#2502: Endnui

In the latest scientific news I read that, when we are blinking, time seems to pass more quickly.

In fact, time passes two to four times as fast when the eyes are closed than during darkness while the eyes are open.

Today’s invention offers a way to speed up boring processes, such as staring at a screen whilst waiting for some software to download.

People tend to develop epileptic symptoms if they are subject to bright flashes of light, so the approach here would be to wear special glasses. These would detect when the wearer was watching something boring (either eg by understanding that a download was in progress or that call waiting music was being listened to).

Then, a small cannister of compressed air in the body of the glasses would begin puffing air at each eyeball randomly.

The blinks induced would appear to greatly speed events up, so that the perceptual process in which ‘a watched kettle never boils’ would be overcome.

#2500: ShaftStaff

Imagine a walking stick with a gyroscopic disc at the bottom end. As the user walks along, the stick stays reliably upright and thus allows them to lean on it without falling over.

The problem here is that spinning gyroscopic discs tend to be much too heavy for a walking stick user to lift (I’m ignoring attempts to raise a gyro by turning it around the body, which don’t help much here).

Today’s invention fixes this situation by exchanging a disk for a long shaft (red). This would be located, using several bearings, within an outer walking stick shape (black). The shaft would need to spin at enormous speed to have the same angular momentum as a heavy disk, but we are already building experimental machines capable of a million rpm.

A user would be able to walk about using this stick and when the rotation speed reduced, due to friction, they could expose the shaft end (like a ballpoint pen) and place the end into a shrouded spinner (pale blue).

These spinners would be located on the floor within a home, work or public environment and could be mains powered. Each spin-up might take a minute or two, after which the shaft would be withdrawn and walking could again be supported.

#2499: Exhaustreet

Some stretches of roadway are well known for forming dangerous ice in cold weather.

This applies particularly to bridges and overpasses where the wind chill locally lowers the road surface temperature over the course of a few hours.

Today’s invention is a suggestion about how this may be alleviated.

Imagine if cars were fitted with exhaust pipes which could be blocked at the outlet, so that the hot exhaust gas could escape downwards instead. This would occur via a secondary pipe that could rotate from inside the car body so as to be close to the road surface, as shown.

This rotation could be triggered wirelessly by sensors in the section of road when the air temperature was beginning to fall. The movement of many vehicles would thus maintain the road temperature locally and avoid ice formation.

This has the added benefit that cars need not be as damaged by large amounts of grit and salt.

Guest post -Rob Tillaart

Rob Tillaart, a good friend of IOTD over the years, recently sent me some of his ideas for inclusion here:

Saw this one -and got the following ideas:

1) connecting air craft carriers

suppose you have 2 air craft carriers, and you would “connect” them back to back, the landing strip would become twice as long.
So instead of making one big ACC it might be cheaper to create multiple that can connect.
The connection itself should be removable in seconds in case of emergencies.

2) drones capture a plane
imagine several small but strong drones connecting electromagnetically to an airplane (esp in trouble)
plane stops engines and drones fly him home. Drones can be reused and do not need to
have a long range.

After a few days I like the connected aircraft carrier better and better. If hit in battle, big chance one only need to replace 50% to be on full strength again. It could decrease “operational” costs in the end. Of course the principle can be used for other large vessels too.

3) Disaster relief

Hospital vessels that can be “small first aid” of just “bed” boats that connect and grow and eventually include special facilities when needed. These could customize aid on demand e.g. for earthquake areas.

A small number of small “strip-ships” can construct an airstrip on demand, as the first boats arrive an emergency strip is available with minimal facilities and as more strip-ships arrive a “larger” airport can be created. In fact a whole city …

After the emergency period the floating facilities can be scaled down gradually.

4) Submarines
Submarines could start as head-tail only and extend in the middle with segments (Lets call them sub-sets 🙂 Instead of connecting modules in a shipyard, why not connect them under water. No law in nature forbids it…

5) Containerships
Imagine an large containership that can split up in a number of smaller ships. These smaller ships can enter smaller harbours far more easily (or even at all). Also a large containership could split up before going through the suez or panama canal.

My thanks to Rob for his continuing interest and creativity. If you’d like to write a guest post or contribute to IOTD in any way, do please get in touch via the Hire Me link, above.

#2498: Adrenalink

I’m no fan of adrenaline. I like to feel in control and develop skills.

Nonetheless, today’s invention is for people who like to live on the edge.

Imagine a roller coaster which has, at its simplest, sections which are on rails and which can slide between locations. In the image, the pale blue section can slide between the fixed green and red sections of track.

This would provide ride customers (in the black carriage) with the belief that they were speeding towards a gap. Just as they get there, B moves quickly to join A -and the ride occupants are then speeding towards another gap.

The motion of the blue section, whilst carrying the carriage, could be made fast and erratic, so that riders would find it hard to predict whether they would smoothly join up with the red section.

These breaks in the track could be mirrored by sudden disconnections between sections of the cars themselves, so that some would unexpectedly be left on a retreating section of track, whilst other cars proceeded as normal.

Every time someone goes on this ride, their experience could thus be made very different.