PumpTire: Self Inflating Bicycle Tire

PumpTire: Tire Inflates Itself As You Ride - Technabob

  • The PumpTire is a revolutionary design by Benjamin Krempel that’s currently up for funding on Kickstarter. The tire actually employs a mechanism that pumps your bike tires as you pedal and move along, ensuring that you will never have a flat tire or ever have to manually pump some air into your tires – if all goes well, that is.
  • The PumpTire is fitted with a valve and a special inner tube that work hand-in-hand to determine if your tires are full or if they could still use a pump or two of air. As you can see from the video clip, Krempel already has a working prototype of the PumpTire, and just needs funds to ramp up production.
Self Inflating Bicycle Tire by PumpTire Team .mp4 - YouTube
PumpTires: Bike tires self-inflate as you ride | Crave - CNET
  • The PumpTire features a special valve which, like a conventional valve, can attach to a bicycle pump for manual inflation but also takes in air as the tire spins. The air is channeled into a small tube, or "lumen," that runs around the outside of the tire, where it makes contact with the ground. The weight of the bike squeezes the air out of the lumen and into the inner tube. The specially designed valve automatically shuts off and stops its air intake when the desired tire pressure is reached.
Kickstarter project PumpTire promises self-inflating cycle tires (Wired UK)
  • To make his two types of tires -- the City Cruiser for the casual,  urban cyclist and the City Pro High Performance Tire for professional riders -- Krempel needs a hefty cash injection. He's asking for $250,000 on Kickstarter, and has raised $12,000 so far, with a month or so to go.
    If his funding drive is successful, Krempel and his company will sell the Cruiser wheel set for $64.95 (£50 with international shipping) and the Pro kit for $129.90 (about £100 with postage to Britain).


Bering Strait Tunnel

Mega Engineering: Building a Transcontinental Tunnel : Video : Discovery Channel
  • An underwater transcontinental tunnel connecting Alaska and Russia offers enormous benefits and but even greater challenges.

Russia plans $65bn tunnel to America - Times Online
  • Russia has unveiled an ambitious plan to build the world’s longest tunnel under the Bering Strait as part of a transport corridor linking Europe and America via Siberia and Alaska.

     The 64-mile (103km) tunnel would connect the far east of Russia with Alaska, opening up the prospect of the ultimate rail trip across three quarters of the globe from London to New York. The link would be twice as long as the Channel Tunnel connecting Britain and France.

     The $65 billion (£33 billion) mega-project aims to transform trade links between Russia and its former Cold War enemies across some of the world’s most desolate terrain. It would create a high-speed railway line, energy links and a fibreoptic cable network.
Russia Green Lights $65 Billion Siberia-Alaska Rail and Tunnel to Bridge the Bering Strait! | Inhabitat - Green Design Will Save the World

  • The high speed railway and tunnel will be a private public partnership whose economic impact could be startling. 100 million tons of freight could be moved per year using the most efficient known way of transport. Proposed tidal energy plants could provide 10 gigawatts of energy and a string of wind power fields could churn a constant supply of clean energy, serving as a vital link to a worldwide energy grid. The tunnel alone would take fifteen years to complete — and an energy and railway network would take many more — but the project would significantly change the shipping and energy industry.
    Bering Strait crossing - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    • There have been several proposals made by various persons, TV-channels, magazines, etc. The names used for such bridges have included The Intercontinental Peace Bridge and Eurasia-America Transport Link.[1] Tunnel names have included TKM-World Link and AmerAsian Peace Tunnel. In April 2007, Russian government officials told the press that the Russian government will back a $65 billion plan by a consortium of companies to build a Bering Strait tunnel.[2] On 22 August 2011, the Daily Mail reported that the Russian government had approved a £60bn tunnel across the Bering Strait.[3][4] The £60bn comes from a rough Russian estimate of $100bn.[5]

    • Satellite image of Bering Strait. Cape Dezhnev, Russia is on the left, the two Diomede Islands are in the middle, and Cape Prince of Wales, Alaska is on the right.


    WikiHouse: Open Source Home Building

    WikiHouse – the open source house « Ponoko – Blog
    • WikiHouse is a new project trying to make house construction open source. With WikiHouse anyone could download plans to CNC mill and assemble a house.
    Printable homes coming soon, thanks to WikiHouse | Geek.com
    • Computerization has had a major impact on just about every aspect of manufacturing and fabrication. It’s also led to a democratization of the process, enabling enthusiastic DIYers with a bit of know-how (and a little extra cash in their bank accounts) to create some pretty amazing things with devices like 3D printers, desktop laser cutters, and programmable CNC machines.
    • It’s this last piece of equipment that WikiHouse wants to help you put to good use. The goal of WikiHouse is to allow people to freely download “open source structures” which can be opened and modified using Google Sketchup. The plans’ building components are designed to be milled from 18MM sheets of plywood, and the resulting pieces can be fitted together like a giant puzzle. They’re even labeled during fabrication, making it perhaps a bit more like building an Ikea desk (though that can be puzzling at times). In addition to marking pieces for easy assembly, the CNC will even cut a wooden mallet that can be used to ensure a tight fight between panels.
    CNC routing - using CNC routing with ponoko
    • What is CNC routing?

      CNC routing is one of the digital making methods available through Personal Factory.

      CNC (computer numerical control) routing is a type of subtractive manufacturing that carves a digital design file into a sheet of material.
    • Download houses and components which are created and shared by an open community of designers from around the world. Individual parts can be combined or adapted using the free program Google Sketchup.
    • Click 'Make this House' from within Google Sketchup and WikiHouse generates a complete set of milling drawings from your model, which can be used by a CNC cutter to fabricate the house parts.
    • The parts are cut by a CNC mill using locally-sourced material. This is 18mm plywood, in the standard sheet size of 2440mm x 1220mm (8' x 4').
    • Set out the parts for each section onto the ground, assembling it like a double-layered jigsaw. You won't need any power tools.
    • The first WikiHouse will be constructed in South Korea at the Gwangju Design Biennale 2011. We are now looking for architects, furniture designers, product designers, craftsmen, and makers from around the world who are interested in contributing to the WikiHouse process.


    Digital Holographic Microscopy (DHM) Reveals Brain's Inner Workings

    Holograms reveal brain's inner workings | Health | EarthSky

    • Scientists have discovered a way to observe living neurons without damaging them – in 3D and with up to 50 times greater resolution than before. The technique, using digital holographic microscopy (DHM), is non-invasive and can create imagery of hundreds of neurons at once. DHM has the potential to streamline drug studies involving neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, because researchers can test new drugs more quickly and in greater numbers than before.

       The research team, from Switzerland’s École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPLF) and Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois (CHUV), included neurobiologists, psychiatrists, and advanced imaging specialists. Results of their collaboration appear in the August 17, 2011 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience.
    3D Dynamic Images of Neurons @EPFL - YouTube
    Holograms Reveal Brain's Inner Workings
    • “DHM is a fundamentally novel application for studying neurons with a slew of advantages over traditional microscopes,” explains Pierre Magistretti of EPFL’s Brain Mind Institute and a lead author of the paper. “It is non-invasive, allowing for extended observation of neural processes without the need for electrodes or dyes that damage cells.”

       Senior team member Pierre Marquet adds, “DHM gives precious information not only about the shape of neurons, but also about their dynamics and activity, and the technique creates 3D navigable images and increases the precision from 500 nanometers in traditional microscopes to a scale of 10 nanometers.”
    Digital holographic microscopy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
      Typical optical setup of DHM.

    • Digital holographic microscopy (DHM) is digital holography applied to microscopy. Digital holographic microscopy distinguishes itself from other microscopy methods by not recording the projected image of the object. Instead, the light wave front information originating from the object is digitally recorded as a hologram, from which a computer calculates the object image by using a numerical reconstruction algorithm. The image forming lens in traditional microscopy is thus replaced by a computer algorithm.

    • DHM ® , the Digital Holographic Microscopes
      For the first time, microscopes combine nanometric resolution, real-time and non-invasive three dimensional observation. These new instruments, based on a revolutionary patented technology called "Digital Holographic Microscopy" (DHM), are developed, manufactured and commercialized by Lyncée Tec SA.
    Lynceetec - Life science applications
    • Real-time monitoring
      The DHM system is an ideal tool for real-time cell monitoring because it allows, from a single image acquisition, non-invasive high-resolution imaging of living cells in their natural environment without use of a contrast agent. The real-time imaging (up to 15 fps for a 512x512 pixels image) and the postponed reconstruction (up to 10'000 fps by using high-acquisition rate camera) make the DHM instrument a system well suited for the dynamic analysis of morphological modification of cells due to natural or artificial stimulations such as drugs, electrical or thermal stimuli.
      For example, neuron cell swelling induced by hypotonic stress was studied by the Brain Mind Institute (EPFL, Switzerland).


    NASA's Laser Communications Relay Demonstration Mission: The Ultimate Space Wi-Fi

    Nasa develops laser space communications | Emerging Tech | ZDNet UK

    NASA to Test Ultimate Space Wifi : Discovery News
    • THE GIST
      • Laser communications could boost space data transmission rates from the speeds of dial-up to broadband.
      • The demonstration will pave the way for a communications system to be included on a future satellite.
      • NASA plans to test a full-size solar sail for chemical-free propulsion and a deep space atomic clock.
    NASA - Communications, Navigation And In-Space Propulsion Technologies Selected For NASA Flight Demonstration
    • NASA has selected three proposals as Technology Demonstration Missions to transform space communications, deep space navigation and in-space propulsion capabilities. The projects will develop and fly a space solar sail, deep space atomic clock, and space-based optical communications system.
    • The Laser Communications Relay demonstration mission will fly and validate a reliable, capable, and cost-effective optical communications technology. Optical communications technology provides data rates up to 100-times higher than today’s systems, which will be needed for future human and robotic space missions. The technology is directly applicable to the next generation of NASA's space communications network. After the demonstration, the developed space and ground assets will be qualified for use by near-Earth and deep space missions requiring high bandwidth and a small ground station reception area.
    NASA - NASA Announces Technology Demonstration Missions

      • The LCRD mission will: 
        • Enable reliable, capable, and cost effective optical communications technologies for near earth applications and provide the next steps required toward optical communications for deep space missions
        • Demonstrate high data rate optical communications technology necessary for: 
          • Near-Earth spacecraft (bi-directional links supporting hundreds of Mbps to Gbps)
          • Deep Space missions (tens to hundreds of Mbps from distances such as Mars and Jupiter)
          • Develop, validate and characterize operational models for practical optical communications  
          • Identify and develop requirements and standards for future operational optical communication systems 
          • Establish a strong partnership with multiple government agencies to facilitate crosscutting infusion of optical communications technologies 
          • Develop the industrial base and transfer technology for future space optical communications systems


    Facial Recognition Driven Advertising

    Advertisers to try face scan technology - CBS News

    • (CBS News)  Imagine walking into a supermarket and having a digital billboard or kiosk determine what you want to buy for dinner before you've decided for yourself. A new facial recognition technology can do just that.
    • The billboard or kiosk can quickly analyze the facial features of the shopper then displays specific ads directed to them.
    Facial Recognition Technology: Marketing to the 21st Century - NASDAQ.com
    • Intel Corp. (INTC) makes facial recognition software and says it is widely adaptable.
      "You can put this technology into kiosks, vending machines, digital signs," said Christopher O'Malley, director of retail marketing for Intel's embedded and communications group. "It's going to become a much more common thing in the next few years."
      Adidas is working with Intel to develop digital walls with facial recognition for a limited number of stores in the U.S. or Britain. Kraft (KFT) is in talks with a supermarket chain to test face-scanning kiosks as well.
    Intel Corp technology featuring Kraft Foods - YouTube

    How Kraft's Face-Scanning Tech Will Tell You What You Like to Eat
    • Behind the Video Scanning Technology

       The most unique selling point for the Meal Planning Solution is its integration of anonymous video analytics software, which detects age and gender to determine which recipes a person may be interested in viewing. “The technology is approximately 86% accurate in determining gender,” Avalos explain. “For age, it depends on the bracket. For young adults and adults, the accuracy is approximately 70%. For children and seniors, the accuracy is approximately 80%.”
    Kraft Store Kiosk Scans Your Face Then Knows What to Feed It [Video] | Fast Company
    • Dinner planning: It's the bane of every five o'clock shopper who can't bear to serve up frozen pizza one more night. Now, with the help of some spooky video analytics, Intel and Kraft aim to help harried shoppers come up with better--or at least different--solutions, right in their grocery aisles.
      Debuting at this week's 2011 National Retail Federation show (along with an amazing checkout counter of the future from Adidas), The "Meal Planning Solution," part of Intel's "Connected Store," is a sort of kiosk you might find in an upscale suburban market, catering to families desperate to find something the kids will eat.


    Living Bridges

    • In the depths of northeastern India, in one of the wettest places on earth, bridges aren't built—they're grown.
    • The root bridges, some of which are over a hundred feet long, take ten to fifteen years to become fully functional, but they're extraordinarily strong—strong enough that some of them can support the weight of fifty or more people at a time. In fact, because they are alive and still growing, the bridges actually gain strength over time—and some of the ancient root bridges used daily by the people of the villages around Cherrapunji may be well over 500 years old.
    • The lower reaches of the southern slopes of Khasi and Jaintia hills are humid and warm and are streaked by many swift flowing rivers and mountain streams.  A species of Indian Rubber tree - botanical name: Ficus elastica - thrives and flourishes alongside these streams and rivers. 
    •  Our ancestors, the early war-Khasis, had noticed these qualities of this tree and had adapted it to serve their need for bridges to cross rivers and streams.  In order to direct the roots in the desired direction, betel nut tree trunks, sliced half in the middle for their entire length, are hollowed out and are positioned according to the requirement of the bridge.
    • Cherrapunjee Holiday Resort has brought the focus on these Living Root Bridges, which are exclusive only to Meghalaya and are not found anywhere else in the world.
    The Meghalaya Living Bridges - YouTube
    • At the base of India's Meghalaya Plateau, the local tribes have created bridges across the area's rivers using living tree roots and branches. These bridges last for hundreds of years (the lifetime of the tree).
    The Living Bridges Of Meghalaya | The Velvet Rocket
    • On the surface of the bridge, which you can see below, rocks and bits of wood have been added to the mix to make for an easier crossing. There is an additional reason for the bits of wood though. As the wood decomposes, it provides nutrients for the tree roots growing around it:

    • These wonders of bioengineering are an eloquent testimony to man’s capacity to live in harmony with nature.


    Redirecting Asteroid Apophis From its Collision Course with Earth

    Apophis 99942: The Killer Asteroid of 2036 - YouTube

    This is a short clip of scenes which depict scenarios of the happenings that might take place on April 13, 2036. The asteroid will come very close to the Earth in 2029, but miss. That close encounter will trigger a collision in 2036
    Asteroid Apophis 2036 The Official Asteroid Apophis site. Near Earth Asteroid and news.
    • Asteroid Apophis is a possible Earth bound asteroid. Known as 99942 Apophis is a near-Earth asteroid that had caused concern in December 2004 because initial observations indicated a small probability (up to 2.7%) that it would strike the Earth in 2029. Recent news indicate that it could be on a collision course afterall.
    • Apophis will come within 18,000 miles from earth on Friday, April 13th, 2036. That amount of miles is actually very, very close and it will be visible to the naked eye. You thought Halley’s comet was the talk of the world in the 1980’s…just wait until this Asteroid Apophis comes knocking on our door.

       Asteroid Apophis is 1,000 feet in diameter, which is about 90 stories tall and weighs 25 million tons. If this asteroid hits anywhere on earth it would be 68,000 times the force that the atomic bomb that destroyed Hiroshima.

       NASA labeled Apophis as a Near Earth Object. Lets just hope it stays in that label and not become an impact asteroid.
    Scientists Are Testing Methods to Deflect the Apophis Asteroid | Video | TheBlaze.com
    • The European Space Agency will test its technique against a real asteroid in 2015 in a mission called Don Quijote. Don Quijote involves two spacecrafts. One, called Hidalgo, will impact the asteroid at a speed of six miles per second while the other (Sancho) will orbit the asteroid before and after collision collecting data and analyzing just how far off course the impactor spacecraft threw the asteroid.

      Watch the European Space Agency’s simulation here:

    • Similarly, the Chinese researchers propose hitting the asteroid with a spacecraft, but the method of getting there is a bit different. They propose using a solar sail (a form of spacecraft propulsion) to send the spacecraft into retrograde orbit and on a collision course with the asteroid.

    • Shengping Gong and pals at Tsinghua University in Beijing say they've come up with a plan that will ensure Apophis never returns to Earth on this timescale .

       They point out that keyholes are tiny, in this case just 600 metres wide. So deflecting Apophis by only a small amount in the near future will ensure it misses the keyhole and so cannot return to Earth.

       There are various ways to deflect an asteroid. Gong and pals say their preference is to use a solar sail to place a small spacecraft into a retrograde orbit and on collision course with Apophis. The retrograde orbit will give it an impact velocity of 90km/s which, if they do this well enough in advance, should lead to a collision large enough to do the trick.

       Putting a spacecraft into a retrograde orbit about the Sun using little or no fuel is a pretty neat trick by anyone's standards.. The Chinese team's calculations demonstrate the point. They show that a 10 kg sail in retrograde orbit, that hits Apophis a year before 2029, would deflect it enough to miss the keyhole, thereby eliminating the chance that the asteroid will return in 2036.
    European Space Agency plan to blow up an asteroid 'hurtling towards Earth' | Mail Online
    • Rescue plan: The European Space Agency is planning mission Don Quijote - to blow up a huge asteroid that could potentially be hurtling towards Earth
    • In the Hollywood movie Armageddon, Bruce Willis attempts to blow up a huge asteroid hurtling towards Earth.
       In real life, the mission, called Don Quixote, will see two spacecraft launched.
    • One will be fired at an asteroid  at  break-neck speed in an attempt to push it off its course. The other will analyse data with the aim  of informing future missions in which the  future of mankind may be at stake.


    Huge Warrior Wasp Discovered in Indonesia

    UC Davis entomologist discovers wasp in Indonesia - Sacramento News - Local and Breaking Sacramento News | Sacramento Bee
    • A predator wasp as long as a pinkie finger has been discovered on a remote Indonesian island by a UC Davis entomologist.
      Lynn Kimsey, affectionately known around campus as the "Wasp Woman" for her entomological expertise on the flying insect, said the male wasp she discovered is about two-and-a-half inches in length. The black wasp was found on the island of Sulawesi on a recent expedition.

    • Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum of Entomology and professor of entomology at UC Davis with her newly discovered species, a male warrior wasp.
    Posts Tagged: warrior wasp - The California Garden Web

    • The male's jaws "are so large that they wrap up either side of the head when closed," Kimsey says. "When the jaws are open they are actually longer than the male’s front legs. I don’t know how it can walk."

      Kimsey discovered the warrior wasp on the Mekongga Mountains in southeastern Sulawesi on a recent biodiversity expedition funded by a five-year grant from the International Cooperative Biodiversity Group Program.
       The insect-eating predator belongs to the genus Dalara and family Crabronidae.
    UC Davis Department of Entomology - UC Davis Entomologist Discovers New Species of Wasp: Gigantic Wasp with Long, Powerful Jaws
    • Kimsey discovered the warrior wasp on the Mekongga Mountains in southeastern Sulawesi on a recent biodiversity expedition funded by a five-year grant from the International Cooperative Biodiversity Group Program.
    • Sulawesi, a large Indonesian island located between Borneo and New Guinea, is known not only for its endemic biodiversity, but its rainforest and its proximity (three degrees) to the equator.  Development threatens plant and animal life.
    • The International Cooperative Biodiversity Group Program is a multi-agency program led by the National Institutes of Health with contributions from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Department of Energy, and the National Science Foundation.


    MABEL The Fastest Human-Like Running Robot

    Running robot: MABEL is now the world's fastest two-legged robot with knees
    • ANN ARBOR, Mich.—A robot in a University of Michigan lab can run like a human—a feat that represents the height of agility and efficiency for a two-legged machine. With a peak pace of 6.8 miles per hour, MABEL is believed to be the world's fastest bipedal robot with knees.
    MABEL Runs Free! - YouTube
    MABEL is now the world's fastest two-legged robot | Mail Online
     Proud: The University of Michigan team with MABEL the running robot

    • Professor Jessy Grizzle, from the University of Michigan, where MABEL was built, also stressed how useful human-like robots could be.

       He said: ‘The robotics community has been trying to come up with machines that can go places where humans can go, so a human morphology is important.

      ‘If you would like to send in robots to search for people when a house is on fire, it probably needs to be able to go up and down stairs, step over the baby’s toys on the floor and manoeuvre in an environment where wheels and tracks may not be appropriate.’

      It’s taken the researchers three years to get MABEL up and running to her current top speed and she needs the aid of a stabilising boom, but she still represents a huge step forward for robot-kind.

      ‘It's stunning,’ Professor Grizzle adds. ‘I have never seen a machine doing a motion like this.’
    Grizzle, Jessy W.: Biped Experiments (MABEL)
    • Research objectives: MABEL was designed to be both a robust walker and a fast runner. It pushes the state of the art in bipedal mechanism design and provides an opportunity for effective control design methodology to maximize the robot's energy efficiency, speed, and stability. Our specific objectives are to demonstrate: energy efficient walking on flat ground; the ability to walk over uneven terrain; and running. All of this should be accomplished with provably correct feedback laws. The emphasis on energy efficiency is because, for a biped to be able to operate in the real world for an extended period of time, it must carry its own power and use that power as economically as possible. The ability to walk on uneven ground will allow bipeds to function out of the laboratory. The ability to run is in part for fun and in part to demonstrate dynamic balance in an extremely challenging situation. The running achieved with current bipeds is very unsatisfactory. Just take a look at their gaits and you'll see what we mean. Finally, the emphasis on provably correct feedback laws is because we are attempting to remove a lot of the trial and error from the process of designing control algorithms for bipedal robots. Our objective is to design controllers on the basis of models and have the controllers work on the associated hardware. It's a big challenge! Maybe the biggest one in the list.


    Wave Pendulum Videos

    Amazing Pendulum Wave Effect! - YouTube

    Wave pendulum - YouTube

    - Simple Harmonic (and non-harmonic) Motion § Harvard Natural Sciences Lecture Demonstrations

    • What it shows: Fifteen uncoupled simple pendulums of monotonically increasing lengths dance together to produce visual traveling waves, standing waves, beating, and random motion. One might call this kinetic art and the choreography of the dance of the pendulums is stunning! Aliasing and quantum revival can also be shown.

         How it works: The period of one complete cycle of the dance is 60 seconds. The length of the longest pendulum has been adjusted so that it executes 51 oscillations in this 60 second period. The length of each successive shorter pendulum is carefully adjusted so that it executes one additional oscillation in this period. Thus, the 15th pendulum (shortest) undergoes 65 oscillations. When all 15 pendulums are started together, they quickly fall out of sync—their relative phases continuously change because of their different periods of oscillation. However, after 60 seconds they will all have executed an integral number of oscillations and be back in sync again at that instant, ready to repeat the dance.
    Pendulum Waves (Mathematica) - YouTube