#2854: Shelmet

Today’s invention is a balaclava for motorcycle helmets.

This is a skin-tight, stretchy device which can be highly patterned and act as a wrap does on a sportscar, providing swappable colour schemes and protecting the shell from light damage.

In addition, an extended neck dam, of the same material, can be tucked into one’s jacket for better wind protection.

#2853: Vacuumotor

Today’s invention is a new way to provide a racecar with downforce in corners, but with zero increase in drag on the straights and minimal weight penalty.

The car has to slow, to some extent, on approach to a corner. It would achieve this by shutting down the normal four stroke cycle in a subset of cylinders.

Instead of ‘suck, squeeze, bang, blow’, pistons in these non-firing cylinders would periodically create intense low pressure regions when the valves are closed as the engine continues to rev.

The intake ports would then be connected via a valve/filter to the underside of the vehicle, sharply reducing pressure there, so that it is sucked down onto the road surface.

As the corner is exited, the normal four stroke process re-engages in all cylinders.

#2852: BankBarrier

Today’s invention consists of two measures to make bank vaults even more secure.

The first is to place the hinge (red) inside the vault and to pressurise the interior, as in an airliner plug door. This makes any kind of externally applied force much less powerful in terms of opening the vault.

The second is to insert thermal tiles (orange), of the type used on the space shuttle, in the interior of the door (blue).

These are capable of resisting attack by eg thermal lance and, protected by the hardened steel skin of the door, cannot easily be mechanically or thermally punctured.

Anyone who succeeds in burning a penetrative hole into the vault would cause a jet of high pressure air to escape and ignite external equipment (or robbers).

#2851: RaceRighter

Today’s invention is an addition to a conventional saloon car racing rollcage.

The two red members inside the roof would be made of larger diameter tubing and each contains an airbag charge and a length of extra tubing (green).

When a body angle detector senses that the vehicle is about to roll over, the bars are fired outwards on the falling side of the vehicle, through the windows, in order to stop it overturning.

#2850: Aerobooster

Some racing cars have aero features, such as a large inverted aerofoils, which can generate enormous (100s of kg) downforce, for eg acceleration and cornering.

Today’s invention is a wing which can use this downforce, when it’s not required for accelerations, to pressurise eg gas in a piston/cylinder.

This gas can then be used to supply extra pressure in eg oil supply, turbocharger or braking systems.

#2849: DivanDivide

Guesthouses have a problem with flexibility. Often they can’t supply separate beds for people who need them.

Today’s invention is a divider that bolts to a double bed to allow two unrelated people to share it…but without ever coming in contact with each other.

This could be made to any height and constructed of soundproof material.

The lower edge is bowed downwards to press down into the mattress so that no gap appears underneath, even if your bedfellow is heavy.

#2848: PetalProps

Three bladed propellers on planes are more efficient but are less effective than four bladers as altitude increases.

If you want to have a prop-driven aircraft which can deal with both these competing demands, then today’s invention should help.

On the left, a twin bladed propeller is shown. On the right, it has rotated (and locked) two blades from behind the initial two, so that it now has four.

The same kind of arrangement could be made to work with 3->6 etc.

This switch between propeller numbers could be made to happen in flight.

#2847: ShaMeter

“Smart” electric meters, if not properly secured, allow criminals to sit outside your house and detect, via the wifi, whether you are at home or not by monitoring electricity usage.

The same is true, to a lesser extent, for water meters.

Today’s invention is to make these devices truly smart by having them send signals which say ‘electricity is being used’ in ways that mimic the detailed usage patterns of a particular household. These could be labelled, so that the homeowner wasn’t billed for energy use which didn’t occur.

In cold countries, you might actually want to run many of the devices as normal in order to maintain their functionality when you are away.

#2846: Electrickery

I’ve been thinking about electric car conversions. They seem pretty complicated.

Here is a quick and dirty idea that I’ve suggested to my heroes at Garage 54

Throw away every part of a petrol engine apart from the crankshaft and the generator. Attach a big battery to the generator and run it backwards as a motor, driving the prop shaft(s).

We might need to duct some more air over the generator, maybe 😉

There you go. Will it work? Over to you Товарищи!

#2845: Trailever

Many of us were taught to operate the front brake on a motorcycle only in an emergency and only when not leaning and only using all four fingers.

This is hard to recall when you need to brake suddenly on a bend.

Today’s invention is a brake lever which is attached to a lean angle sensor.

When the bike is leaning, only a short length of brake lever is exposed (blue). As you straighten up, so all four fingers can grab the brake (green).

This also helps with trail braking, which is a skill I think is important.