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Inflatable

Mercedes-Benz is set to put its Beltbag inflatable seat-belt into production

We first saw Mercedes-Benz’s Beltbag in the company’s gadget-laden ESF2009 Experimental Safety Vehicle. Now the German automaker has announced the inflatable seat-belt strap is set to go into production and debut in an as yet unnamed luxury-class model. Mercedes is following in the footsteps of Ford, which introduced the first production inflatable seat-belts in the 2011 Explorer and now includes the technology in a number of models.  Read More

NASA inflatable reentry vehicle during plasma phase of Mars landing (Image: NASA)

Your spacecraft is falling from the skies at an initial speed of Mach 25. Your reentry heat shield, that has to survive a 7,800 degrees Celsius (14,072° F) plasma shock, is a finely tuned hi-tech amalgam of refractory metals and carbides and reinforced carbon-carbon ablation materials. Care to replace your mighty heat shield with a balloon? Not likely! But that is exactly what NASA is considering.  Read More

An attached hand pump allows the wearer to apply and regulate soothing pressure by pumping...

Autism sufferers can often experience high levels of anxiety caused by sensory overload. While some would-be solutions focus on removing this sensory stimulation and distraction (like the Study Nook) others aim at dealing with the stress caused. The Squease Vest is an inflatable vest which, it's claimed, can help to alleviate anxiety through deep body pressure.  Read More

The giant plug inflates to roughly 32 feet (9.7 m) long and with a diameter of 16 feet (4....

What’s the best way to plug a giant hole? Why with a giant plug, of course. That’s the thinking of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T), which has created just such a giant plug to contain flooding or dangerous gases in mass transit tunnels. Measuring roughly 32 feet (9.7 m) long and with a diameter of 16 feet (4.9 m), the giant plug is an enormous inflatable cylinder that can be filled with air or water in minutes to quickly seal off a section of tunnel in the event of an accident, natural disaster or terrorist attack.  Read More

Airlite snowshoes inflate and keep you from sinking into snow

Trudging through knee- or thigh-deep snow is far more tiring - not to mention freezing - than walking on solid ground. If you find yourself caught in the middle of a snowstorm without snowshoes, you could get into trouble quickly. Airlite inflatable snowshoes give you a lightweight emergency back-up, that lets you walk atop the snow and get out safe and sound.  Read More

The Air If You Dare snowboard features dual tubes

In its Web series "Every Third Thursday," California-based snowboard company Signal Snowboards gets loose and creative in the shop and designs experimental one-offs that push the boundaries of what a snowboard is all about. Last month, the team made a surfboard-snowboard hybrid, and in the most recent installment, they created a snowboard that operates like a bike tire called "Air if you Dare."  Read More

The inflatable geodesic 'Cave' tent from Heimplanet

Camping can be fun but to be honest, tents are a pain. The romance of carrying your accommodations with you and the excitement of arriving at a new destination can both be swiftly tempered by reality. Erecting your tent using bent aluminum poles, bits of string, damp plastic sheeting and too few pegs becomes old very quickly. Add in pitch darkness and/or rain and the temptation to head for the nearest dodgy hotel can become irresistible. It doesn't have to be that way. Eight years ago two Stefan's from Germany had an idea for a better tent - and now it's here. Time to erect - 1 minute.  Read More

Ant-Roach is a six-legged 'pneubot,' designed to showcase the capabilities of inflatable r...

What weighs a little under 70 pounds, has six legs, and is full of air? No, it's not conjoined monkey triplets with gas - as you've doubtless already gathered from the picture, it's a walking inflatable robot known as Ant-Roach. Earning its name by looking like a cross between an anteater and a cockroach, the wonderfully-kooky beast is the creation of San Francisco-based engineering/design group Otherlab. Besides providing amusement, the device was built to showcase the high strength-to-weight ratios and carrying capacities that are possible with inflatable robots.  Read More

The Mobile Cultural Mobilizarte is a three-part inflatable portable pavilion

This eye-catching pavilion is the result a collaboration between architectural firms Frentes and PAX.RQ, designed for this year's Mobilizarte Design Competition. Architects were given the challenge of creating a mobile cultural space that could be easily assembled, disassembled and transported for five years of use in ten different Brazilian cities. Comprised of three simple elements (scaffolding, prism towers and inflatable membrane) and transportable in two containers, the Mobile Cultural Mobilizarte takes five days to install and features an area size of 1,000 square meters (1,196 sq. yds.), expandable to 3,500 sq.m. (4,186 sq.yds.) – that's nearly as big as a football field.  Read More

The Biknd Helium is a bicycle shipping case that uses inflatable bladders to protect one's...

If you’ve shelled out several thousand dollars for a high-end road or mountain bike, it’s understandable that you might want to bring it with you when you travel to far-away cycling locales. Should you be traveling to compete in a race, it’s pretty much essential that you bring the bike you’ve trained on. It’s also understandable, however, that you might not want to entrust the safety of your precious cargo to a simple cardboard box or giant plastic bag. While several companies offer foam-padded bicycle-shipping cases, Biknd takes a different approach with its Helium case – it uses inflatable air bladders to protect your ride.  Read More

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