#2677: FuelFlow

You just can’t run a petrol station with a shop (and even a coffee shop) without providing people enough room to park (Shell UK, I’m looking at you).

What often happens, and drives me crazy, is that folk who don’t think clearly leave their vehicles by the pump and disappear into the shop for several cups of coffee and maybe a bit of cake oh and…Meanwhile, I’m parked behind -waiting for them to move out of the way.

Petrol stations already have automatic number plate recognition and ‘loyalty’ schemes.

Today’s invention is to fit a couple of ground cables to each pump, so that your duration there is recorded.

If you are arriving and leaving within a sensible timescale, the petrol company will credit your loyalty points account with a bonus. This will speed the flow of people through the station, without raising any issues to do with rushing.

(Personally, if people decide to eat their sandwiches, whilst sitting at the pumps, I’d be inclined to impound their car).

#2674: ViewVehicle

Today’s invention is a car designed with tourism in mind.

It has a bank of rear seats which can be driven upward through a giant hatch in the roof, so that occupants can see more of their surroundings and take photos unimpeded by glass windows.

The seat height would be variable and rising out of the cabin would only be allowed when the vehicle was travelling below a certain speed. Sensors would detect eg low bridges.

In the autonomous vehicle future, this will provide occupants with a new way to pass the time on boring journeys.

Adventurous users could select a maximum height of say 4m and drive through safari parks.

#2672: HeatDump

One of the biggest costs in running a ground heat pump is in drilling the required hole to insert the heat exchange pipework.

Landfill fire is a problem because it can result in dangerous fumes and groundwater contamination.

Today’s invention seeks to deal with both these issues. It is in the form of several ground heat pumps located at the tops of towers on land designated for landfill.

As the landfill material rises over time, bacterial action can create enormous amounts of heat. This would be extracted for use elsewhere by the heatpumps -without any digging costs.

The process would also reduce the subsurface temperature, so that fires would be much less likely to break out.

#2565: PolePulls

When taking down one’s tent, it’s a pain not to be able to pull the poles out (because they separate and get lost or jammed in the fabric).

Today’s invention is to provide each section of tent pole with a very simple lock and key (outlined in green).

The lock would be made by just sawing halfway through the metal end of a pole junction and breaking one end of the material out (left end). This key would need an L-shaped slot cut in the corresponding end of the next section (right end), so that it was always kept away from protruding through any fabric.

This simple bayonet-fit would allow the poles to be joined before putting the tent up and then happily pulled out of the fabric retainers when taking the tent down.

#2562: BrandBrakes

Today’s invention is a way to augment the advertising plastered all over racing cars (especially closed-wheel cars such as in the WEC series).

Each wheel well would be covered-in -for sensible aerodynamic reasons. In this cover would be letters cut out, spelling the name of a sponsor.

As the cars drive around their brake discs glow very brightly.

These would illuminate the sponsor names: especially during 24-hour races.

#2561: Bikerisers

Some motorcyclists can’t ride their bikes safely because their legs are not long enough to have their feet planted on the ground when necessary (even with the seat lowered).

There are lots of boots with thick insoles which help address the problem, but these change the relationship between the foot and the bike controls.

Today’s invention is a set of clip-on external platforms (red) for bike boots.

Each of these allows the controls ((brake on the right (left image) and gearchange on the left (both yellow)) and the pegs (blue) to be dealt with entirely as normal.

The platforms allow a motorcyclist to stand with their feet flat on the road surface and to walk about normally when away from their machine.

#2559: DualFuel

Today’s invention is a secure way to carry more fuel on your motorcycle than can be accommodated in the normal tank.

An inverted U shaped tank is firmly secured to the filler cap ring of the original tank (light grey) using the red bolts indicated.

This secondary tank itself has a filler cap (green) which, when opened, allows the petrol pump nozzle (pink) to fill either the original tank, the additional one or both, to whatever levels are chosen.

This arrangement also allows fuel to be stored lower on the machine, thus making it more stable when ridden.

(How cool would it be to be able to have a secondary tank which fitted one’s own upper body: thus supporting some weight and also lessening aerodynamic drag?)

#2557: TangyTangs

Today’s invention offers a way to ensure that one’s next bite is filled with delicious sauce, rather than just daubed with it.

A fork with hollow tangs has a syringe built into its handle.

This allows the fork user to pump sauce into his next bite.

The device might have a number of syringes, each with a different flavoured liquid/paste inside.

This also allows the amount of sauce used to be monitored and to be kept secret from other diners.

#2555: Rubberubbed

Motorcyclists spend too long thinking about their image, sometimes at the expense of their safety.

One example is that bikers with unused portions of their tyre wall feel bad that they don’t corner hard enough to wear down these ‘Chicken Strips’.

Today’s invention eradicates the dangerous temptation to lean too far into corners. It is in the form of a device at the tyre factory. This would undertake a final process in manufacture, during which the available tyre surface would be lightly abraded and re-textured so as to make it all look a little used.

This would be easy for the factory to do in a highly controlled way, slightly reducing tyre life but correspondingly extending rider life.

#2554: Twoupstop

Today’s invention aims to increase the efficiency of (double decker) bus operations.

Bus shelters would be made double deckered so that people could board via a door on the upper or the lower deck of the bus.

This would result in faster loading and unloading at stops, as well as allowing more seats -due to the removal of the internal staircase from the vehicle.