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Inventors and Remarkable People

— Inventors and Remarkable People Feature

Groundbreaking system to prevent collisions between whales and sea-craft

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
— Inventors and Remarkable People Feature

Light up the World: tens of thousands benefit from pioneering solar project

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
— Inventors and Remarkable People

RoboTrac: pre-programmable, semi-autonomous tractor concept

By - February 13, 2008 8 Pictures
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
— Inventors and Remarkable People

World's biggest fish gets a black-box flight recorder

By - February 12, 2008 5 Pictures
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
— Inventors and Remarkable People

The Electric Super Tipper Truck

By - February 11, 2008 5 Pictures
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
— Inventors and Remarkable People

Remarkable inventor pioneered human-powered flight

By - September 5, 2007 2 Pictures
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
— Inventors and Remarkable People

Happy birthday to the WWW

By - August 7, 2007 1 Picture
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
— Inventors and Remarkable People

13-year old CEO seeks $100k in venture capital.

By - May 20, 2007 1 Picture
May 21, 2007 Thought YOU were ambitious? How's this from a 13-year-old: "Our goal is to achieve 1 million dollars in revenue by the end of middle school, which is next year." The surprise hit of this year's TiECON, the Elementeo chief has already booked 450 sales of his upcoming first product. His whole executive team is around the same age, including his 11-year-old sister, VP of sales. He's looking for US$100k in investment capital, or 2500 pre-orders, to start production of Elementeo - and with his ability to deliver an elevator pitch like this on demand, you'd have to back him to get it. Via VentureBeat. Read More
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