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Inflatable

Between the nets, six inflatable PVC spheres up to 8.5 m (30 ft) in diameter, divide the s...

If you have ever wished you could experience weightlessness but cant afford space tourism, then a Dusseldorf art gallery may get you closer, as long as you wear sturdy shoes. The "in-orbit" multi-level art installation by Tomás Saraceno is suspended 20m (60 ft) above the piazza of the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen gallery. The Argentinian architect and artist’s largest work to date aims to resemble a cloud landscape for those brave enough to walk through it.  Read More

The inflatable hangar deployed for the first time to house the Solar Impulse in St. Louis ...

Finding hangars to house an aircraft with a wingspan greater than a Boeing 787 Dreamliner is no easy task when planning a round-the-world journey. That’s why the Solar Impulse team designed an inflatable mobile hangar to be used on the Solar Impulse’s planned 2015 circumnavigation of the globe. After a storm damaged the hangar that was to host the solar-powered aircraft at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, the team was forced to deploy the structure for the first time to keep the 2013 Across America mission on schedule.  Read More

Blowing into the large opening of the Windcatcher valve draws in surrounding air to inflat...

If you go camping down in the wild woods, the chances of happening upon a conveniently-placed power outlet for blowing up your mattress with an electric air pump are pretty remote. Unless you have a hand or foot pump in your backpack, you'll have to wrap your lips around a tiny valve that likely has a history of being dragged through all sorts of unmentionable nastiness, and then spend the next long while taking deep breaths and blowing. Ryan Frayne's Windcatcher system inflates in just a few seconds with a valve that never touches your mouth.  Read More

The AirRider hovercraft in snow conditions with weather canopy

Even though hovercraft have been around for over half a century, they still have an air of the future about them. They’re used in everything from sports to oil exploration, yet they still leave a lot to be desired in terms of ride and stability. Hoverworks of Parry Sound, Ontario hopes to improve matters with its AirRider hovercraft, which uses a hybrid hull and skirt design that combines the best of conventional hovercraft technologies.  Read More

(Image: Viteos)

Swiss energy company Viteos has announced that it is to build three floating solar arrays on Lake Neuchâtel. Viteos will work with tech company and "energy enabler" Nolaris to build the 25-m (82-ft) diameter islands, each with 100 photovoltaic panels.  Read More

The Wedge is a two-person tent

Heimplanet received much buzz for its funky, geodesic inflatable tent, the Cave. Realizing that not everyone wants to lug a big, round, air-filled cave around into the woods, the company has designed a lighter, more streamlined tent-for-two. The Wedge maintains Heimplanet's striking styling but packs it in a smaller, sleeker package.  Read More

The Luci has two brightness levels and an emergency flash mode

New York City-based Mpowerd introduced the Luci solar-powered inflatable lantern earlier this month. The lantern folds like an accordion and shines with the force of 10 LED bulbs. Its integrated solar panels also means you should never have the hassle of switching out batteries.  Read More

Cutaway view of the Bigelow BA 2100 Expandable Space Module (Image: Bigelow Aerospace)

NASA has announced that it has awarded a US$17.8 million contract to Bigelow Aerospace to provide the International Space Station with an inflatable module. Details of the award will be discussed by NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver and Bigelow Aerospace President Robert Bigelow at a press conference on January 16 at the Bigelow Aerospace facilities in North Las Vegas. However, based on previous talks, it’s likely that the module in question could be the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM).  Read More

AirTracks is a light, inflatable camera slider

An important part of any serious videographer's gear is a quality slider. It allows them to get smooth tracking shots, without having to set up railway-like tracks on the ground. Most sliders – such as the mobislyder, GlideTrack, Rhino Slider and RigWheels system – are made from rigid components that can be awkward to carry. AirTracks is designed to combat this issue by offering the same features as other sliders, but in a lightweight, inflatable package.  Read More

The trampoline bridge would cross the River Seine near to the existing Bir-Hakeim bridge

There are currently 37 bridges spanning the River Seine in Paris, but there must surely be room for one more; one that's rather different than the rest, that is perhaps inflatable and comprising three huge trampolines. Such a bridge may not be practical, but it would be fun, and no doubt become something of a tourist attraction in a city already blessed with an abundance of tourist attractions. Such a bridge exists, at least in the form of a concept design by Paris-based architectural studio Atelier Zündel Cristea.  Read More

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