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.'
His tool of choice: a DIY wrench lure. It’s a wrench, string, and two fishing hooks. With only this tool, Florida man Ryan Hein was able to reel in a 400-pound Goliath grouper while fishing in the St. Petersburg area.
Mechanical engineering students from The Technion – Israel Institute of Technology built this fantastic Rube Goldberg machine last year to tell the story of Passover, the Jewish holiday starting the evening of April 22 that celebrates the biblical story of the Israelites’ exodus from slavery in Egypt. Of course my favorite part of the story, […]
Alec Smecher built a wireless electronmechanical system that enables him to robotically raise and waggle his eyebrows via remote control. Because, you know, he could. From MAKE: Beyond its obvious practicality, this project makes a great introduction to DC motor control, infrared remote control, and moving from working with an Arduino to working with the […]
Why buy one of those expensive and confusing universal remotes, clogged with enough buttons to launch a space shuttle, when you could accomplish the same electronic control right on your favorite mobile device? The Blumoo Universal Remote, now just $52.99 in the Boing Boing Store, harnesses the audio power of all your household equipment right […]
You may not love Microsoft Word, but you’ve definitely used it. Other than being one of the most ubiquitous programs on the planet, it’s been the go-to word processing system for more than a quarter-century because it’s as basic as it gets. But occasionally, you’ve got assignments that beg for a lot more options than simple […]
Almost everyone has their smartphone in a case of one kind or another. Beyond simple protection, finding a case that can charge your phone on its own, but doesn’t feel like it’s also adding a couple pounds to the phone’s weight is the tricky part. Billed as the world’s thinnest battery case, the ThinCharge iPhone […]