November 20, 2011

Teenage 007 Bike

The B.O.N.D. Bike
The Environmental Transport Association (ETA), a British company that offers bicycle insurance, recently surveyed 800 cyclists to find out what aspects of cycling they liked the least. The primary purpose of the survey was no doubt something boring and insurancey, but one of the spin-offs is kind of fun – the company put together a one-off bike concept that addresses four of those dislikes in a rather extreme fashion. It’s the B.O.N.D. (Built of Notorious Deterrents) Bike, and it’s almost certainly the only bike in the world with a flamethrower built into its handlebars.

Yes, a flamethrower. Apparently 52 percent of those surveyed named “cars and lorries passing too close” as their number one complaint about cycling. What’s a cyclist to do? Easy, they shoot fire at those vehicles – that’ll learn ‘em! ETA didn’t provide any details about the fuel source or the hardware, no doubt because they don’t want anyone building one of their own. Insurance companies are funny about not liking it when people set fire to things.

Another gripe of the surveyed riders was potholes, with 25 percent of riders citing them as a problem. The B.O.N.D. Bike addresses those holes in the road with a Ktrak caterpillar-type doo-hicky in place of a regular back wheel. Yes, a fat tire and rear suspension would make more sense. And yes, the Ktrak is actually designed for riding on snow. And, yes, it would be pretty slow and clattery on smooth roads. C’mon, though, it’s a James Bond-inspired vehicle! Practical, shmactical.

For seven percent of cyclists, worries over bicycle theft were their primary concern. Now, you might think that the B.O.N.D. Bike would take care of that with some sort of super heavy-duty lock... but you would be wrong. Instead, it has an ejector seat. The idea, one would assume, is that this feature is supposed to be activated as the thief is riding away, either propelling them into the air, or delivering the equivalent of a kick to the crotch. The fact that it’s activated at the handlebars, however, means that thieves would have to eject themselves. Perhaps it has a misleading label beside it that says “Turbo Boost,” or something.

Two percent of those surveyed listed cold weather conditions as their least favorite part of cycling, which is where the other component of the Ktrak system comes into play – a ski blade that can be swapped with the front wheel. Although it looks like that blade perhaps hydraulically lowers into place, in reality it seems to just be mounted beside the wheel for easy access by hand.
And no, you can’t buy the bike.

“Wannabe James Bonds will be disappointed to hear that we have no plans to sell the B.O.N.D Bike, but it shouldn’t be necessary for cyclists to resort to flame throwers to get a little consideration on the roads,” an ETA representative stated. “Correct road positioning and an assertive riding style can dramatically reduce cars and lorries passing too close.”

© 2011 Electroclub

A New Innovation Conversion of Radio waves to Power

Manos Tentzeris holds a sensor (left) and an ultra-broadband spiral antenna for wearable e...
Manos Tentzeris holds a sensor (left) and an ultra-broadband spiral antenna for wearable energy-scavenging applications that were noth printed on paper using inkjet technology (Image: Gary Meek)
As you sit there reading this story you're surrounded by electromagnetic energy transmitted from sources such as radio and television transmitters, mobile phone networks and satellite communications systems. Researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology have created a device that is able to scavenge this ambient energy so it can be used to power small electronic devices such as networks of wireless sensors, microprocessors and communications chips.

Manos Tentzeris, a professor in the Georgia Tech School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and his team used inkjet printing technology to combine sensors, antennas and energy scavenging capabilities on paper or flexible polymers. Presently, the team's scavenging technology can take advantage of frequencies from FM radio to radar, a range of 100 Mhz to 15 GHz or higher. The devices capture this energy, convert it from AC to DC, and then store it in capacitors and batteries.
"There is a large amount of electromagnetic energy all around us, but nobody has been able to tap into it," said Tentzeris. "We are using an ultra-wideband antenna that lets us exploit a variety of signals in different frequency ranges, giving us greatly increased power-gathering capability."

So far the team has been able to generate hundreds of milliwatts by harnessing the energy from TV bands. It is expected that multi-band systems would generate one milliwatt or more, which is enough to operate small electronic devices, including a variety of sensors and microprocessors. Tentzeris says exploiting a range of electromagnetic bands increases the dependability of energy scavenging devices as if one frequency range fades due to variations in usage, other frequencies can be used to pick up the slack.

The team is also looking at combining the energy scavenging technology with supercapacitors and cycled operation so that the energy builds up in a battery-like superconductor and is utilized once the required level is reached. The team expects this approach would be able to power devices requiring over 50 milliwatts.

The researchers have already successfully operated a temperature sensor using electromagnetic energy captured from a television station that was half a kilometer away. They are now preparing another demonstration in which a microprocessor-based microcontroller would be activated simply by holding it in the air.

The researchers say the technology could also be used in tandem with other electricity generating technologies. For example, scavenged energy could assist a solar element to charge a battery during the day and then at night, scavenged energy would continue to increase the battery charge or would prevent discharging.

It could also be used as a form of system backup. If a battery failed completely, the scavenged energy device could allow the system to transmit a wireless signal while maintaining critical functions.
The Georgia Tech team believe that self-powered, wireless paper-based sensors will soon be widely available at very low cost, making then attractive for a range of applications, such as chemical, biological, heat and stress sensing for defense and industry; radio frequency identification (RFID) tagging for manufacturing and shipping, and monitoring tasks in many fields including communications and power usage.

© 2011 Electroclub

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More

Design by Raghu | Protected by - ElectroClub