Ben Hazell says: "Dean Kamen invented the Segway. He's also made a fortune in medical technology and now thinks he's built a working Stirling Engine - efficient electrical energy from heat. If it's true it's amazing and world changing - the breakthrough we need to face climate change. Even if it's not, he's a fascinating guy."
Now he and his engineers have built and tested a range of Stirling engines suitable for mass production that can be run on anything from jet fuel to cow dung. The one in the boot of the small blue car is designed to extend its range and constantly recharge its batteries to make a new kind of hybrid vehicle: one fit for the roads of the 21st century. A Stirling-electric hybrid, Kamen tells me, can travel farther and more efficiently than conventional electric cars; it generates enough power to run energy-hungry devices such as heaters and defrosters that are essential for drivers who, unlike those he calls the 'tofu heads' of California, must cope with a cold climate; and even using petrol, the engine runs far cleaner than petrol-electric hybrids such as Toyota's Prius.
However, Kamen confesses, his new creation isn't quite finished yet: 'The Stirling engine's not hooked up. Which really pisses me off.'
Nimuno Loops are rolls of Lego-compatible adhesive tape. Genius idea and no surprise that they’ve blown wayyyyyy past their Indiegogo goal to manufacture the stuff. Imagine being able to build around corners, on curved surfaces, or even onto the sides of that sailing ship you’ve just spent hours building. You forgot to engineer a point […]
Neil Mendoza created this fantastic electromechanical band as part of the artist-in-residence program at Autodesk: The rock band is composed of electromechanical instruments that make music with rocks by throwing them through the air, slapping them and making them vibrate. The song that they’re playing, Here Comes the Sun, is biographical, describing the daily experience […]
All the filters in the world won’t save your smartphone pics from a shaky hand. To really step up your mobile photography game, you’ll need some kind of mount to hold it steady. You could buy a smartphone attachment for a conventional camera tripod, but who wants to carry that kind of gear everywhere they […]
The forced transition from analog to digital TV signals was probably met with relative indifference from people with Netflix subscriptions and the “I don’t even own a TV” snoots. But anyone living in the vast swaths of the country that don’t have guaranteed high-speed internet, broadcast TV is a perfectly valid (and 100% free) way […]
When Apple revealed the new MacBook in 2016, one of the biggest issues raised with the notebook’s new design (aside from ire over the slew of new adapters you’d inevitably have to buy) was the removal of one of its most beloved proprietary features, the magnetic charging cable. Thankfully, third-party peripheral makers have taken up […]