#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This would allow players who had been hit to be withdrawn from play.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.

#2795: JumpHop

When parachute jumping, I was instructed to keep the ankles pressed together and bend the knees slightly.

Easier said than done.

Many parachutists, especially in the armed forces, do damage to their legs on impact with the ground.

Today’s invention aims to lessen that effect. Parachutists would hop to the door of their aircraft in a single, tightly-fitted overboot which would encase both feet and have quick release clasps…like ski bindings.

This would help to spread the force of impact, as would the sole, a slab of springy material, such as motorcyclists use in back protectors.

#2793: DropShadow

Sports cars look better on the road when they have been ‘lowered’.

This makes them scrape their undersides, however, on the smallest of ramps and bumps.

Today’s invention is to apply a fin of black, brush material to the underside of a sportscar, running down the centre from front to back.

This creates the illusion (as in the bottom image) that the car has a lowered suspension, by blocking light from the far side, but without the danger of damage which that entails.

#2789: WasPitot

In some places, wasps are making nests in the pitot tubes of aircraft.

Not knowing one’s airspeed is a dangerous condition to be in, so today’s invention offers a solution.

Normally an aircaft pitot tube measures airspeed indirectly by the movement of a small diaphragm (red). In order to periodically clean out any nascent wasps’ nests, a small bottle of compressed air (orange) would be connected to the pitot tube using 2 electronically controlled valves.

The blue one closes to protect the diaphragm and then the pink one opens to allow air from the tank to flush the tube.

Any residual blockages would be indicated by an increase in pressure at this valve.

#2787: ElecLock

Most electric car charging stations are still being developed, after launch.

What, for example stops a passing hooligan, or even another motorist, from disconnecting your car, during charging?

Today’s invention is a lightweight, lockable frame (red) which you can use to keep the charging gun in position, whilst you spend an inevitable hour our two in a service station, waiting for a re-charge.

You lock the gun to the loop, as shown, after driving the car onto the frame’s feet.

#2785: Eggsit

Military planes often have ejections seats, powered by pyrotechnics.

Sitting on a small bomb is generally not the safest way to fly and so today’s invention is a way to eject a pilot with lower g force.

The plane has an especially strong canopy and a hatch beneath where the pilot sits (The canopy is fixed, so entry is via this hatch). When it’s time to leave, the hatch is blown off and he or she is pushed out of the fuselage downwards by the cockpit air pressure.

If the engines are still functioning, at the same time as the hatch blows, the plane would automatically go into a very steep climb, so that the pilot would also be subject to ‘Coriolis force’, accelerating him through the base of the plane so that his parachute may deploy.

This would mean locating a nosewheel further forward than normal or just having a tailwheel.

#2778: MotoMachete

This week, I watched a documentary about some adventure motorbike riders. They were confronted by trees blown down across their path…but had no chainsaws with which to fix the obstructions.

Today’s invention is a set of sharp teeth which can be fitted through a motorcycle chain. Each tooth is retained using a circular spring clip, that stays out of the way of sprockets.

If you get stopped by a large branch, first place the bike on its centre stand.

Fit say thirty teeth to the chain. Push the chain into contact with the wood, engage first gear and open the throttle.

#2774: SuitsYou

Today’s invention is a way to help shops sell clothing by letting window shoppers see themselves apparently wearing the outfits on display.

People (pink), walking by a shop, step onto a ramp (red) and face the window (blue).

Inside they see some (headless) mannequins (turquoise), facing outwards, as you might expect. A pressure pad that a person is standing on, rotates the mannequin in front of them, so that it faces the mirrored back wall of the window display (green).

The ramp allows a person to adjust their face’s reflection height, so that it appears directly above the reflection of the outfit they are interested in, so that they can imagine themselves wearing it.

#2773: FireFlock

In a fire, it’s often very difficult to get a crowd of people to act calmly and escape effectively (from either a building or an aircraft).

Today’s invention is to use some robot sheepdogs to herd the people into making an orderly departure.

These synthetic animals, acting as a coordinated team, would be equipped with jaws capable of growling and nipping at people who were slow or getting in the way or heading in the wrong direction.

#2772: SoundSteps

People are highly attuned to sensory cues. This means that they are influenced, at an unconscious level, by things they see or hear.

Today’s invention is to equip a pair of boots with a speaker system which is connected to pressure sensors in the soles.

As each foot hits the deck, the corresponding speaker issues a recorded footstep sound. This allows someone to send the subliminal message that they are much heavier than their normal tread would suggest.

I could imagine eg a small security guard in rubber shoes wanting to communicate that he had a massive body supported by hobnailed boots. Or perhaps an actor on stage would want to emphasise a simulated limp or the noise of walking through mud.