#2718: CarPool

Today’s invention is a new use for the GoPro waterproof housing.

Simply fill this with water and insert a small fish or some ‘sea monkeys’ before clipping it closed in the usual way.

This micro-aquarium can be attached to the dash of your car in the same way as some people use fluffy dice, nodding dogs or a small flower vase. You could even attach it to your motorcycle helmet -as a conversation piece at roadside cafes.

(Obviously you should release any small wildlife as quickly as possible after your journey).

#2715: TwoPoinTouchdown

It’s not unknown for aircraft to have their nosewheels fail to deploy when making an approach to land.

Today’s invention is a small rotor blade which can be made to emerge from the roof of a plane under these circumstances.

It would need to be powerful enough to just lessen the impact of the nose on the tarmac -setting the front down gently enough to avoid damaging the plane and the passengers.

#2703: NameGame

Today’s invention is an attempt to think up an amusing app.

People put their portrait photos online and then everyone else gets a chance to suggest what their name should be.

There’s endless scope for abusive entries, of course, but it would be easy to allow only names which can be found in a conventional name dictionary (so Satan or McHitler won’t make the cut).

People are interested in their personal branding and it might help some folk understand better how the world perceives them.

#2699: TunneLoco

This terrifying footage shows a baby carriage (empty) being dragged into the side of a freight train, just by the draught caused by the passing train.

Today’s invention, a mobile tunnel, is inspired by this.

A high speed, non stopping goods train has a small tractor unit at each end (pink at the front and green at the back). These are capable of very rapid acceleration and deceleration. The train carries a platform shield (red) on each side, which can move longitudinally along runners on the train’s side (only the right side shield is shown).

The sequence of events is:

a) Train approaches platform at very high speed, carrying the shield alongside.
b) Front, pink tractor streaks off ahead, but as it gets to the platform, it slows to a low speed. Pink tractor pulls the shield with it and feeds the shield slowly along the platform.
c) Shield is in place. train passes through station at very high speed.

The platform is shielded from the ultra fast train, so that no-one in the station is endangered.

d) Rear, green tractor detaches and moves slowly, holding the shield. The rest of train has sped away.
e) Green tractor moves shield along platform until it has been cleared. Green tractor, carrying the shield, then accelerates to catch the rest of the train.

#2689: Motorubber

Today’s invention is a supplementary form of drive and braking for a motor vehicle.

It consists of one or more autonomous vehicles operating inside the tyres.

These vehicles would be inductively powered, via the wheel hubs, and would have sprung rollers, above and below, to ensure good contact with both the wheel surface and the tyre inner surface.

These motors would talk to each other, as well as the suspension, to coordinate cornering and road holding. The tyre stiffness could be augmented, for example, by stiffening the springs of the in-tyre vehicle during a journey.

#2673: GrasSpare

Today’s invention is an emergency wheel for tractors or other farm vehicles.

A cylindrical hay bale is penetrated by a number of rods which attach to the hub and an external wheel hub as shown.

The hay is very tightly compressed and held in place by nylon netting, so it would be possible to get back home following a breakdown on some very distant field.

#2670: TunedCars

Today’s invention is to have several special recordings made of many pieces of music so that they sound optimal (to a panel of hi-fi snobs) in the hushed atmosphere of a limousine.

Ideally these variants could be created using a combination of expert listening, in-car recording and software processing. The recordings for a Bentley Continental would be very different to those for a Mercedes S class, so that the internal acoustics of each car, at different speeds, would be taken into account.

There would also be specific, choosable versions for different situations -perhaps one for each different motorway driven down regularly.

In addition, here might be a driver-only version, a four-passenger version or a sitting in the back with the driver screen up, recordings. All of these would come at a high price, of course.

#2566: RepeatDelete

Today’s invention is a bolt-on feature for YouTube comments (although this still looks like a great option to me).

When you start typing your witty, well informed remark, an automatic search is performed of the comments section for the three comments which best match what you are writing.

If your pearl of wisdom has essentially already been typed by someone else, then at least you are aware of that before persisting in sharing it with the waiting Interwebs. With any luck, this will limit the number of duplicated comments.

In a more draconian mood, I’d be inclined to use this search/comparison tool to simply delete any comments which were found to have been substantially repetition.

#2550: ShoutShield

Many sports now require participants to wear mouthguards.

This includes team sports such as rugby.

The problem is that it’s hard for eg a pack leader to give instructions during play, when his mouth is obstructed by a lump of silicone rubber. Calling the required line-out throw, for example, can easily be misheard.

Today’s invention therefore consists of a gumshield with a loudspeaker, a battery and a processor inserted.

By biting down on the shield n times, instruction n can be barked out, with perfect diction. There could easily be 20 or so such standard orders and more elaborate patterns, eg involving tongue position, could increase the repertoire.

Players might choose to use the simulated voice of Ironman or one of the Transformers. In International matches, the accent of your opposition could be used to confuse them.

#2545: ElevatorScraper

Imagine working or living in a skyscraper where the view was always changing.

Today’s invention is a tower building in which the floors themselves act as elevator cars.

The arrows indicate how the half-floor units move. The rate of movement might be one floor height per day, so that everyone gets a chance to occupy the penthouse occasionally. This would equalise the pricing for occupants (although it would be a costly building to construct and maintain).

In the event of an emergency requiring evacuation, each of the half-floor units could collapse vertically to say a 1m high crawlspace and the elevator mechanism would then bring all the floors to within jumping distance from the ground.

(Obviously there would need to be an elevator of the conventional kind, for daily use, but that is not shown).