Innovative Axe Chops Through Wood Like It's Butter
There are so many ways to get from point A to point B. In the future, we might use a flying electric hybrid car, a hand-held jet engine, a solar airplane or a transparent car. Wait, that's not the future. That's now.
Audi has released a sneak-peak sketch of its sporty coupe-inspired Q4, which will appear at the Beijing Auto Show later this month. We likey.
The Skylys flying drone car concept, developed by French startup Mix Aerospace, is a modular, autonomous vehicle capable of driving or flying itself. The company is currently seeking more than $3 million via Indiegogo to build a facility in California and thinks they could have a vehicle in the air by 2018.
Push, press, squeeze, roll and twist. No matter how much you try, some percentage of toothpaste remains in the tube and eventually goes in the trash. Arizona State University design student Nicole Pannuzzo has come up with a design that might do away with the waste. Her origami tube collapses down into nothing and could get you more for your money.
Hirotaka Osawa, Tsukuba University
Tired of faking your emotions all of the time? These specs could be your solution. Developed by Hirotaka Osawa of Tsukuba University in Japan, the eyeglasses display eyeballs in the lenses that track people's movements and express friendliness even if the wearer is in a bad mood. Creepy.
Dreamscience and Jamie Barrow via Vimeo
Some people just can't go fast enough. For them,Dreamscience
has developed the Thrusters -- four handheld jet engines that one can strap on to accelerate with an extra burst of speed.
This funky electro-cruiser from Johammer debuted at the Linz motorcycle show in February and is now close to production. Among its unique features is a dash displaying speed and charge information on the mirrors. The big 12.7 kWh battery stack offers riders an anxiety-free, 124-mile range when fully charged.
Bulgaria-based Jaktogo has a lightweight wearable bag that can hold all kinds of soft luggage, including shirts, pants, underwear, socks, towels and whatever else the traveler can stuff into the pockets up to 22 pounds. Take that, airline fees.
From the folks who brought us the solar-powered Solar Impulse plane comes the Solar Impulse 2, the next generation aircraft. Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg unveiled their latest version this week at Payerne Air Field in Switzerland and hope to use the plane to finally circumnavigate the globe in 2015.
Zhao et al. Biofabrication
Using 3-D printing techniques, researchers have made a tumor-like lump of cancer cells that more closely resembles natural cancer than cells cultured in a lab dish. By doing research on 3-D printed cells, doctors could better understand the development, invasion and metastasis of cancer -- information that could lead to better treatments.
Land Rover via Youtube
This week Land Rover showed off its Transparent Bonnet -- "hood" for us Americans. The car itself is not see-through. It's an illusion created by a web of cameras and projectors that project the area just in front of and underneath the nose of the vehicle onto a head-up display. With it, the driver is able to see obstacles and terrain that would otherwise be hidden from view.
A traditional axe uses a wedge-shaped head to split the wood. The wedge, as you know, is a simple machine that gives a person a physical advantage over wood. (Other simple machines include the wheel and axle, pulley, inclined plane, screw and the lever.) For eons, humans have used the wedge combined with strength and some help from gravity, to splinter wood.
Even though the tool is simple, using it can be dangerous in unskilled hands. One uses a lot of power to drive the sharp tip into wood and once the head of an axe gets going, it’s not easy to stop. The chopper can miss the wood and impale a body part or hit the log at the wrong angle, causing the axe to bounce and do little chopping at all.
But check out this ax from Finnish company Vipukirves. It’s called the Leveraxe and instead of a wedge, this ax works more like a lever. The head is attached to the handle from the side instead of the center, which also moves the center of gravity off to the side. The specialized shape of the head also capitalizes on the natural kinetic energy of a person’s swing. The tip is not strictly a wedge. A couple of inches from the tip, the blades widens. That causes the head to slow when it penetrates the wood, but the momentum from the swing is still there and because the head is off center, gravity forces the tip to rotate downward, which turns the blade into a lever.