ground. Further filling of the wall, manually or by bulldozer, would reinforce this barrier.

Thus a circular wall is created which can accommodate the tank as a gun emplacement. A wider gap in the wall would allow the tank to withdraw and the fort could be filled with field guns or troops.

A version of this might use the rotation of the tank’s turret only.

#2819: PillowPile

It’s painful to watch remote controlled aircraft when they make a bad landing.

It might be pilot nerves or just a sudden gust of wind, but these planes are costly to repair and it can also be dangerous for spectators if they crash onto a runway and bounce randomly.

Today’s invention is a new kind of landing strip for RC pilots who realise they are in trouble or for novices who just want a softer landing.

It takes the form of a large roll of ‘carpet’, placed on the tarmac landing surface (it might also enable landings to safely occur on eg stone covered strips, otherwise unsuitable for model planes).

The carpet would have a pile more like very long, springy grass, so that planes could collide with it and safely come to rest without sudden deceleration.

(I wonder if this might also work as a new form of F1 sand trap, slowing race cars and limiting the danger to drivers if they invert at great speed. It would also prove useful to drone pilots making movies where the ground is unforgiving)

#2818: Detourail

Trains use a system of points to move between tracks.

The points are usually fixed at a particular location.

Today’s invention is a set of mobile points which can be moved along a pair of parallel, standard spaced tracks, in order to allow trains to switch direction much more flexibly (so that a change of tracks or direction can be made at short notice, eg in response to an emergency).

This consists of pair of curved rails with a bogie at either end, at least one of which would be powered by a remote controlled electric motor.

#2817: Irreversibilitext

Many writers have discovered that the use of pen and paper, or even a typewriter, is somehow superior to a word processor.

Whilst the latter is super convenient and allows easy redrafting, maybe this actually presents a problem.

Writing some things in pen removes the ability easily to delete and refresh them…There is something about the irreversibility of ink that requires a commitment from the writer and so the limited opportunity for editing results in higher quality communication.

Today’s invention is therefore a wordpress plug-in or word processing programme that disallows any deletion of text.

#2816: Replinthing

Today’s invention is inspired by this digital artist.

If there is a statue in your town depicting someone who is now deemed politically incorrect, simply
a) perform a laser scan of the statue
b) use that to design a thin shell which might be clipped together over the offending statue.

This shell, which could be pre-weathered to have a patina of age, could portray someone who is a more modern hero, until they too become unacceptable, for some reason.

#2815: Posytioner

Today’s invention is a grid (shown in red) which can be moulded into the base of a vase or as a transparent plastic insert.

This allows long-stemmed flowers to be much more easily located, so that they stay put in attractive arrangements.

Without this device, the stems tend to slide to the outer edge of the base, which results in a central gap among the flower heads.

#2814: DisbeliefSuspension

There is an increasing overlap between eg Formula E drivers and online game racers.

Today’s invention aims to intensify that blurring for the benefit of both sports.

If you have a car that you like to drive on the street, just imagine being able to race it in a virtual world against drivers from everywhere.

So today’s invention takes the form of four pneumatic pads, something like the devices used as inflatable jackstands.

These would be rapidly inflated and deflated, beneath your vehicle and controlled by computer, in order to simulate the effects of racing dynamics on your car…braking, turning etc.

In addition, there would be a large screen placed outside your windscreen, showing the racetrack and other vehicles. The dynamics would be driven by the game software.

In this way, someone could sit in their own (parked) car and feel as if they were actually on-track against other competitors.

You could arrange for simulated performance upgrades to your vehicle as well as a suitably stirring soundtrack to be played through the window.

#2813: Identifired

I noticed that, during the recent attempted putsch in Washington, various officers of the law had coloured tape attached to their handguns.

This was probably to help officers discriminate friend from foe (an amazingly small number of people were hurt, so maybe it worked).

Today’s invention is related to this and makes each gun firable by only one identified person.

A small camera unit sits on the rear of the weapon. This has a bar which extends between hammer and firing pin.

The camera takes both an image forwards and backwards when the trigger is lightly pressed. If the rearwards image matches the designated user of the gun, then the bar withdraws and the weapon can be fired. An image is taken too of the person being fired at, for evidence.

This system could be improved by having officers receive a pattern of eg UV dyespots applied to their face before a shift and having the camera grab a face image at the same time.

This has the additional benefit of ruling out the possibility of firing without aiming.