There is a very old toy which takes the shape of a monkey climbing a rope.
You pull repeatedly on the end of the rope and the monkey shins upwards.
Today’s invention uses this principle to allow mountain climbers or scaffolders a way to send each other tools, food, messages rapidly upwards over long vertical distances.
It would require climbers to let down a length of slack rope to which the ‘monkey’ (carrying some item) would be attached.
Today’s invention offers a way to ensure that padlocks, which often freeze up when left outside in winter, can still be unlocked.
The mechanism itself, within the main body of the lock, would be surrounded by a layer of insulating material.
The lock would be supplied with a toothed band that is dragged repeatedly across a toothed wheel, so as to accelerate a small flywheel inside the lock.
Once this is moving very fast, a brake mechanism is engaged and the kinetic energy is then used to heat up the lock mechanism with which it’s in direct contact. This allows the key to be inserted and turned.
Rescue helicopters can end up spinning a stretcher suspended beneath them, like this.
Today’s invention is a fan unit which attaches to one end of a stretcher and which blows air in the opposite direction to the helicopter’s main rotor motion.
This prevents the stretcher from spinning, just as the tail rotor does for the machine itself.
For somebody who dislikes jigsaws as much as me, I seem to spend a lot of time thinking about them.
I’m tired of seeing adverts for the world’s hardest jigsaw puzzle.
Today’s invention is a seriously difficult challenge.
Take your image and cut it into the usual pieces. Then take another version of the same image (cardboard is dirt cheap) and repeat the process using a different pattern of cut pieces.
Add both sets of pieces to a single box and sell.
I think that should keep puzzlers busy for a while. even after they have one image complete (which will involve up to (2N)! trial fits for an N-piece image), they still have another puzzle to solve.
Today’s invention is a suit whose pin striping acts as a bar code.
This is scanned by security cameras so as to automatically allow the wearer access through certain doors, etc and to retain a record of who has gone where in a building.
It takes the moon about 27 days to orbit the earth.
Today’s invention is a ship which rides on the tide which results from this movement and can thus circumnavigate the world using zero fuel (or nearly so).
It would have to travel roughly along a single route, but that may not be as important as the fuel saving…especially if the ship was very large.
Today’s invention is a variable geometry cookie cutter.
Imagine a loop, like a tank track on its side, made of blades(black) and screws (red) to lock-in the geometry.
Many people don’t like mice in their homes, but don’t want to kill them.
They therefore use humane traps and then have to move a live mouse to some distant location.
Today’s invention is a discreet way to trap a mouse and then covertly release it somewhere else during a walk away from home.
It consists of a humane trap which can be attached to the end of a walking stick.
You attach the trap, with mouse in, to the stick, go for a walk and then press a catch in the handle to allow the mouse a new lease on life.
(An alternative would be to attach the trap to a remotely controlled vehicle which would be preprogrammed to scuttle off to a distant location and then open the door before returning home).
Electric motors are great for providing high torque, as needed in an armoured vehicle.
The enormous weight of the necessary batteries is a problem, so today’s invention is to use them outside the tank -as extra or replacement armour.
Refuelling is then just about throwing some batteries away and plugging others in (in parallel).
This would allow any conventional vehicle batteries to be used (not Li ion ones).
If both the road wheels and drive sprockets all had their own motors, this would reduce the size of the vehicle and also make it less vulnerable to local damage.
I don’t think much of vacuum cleaners: even the best suffer from avoidable design flaws.
Dysons have all the usual shortfalls, as well as some of their own and they cost £200 more than their rivals.
Maybe I dislike them most because Mr Dyson persists in mythologising about the utility of intellectual property for inventors.
Anyway, today’s invention is an attempt to introduce some levity into the somewhat self-regarding world of Dyson hoovers.
It’s a set of stick-on aftermarket facial features for Dysons (to make them look more like Henrys)…and convert them into James; a rather ponsified, know-it-all character who employs other, menial cleaners to deal with the actual dirt.