#1537: SharkParka

People who wear hooded coats often have difficulty in looking left and right when crossing the street. It’s possible to turn one’s head inside the hood and then step off the kerb into the path of an oncoming vehicle.

Today’s invention is to equip hoods with transparent side sections as shown. This enables the wearer to see clearly through the hood using more of their peripheral vision -and thus detecting cars more easily.

To make this more acceptable to young males, a set of shark’s teeth, or other appropriate decoration, could be applied.

#1536: Umbrellavelope

Today’s invention is a modification to the envelope.

I’ve noticed that, when carrying one of these to the postbox in the rain, by the time I get there, the address is often smudged and indecipherable.

Instead, I propose an envelope with a closing flap which is longer than usual. When it is full, the flap can be bent over and sealed along a gummed strip (white), as usual. This then lies over the address, protecting it during its rainy transit.

At the postbox, the extra length of flap is ripped off using the serration indicated, exposing the address (and maintaining the sealed flap in place).

#1535: TrailText

Today’s invention is a way for aircraft to communicate with the ground if their radios are jammed or otherwise interfered with.

Pipework would lead from the aircraft’s waste water system to each wingtip.

In a radio breakdown situation, an Air Marshall, for example could send a text to a receiver on the plane which would translate this into morse code.

The code would be interpreted by the waste water pump and generate bursts of fluid from each wingtip.

These might alternate, thus forming a pattern of water vapour tracks in the sky which could be read from the ground without eg a hijacker becoming aware of the communication (…LLRRRLLLLRLRLL…)

#1534: CrateChain

I’ve been so impressed by this whole cubelets idea for modular robotics.

Today’s invention is a response to their requirement for some novel, sustainable packaging.

Your new cubelets are delivered in an outer cardboard box (shown in grey but it could be suitably coloured/ branded). For simplicity, there is only one size of outer box -big enough to hold 20 cubelets -plus 20 empty cubelet-sized inner boxes (postage charges tend to be based on mass, not volume).

If you ordered some smaller number of robot cubes, n, the outer will also contain 40-n inner boxes. These act as padding to protect the bots from impact and they are also just big enough to store individual bots on one’s shelf at home.

When the outer is emptied, it can be folded and secured as a flat package by a tang which slides into a slot. If you have spare inners, these too can be folded flat and placed in the folded outer. Before returning to the factory to be reused, the box holder can identify themselves via a label on the outside (or even inside) of the box, thus encouraging subsequent customers not to ‘break the chain’ of goodwill and send their empty box back home.

#1533: WirelessWitness

Apparently there are 30,000 false motor insurance claims per annum in the UK in which criminals fake accidents to make bogus claims.

Today’s invention helps to lessen the problem (many ordinary drivers are subject to 25% premium increases, although that’s partly due to the usual finance and legal sectors’ greed).

When you buy a car and come to insure it, to minimise premiums you install a camera unit, sealed in a tamperproof, fireproof strongbox. This is locked to the vehicle interior and, using a set of mirrors, images events on all sides of the vehicle.

Any impact to the vehicle will be recorded, using a car alarm trembler switch, and several earlier minutes of footage radioed back to a central computer, so that suspicious circumstances can be detected (such as bad acting or wielding a sledgehammer).

#1532: FacePlate

I’ve seen a number of articles about how dangerous sports like baseball are -especially for youngsters. Apparently batters get hit on the body and head frequently.

Obviously, helmets and body armour are a good idea, but they are restrictive when you are trying to perfect technique -so today’s invention offers an additional/alternative layer of safety for trainee players.

There are some very high-accuracy ball tracking systems around.

I suggest using one of these eg at a training school to detect ball motion toward the helmet of a batter (or batsman).

If a potential collision were detected, it would be reasonably straightforward to fire a spring-loaded plate up off the ground to shield the player from the impact.

#1531: ConvoluteSuit

Today’s invention is a safety device for firefighters.

This takes the form of a fireproof suit with a wrinkled surface – a little like that of the cerebrum. Essential tools and other items could be held on by straps to the outside, as usual, but the wrinkles would tend to trap air pockets without collapsing under load and provide better insulation for eg shoulders when in contact with flames.

The suit would be equipped with a canister of nitrogen.

When the interior temperature was approaching a dangerous level, a valve on the canister would release, causing the suit to inflate a little and distancing it from the surface of the body.

The inflation could take place over a few seconds and the suit’s surface wrinkles would still allow freedom of movement, whilst an escape was effected.

#1530: Pegaway

Today’s invention is a modified Segway.

The usual vertical-axis gyroscope would maintain an upright orientation but instead of employing an electric motor to drive the machine, the user would use pedals attached to the insides of the wheels.

This provides the compactness of a unicycle with the stability of the Segway and the exercise benefits of a bike.

#1529: Tyredge

Car tyres are made fat so as to provide grip…but that also entails a big downside: rolling resistance.

Today’s invention enables road-going vehicles to minimise their rolling resistance and thus save significantly on fuel.

Each of the wheels would have a tyre fitted with a super-resilient inner edge (this ring might even be replaceable, separately from the main tyre itself).

When travelling at a uniform speed, the wheel would rotate inwards at the top slightly so that only the inner edge was in contact with the road: a) (and possibly also disconnecting the drive to that wheel).

When any acceleration, deceleration or cornering was required, the wheel would take up a vertical position, providing the required grip: b).

#1528: PumpJump

Concorde was one of the first planes to be able to automatically shift fuel around the plane to maintain stability in flight.

Today’s invention is a fuel transport system for fighter planes which has the opposite intention.

When under attack, fuel could be rapidly pumped from one wing to another. This would enable eg incendiary bullets to pass through without causing a fire, but also it would create sharp, lateral jinking motions in flight -to help avoid being hit by a pursuing missile.