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Motor

Space

Mini ionic motor to set small satellites free

Researchers at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) have created a prototype mini motor designed to extend the capabilities of the new breed of small satellite. The motor weighs roughly 200 grams (7 oz) – including the fuel and control electronics - and could be used to change the orbit of small satellites, or even propel them to more far flung destinations that would usually require larger, more expensive spacecraft. Read More

Inventors & Remarkable People

Spanish engineer crafts "world's smallest" V-12 engine

Anyone who appreciates the precision art of engine design ought to get a kick out of this offering from a Spanish engineer named Patelo. Starting with hunks of aluminum, bronze and stainless steel, he spent over 1200 hours designing, milling, turning and drilling what he claims is "probably" the world's smallest V12 engine. Powered by compressed air injection (0.1kg/sq cm), this little marvel boasts a total displacement of 12 cubic centimeters from its twelve 11.3 mm diameter pistons and works like a charm. Best of all, you can see it come together in the detailed video that follows.Read More

Automotive

The spherical genius of the Hüttlin Kugelmotor

The car is not going to disappear anytime soon and neither is the combustion engine, despite the inevitable rise in fuel prices. We have said it before, electrical motors are an energy-efficient method for driving vehicles but battery technology is simply not going to advance quickly enough for all-electric vehicles to be a practical reality for most uses anytime soon. The near and mid-term future is undoubtedly a combination of compact combustion engine generators charging dense battery packs that drive electric motors - the "range extender" option. We reported on one possible candidate, the disc motor, a couple of months ago. Now, after nearly twenty years of development another candidate is going through final testing and it is a work of elegant genius - Dr. Herbert Hüttlin's Kugelmotor.Read More

Science

'World's smallest electric motor' consists of a single molecule

Remember back in the old days, when nano-scale motors were a clunky 500 nanometers across? That record was subsequently broken with a 200-nanometer model, but has now been broken again, by a motor that’s just one nanometer wide. By comparison, the width of a human hair is about 60,000 nanometers. The new motor, created by scientists at Tufts University in Massachusetts, is reportedly the first one ever to consist of a single molecule.Read More

Science

Researchers develop first molecular piston capable of self-assembly

Just like a regular-sized device requires a regular-sized motor to operate, a nanodevice likewise requires a molecular-scale motor. In some cases, that motor takes the form of a piston, and building a piston that’s just a few nanometers long ... well, it’s pretty hard. It can and has been done, but it’s an extremely fiddly process. Now, scientists from France’s Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and the Université de Bordeaux, along with colleagues in China, have developed a molecular piston that is capable of assembling itself.Read More

Automotive

Build your own Corvette engine at GM's Performance Build Center

There are businesses that let you glaze your own pottery, cook your own steak or pick your own strawberries, but when it comes to the hands-on experience, a new offer from General Motors has them all beat. If you order a 2011 Corvette Z06 or ZR1, you have the option of traveling to GM's Performance Build Center in Wixom, Michigan, and hand-assembling your car’s LS7 or LS9 engine. It’s called the Corvette Engine Build Experience, and is believed to be the first program of its kind (if any readers would like to dispute that claim, please do so). If you don’t like the idea of providing GM with your mechanical expertise for no cost, don’t worry - you’ll have to pay an extra $US5,800 for the privilege.Read More

Automotive

Kolimat Roadscan DTW 1.0 dual lens camera - watches you as well as the road

What’s more frustrating than an accident with a fellow motorist? Trying to work out who is at fault. Aiming to do away with such disagreements and improve overall driver security is the Kolimat Roadscan DTW 1.0 Camera system. Equipped with a dual lens in-car camera that records up to 12 hours of audio and video onto an SD card, the unit also takes still pictures at regular intervals and features full GPS and Wi-Fi capabilities. But with a function that disables erasing of data for events that measure above a preset “G” force, you had better hope you’re not at fault… Read More

Automotive

Kepler Motion: 800 horses, 0-60mph in under 2.5 seconds and drooling good looks

You would expect big things from a company founded by the only living person to hold world speed records over 200mph on land and water, and the Kepler Motors Motion certainly looks the goods. Russ Wicks' company has used the Dubai International Motor Show to unveil the 800hp supercar of which only 50 will be built. A 550hp, modified Ford EcoBoost twin-turbo 3.5L V6 drives the rear wheels independently of a 250hp electric motor driving the front wheels. Add them together and you get an AWD system which launches the Motion to 60mph under 2.5 seconds with a top speed more than 200mph. Impressive specifications and drooling good looks, we think it’s a nice combination.Read More

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