Highlights from Interbike 2014

Inventors and Remarkable People

Barilliant - new system for an old industry

Alcohol is one of the world’s most traded commodities. Central to the liquor industry are the millions of liquor serveries which serves millions of litrer of alcohol each day, a glass at a time. The biggest problem of this massive service industry is shrinkage – around 10-15% of tap beer goes straight down the drain in most pubs. New bar management system Barilliant monitors and minimizes wastage by accounting for every milliliter of alcohol using sensors, wireless technologies, and RFID staff identification, right down to how effectively every barman pours a beer. The system can be expected to save 5 to 10 percent of total throughput – very big bikkies.  Read More

The world’s first whale anti-collision systems (WACS)
 Photo: Rolex (Copyright)

An unlucky passenger who died when a high-speed ferry rammed into a sperm whale in the Canary islands was the world’s first known victim of a new form of pollution – ocean noise. In places where marine traffic is heavy, vessels fast and whale numbers expanding, violent encounters are increasingly common. The cause of the accident, says marine biologist and Rolex Awards for Enterprise Laureate Michel André, most probably lay in damage to the whale’s sensitive hearing apparatus caused by the rising roar of man-made noise throughout the oceans. The whale was stone deaf – and simply didn’t hear the ferry coming in time to avoid it. Julian Cribb reports.  Read More

Photonics engineer Dave Irvine-Halliday
 (c) Rolex / Xavier Lecoultre

Tens of thousands of people living in disadvantaged areas around the world now have reliable household lighting thanks to Scots-Canadian photonics engineer Dave Irvine-Halliday. For ten years he has been supplying low-cost lighting in developing countries through his foundation, Light Up The World, an achievement that has earned him a Rolex Awards for Enterprise. It is a project with potential to make a huge difference to the world as a whole: each year the kerosene lamps that flare in the homes of the poor liberate 244 million tonnes of CO2. Dave’s solar lighting sets offer huge scope to reduce those emissions and save poor people money at the same time. Francesco Raeli reports.  Read More

Valtra RoboTrac autonomous tractor design

February 14, 2008 Designed to perform a range of pre-programmed agricultural tasks in vineyards, coffee farms, orchards and nurseries, this futuristic driver-less tractor concept aims to boost efficiency, minimize crop damage and remove humans for hazardous environments using GPS and Internet to track its location. The Valtra RoboTrac from 25 year old Estonian industrial designer Hannes Seeberg - whose portfolio also includes an intriguing Skylift self-propelled boarding aircraft boarding system - combines an 85 hp engine diesel engine and rear-wheel steering in either a two or four wheel drive configuration with the remotely programmable computerized navigation system to enable anything from tilling and plowing to planting and spraying.  Read More

The whale shark is the world's biggest living fish
 Photo Credit: Rolex Awards / Kurt Amsl...

This year the secret life of one of the Earth’s largest and most mysterious creatures, the whale shark, will be laid bare for the first time when some of the gentle giants off Western Australia’s coral Ningaloo coast are equipped with "black box flight recorders". The project is the result of a collaboration between two Laureates of the Rolex Awards for Enterprise – Australian Brad Norman who set up the world’s first photo-ID system for identifying whale sharks and Briton Rory Wilson, who has developed the world’s most sophisticated device for monitoring the activity of animals in the wild. With capabilities beyond those of GPS-based animal tracking systems, Wilson's logger monitors changes in an animal’s acceleration in every direction – forward/back, up/down or sideways - at a rate of up to 32 times a second, and, combined with a compass, determines the animal’s speed, direction and position. Julian Cribb and Graeme O'Neill report.  Read More

The Electric Super Tipper Truck

Most of us first encountered the concept of a tip truck in the sand pit as toddlers – and they’ve been pretty much all the same basic concept since then. The electric-powered Super Tipper Truck is not confined by traditional thinking as it does not require a traditional power train and with no problems about storing lots of heavy batteries for delivering massive electrical power to each in-wheel motor, the Haishan Deng-designed Super Tipper delivers more unloading and loading options, greater accuracy, greater worker safety and more efficiency to the construction industry. “I set out to find a ‘new way’ for this important equipment of construction,” said innovative designer Haishan. “The concept concentrates on enabling more possibilities for the loading and unloading process. Common trucks can only unload to backward or sidewards”.  Read More

Apple iPhone

November 6, 2007 Having crashed its way into the lexicon as well as the marketplace in spectacular fashion in June, Apple’s iPhone has been recognized as Time Magazine’s Invention of the Year for 2007.  Read More

Remarkable inventor pioneered human-powered flight

September 6, 2007 The aeronautical world is mourning the loss of visionary inventor, designer and engineer Dr Paul MacCready, who passed away on 28 August 2007. Among his very long list of accomplishments, he was most widely known as the "father of human-powered flight". Using a craft he created, the Gossamer Condor, MacCready made the first sustained, controlled flight by a heavier-than-air craft powered solely by its pilot's muscles.  Read More

1702 Portrait of Newton by Godfrey Kneller

August 16, 2007 New research suggests that a key aspect of the calculus, commonly attributed to Sir Isaac Newton and Gottfried Leibnitz in the late 1600s, may in fact have been discovered more than two centuries earlier by scholars at the Kerala School in southwest India.  Read More

Happy birthday to the WWW

August 7, 2007 The invention of the Internet cannot be pinned down to any specific time, place or person as it was developed primarily for military and scientific applications throughout the 60s and 70s in the US. The World Wide Web on the other hand, the basic software building-block that makes access and categorisation of the billions of documents that sit on the Internet possible, can be attributed to one person - Tim Berners-Lee. The world wide web turned 16 yesterday – here’s the original post that started it all.  Read More

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