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— Good Thinking

Bringing Teflon and silicone together shows promise for medical applications

Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) is best known by the DuPont brand name Teflon. Whatever it is called, PTFE is the third slipperiest solid known – the poster child for non-stick, non-reactive, non-friction, non-conducting, high-temperature, and generally high-performing polymers. Silicone also has a nearly non-bondable surface – if you try to paint a silicone sealant, it simply pops off as the paint dries. In particular, creating a strong bond between PTFE and silicone has never been accomplished, even in the chemical laboratory. Until now. Read More
— Inventors and Remarkable People

Szymon Klimek's artwork is small, mechanical, and amazing!

A hobby is what you do with the rest of your time. It tends to feed a deep-seated need of which you may not even be aware - to be your best self. Some people golf, some swim, some quilt, some travel, some climb mountains ... there's no end to the list. Then there's Szymon Klimek, who makes some of the most incredible miniature electromechanical sculptures imaginable. Read More
— Bicycles

Czech engineers set to build six-prop Flying Bike

From the Jetsons to Back To The Future, hopping onto or into a personal flying vehicle has been on the engineering "To Do" list for a good many years. We've seen a number of noteworthy attempts at defying gravity and taking to the skies here at Gizmag (many of which are featured in this roundup from 2010) and now another possible addition to that growing collection has landed on our desk. Known simply as the Flying Bike (or FBike), this collaborative effort from a bunch of Czech companies and enthusiasts is still very much in the early stages of development, but the proposal is to fit a number of electrically-driven propellers to the custom frame of a two-wheeler that will allow the pilot to rise above the traffic for as long as the batteries hold out. Read More
— Bicycles

New SplinterBike Quantum all-wooden bike launched in time for London 2012 Festival

Around about this time last year, we featured an all-wooden bike named SplinterBike that went on to be viewed by over 320,000 visitors to the Power of Making exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. A second version was used to set a new speed record for 100 percent wooden bikes in August 2011 and now the creator of both, Michael Thompson, has built a special SplinterBike Quantum (SBQ) edition for the 2012 London Olympics. A few design changes have been made to allow a variety of visitors to the Adain Avion event at the London 2012 Festival to mount up and ride an all-wooden bike for themselves, including adjustable seat height and a different gearing setup. Read More

The century-old Edison-Puton Monowheel

The annual Cholmondeley Pageant of Power in the U.K. never fails to deliver something special and this year that exotic ingredient is a 1910 Edison-Puton Monowheel. Capable of being ogled by engineers for hundreds of hours at a time, the Monowheel was built in Paris in 1910, and bears testimony to human folly at its most ingenious. Read More
— Marine

Wavegarden takes surfing inland

Imagine you're hundreds of miles from the sea - you climb over a grassy hill and come upon a lake with perfect surf just waiting for you and your board. Spanish engineering firm Instant Sport is setting about making this scenario a reality with its custom-built Wavegarden. While artificial waves are far from new, engineer Josema Odriozola and sports economist Karin Frisch claim that their brainchild can bring an ocean-like break to land-locked surfers, body boarders and kayakers alike using less energy than any other existing wave generator to date. Read More
— Spy Gear

Batman-inspired wall-scaling system built by engineering students

The U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory wants to find a better way for airmen to scale tall structures or rock faces, so it did what just about anyone seeking new ideas does these days – it held a contest. Its 2012 Service Academy and University Engineering Challenge saw teams from 17 universities and three service academies showing off their wall-scaling systems, earlier this month at Wright State University’s Calamityville tactical laboratory in Fairborn, Ohio. One of the teams, from Utah’s Brigham Young University, devised an impressive system that was inspired directly by Batman’s grappling hook-shooting, power winch-equipped gun. Read More
— Science

Collapsible “Buckliball” turns failure into functionality

Taking inspiration from a toy, a team of researchers at MIT have developed a new engineering structure that is mechanically unstable, yet collapses in a way that is predictable and reversible. The structure, formed out of a single piece of rubber-like material, is fabricated so that it collapses in harmony to form a smaller structure that can then be expanded into the original shape. This structure opens up new potentials in everything from architecture to micro-medical applications. Read More

Evidence of Human Birdwings flying hoax piles up

"Human Birdwings" creator Jarno Smeets and his Android-powered, mechanically-assisted flying machine are creating a stir again. Gizmag originally reported on Smeets' effort to fly like a bird when he posted a video of his first test flight, in which he appeared to hang in the air a few feet off the ground for a second or two. In the video of his latest attempt, he's shown soaring around in the air, and a lively debate over the validity of the video is already heating up. Read More