#2785: Kettlettes

Today’s invention is a new kettle design. Instead of one big bucket of water, it’s made up of several smaller, cup-sized kettles.

Only those kettles with water in will get heated, so that a user can easily choose how many cupfuls they need in advance and limit energy wastage.

This arrangement has the added advantage that you never need to be lifting a large volume of hot water…which is bad for muscle strains as well as the danger associated with scalds.

#2784: Gradation

Today’s invention is a climbing practice wall which has a programmable set of hand and footholds.

Each hold is a step which can slide inwards, to leave no protrusion, or outwards to make climbing easy.

The steps would be driven perhaps hydraulically from a central control board, making for a huge range of different routes and levels of difficulty on a single surface.

#2783: EjecTub

When fighter jet pilots eject, they usually have to do so by firing a detonation cord in the canopy that blows a hole in it -milliseconds before the ejector seat blasts them clear of the aircraft.

Today’s invention is a modification of this scheme. When flying over water, the canopy, which would be specially reinforced, is jettisoned in one piece and attached to the pilot’s seat by a long cable.

When the pilot splashes down, he or she now has a small, transparent life raft to get aboard.

It might even be possible to have this incorporate a small motor and propellor.

#2782: CAPillary

We are realising now that many sports, such as Rugby, Soccer and American Football, entail brain damage by repeated, low-level impacts.

Today’s invention takes the form of leather headgear, like a sparring helmet, which contains a number of packets of dyed fluid, distributed over the interior surface (something like paintballs).

These would be designed so as to burst when subject to either a fixed peak force or to leak after a known number of such impacts.

The fluid could be some bright (but not red) colour in order to be easily seen and not confused with actual bleeding.

This would allow players who had been hit to be withdrawn from play. If causing someone’s helmet to bleed resulted in a penalty against your team, it might also provide a way to encourage players not to target the heads of opponents.

#2781: SilentSurface

When a submarine surfaces through a couple of metres of ice, the cracking noise is significant and can certainly be heard by other people’s navies, using distant microphones.

It also risks tearing off external components such as hydroplanes and periscopes.

Today’s invention is for the submarine to extend a heat exchanger, connected using insulated pipes, to its engine towards the undersurface of the ice.

This allows for quiet and quite rapid melting, before the sub extents its periscope, checks the territory and comes to the surface through a pool of slush.

#2780: Parseal

At this time of year, parcel delivery companies use millions of metres of tape to seal up boxes.

Sometimes their choice of box size is suboptimal, but today’s invention is more concerned about the overuse of tape. This also makes more difficult the task of recycling the cardboard boxes themselves.

Instead of applying tape to every cm of box seam, boxes would be made with just a little extra material, to allow for the formation of a tang and slot(s) combination, every few centimetres.

These could be made so that a machine could engage the tangs with the slots firmly.

#2799: SwarfSentry

When you change the oil in your vehicle, it’s common to use a magnetic sump plug that collects ferrous particles.

Today’s invention extends that idea by embedding a sensitive magnetic flux sensor within the plug.

This Hall Effect device (of the same type as is used eg to sense wheel speed) detects changes in the amount of iron-based debris sitting on top of the plug and can thus be used to provide, say, a weekly insight into the wear that’s taken place within one’s engine (after track days, for example).

#2798: Chaserounds

Armoured vehicles can be made quite resistant to attack by eg shells, using clever, multi-layer armour.

Today’s invention seeks to lessen that resistance.

Imagine firing two shots in very quick succession. The penetration power would be much greater, since both impacts would occur at the same spot.

It’s hard, however, to have even an autoloading tank gun reload and fire quickly enough to achieve such a ‘double tap’ with heavy ammunition.

Instead then, fire shells which have a heat retaining rear end (or flare) to act as tracers.

Normal, relatively cheap, heat-seeking rockets carried by ground troops can be automatically triggered and fired within a second of the tank’s shot, so that the missiles follow and catch up with the shell.

This results in several items of ordnance arriving at the target almost simultaneously.

#2797: Nuclearoof

I understand that many people of Germany live in fear that there will be another Chernobyl nuclear disaster, perhaps even one within the EU.

Today’s invention is a rapid response mechanism to ensure that radioactive particles given off by a plant on fire don’t rise into the atmosphere and spread beyond the immediate area.

A shell made of steel and concrete is made in two nesting half-hemispheres (black and blue). This structure would be built around every existing nuclear plant (red), without being particularly costly.

The outer half-hemisphere (blue) would be free to rotate, so that the two overlapping half-hemispheres could become a sealed hemisphere. This would be dragged into place (once the plant was evacuated) by a small, autonomous locomotive (green).

In the event of an explosion, this would contain any escaping dust or gas long enough for a sarcophagus to be created from concrete pumped into the sphere by robots.

#2796: Odourescue

Humans have a stereo sense of smell that subconsciously guides navigation. Who knew?

Today’s invention attempts to make use of this fact for explorers, soldiers or anyone navigating an unknown environment without a map.

If the explorer needed to find water or fruit or the sea or human habitation, in an emergency, they would don a pair of goggles containing two pipes: one running to each nostril from each side of the goggles.

This would provide enhanced stereo smell capability (just as artillery range finders do for stereo vision).

They would then calmly feel which direction to take and this would improve their chances of reaching safety significantly.