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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

The Python 5000's single operator can quickly fill potholes from within the vehicle's cab

Nobody likes potholes, but it often seems that they’re one of those hardships we just have to put up with until they get almost impassable ... after all, it’s a big deal to send out a road crew who will have to block one or two lanes of traffic for half an hour or more, while they risk being struck by inattentive drivers. Apparently, however, pothole-filling needn’t be such an involved process. Cities now have the option of using the Python 5000, which is a vehicle that is operated by one person from inside its cab, and that can patch a two-foot (0.6-meter) pothole in about two minutes.  Read More

An ETT (Evacuated Tube Transport) line in which car-sized passenger/cargo capsules would t...

Although there are similarities to the Startram concept we looked at recently, this take on maglev-like transport is all on terra firma and, if it ever eventuates, would take passengers from New York to Beijing in just two hours. Advocates of Evacuated Tube Transport (ETT) claim it is silent, cheaper than planes, trains or cars and faster than jets.  Read More

The EH Line Street Racer

EH Line calls its top-of-the-line Street Racer the "Ferrari" of its electric bike range. The 250 kw e-bike has a beautiful aluminum monocoque chassis and Bionx power sensing technology which offers eight levels of rider support - from an additional 300% of the muscle power the rider puts in, through to recharging the battery and even simulating gradients during flat road training. It also has Ferrari-class pricing which begins at EUR6,990 (US$9,250) ... and if you're in any doubt as to how good an aluminum monocoque can look painted in different ways, see the gallery.  Read More

The Velocity is a prototype pedal-electric bicycle with a power system that can be removed...

For people who wouldn’t otherwise ride a bike, or who don’t want to arrive at work all hot and sweaty, electric-assist bicycles are a neat idea. Commonly referred to as pedelecs (for “pedal-electric”), they use an electric motor to augment the rider’s own body strength while pedaling, yet that motor can usually be switched off when they don’t need it. The only problem with that setup ... even when the motor isn’t being used, it and its battery are still there, weighing the bike down. For his prototype Velocity pedelec, however, Taiwanese designer Larry Chen came up with a creative solution – an easily-removable motor/battery unit. It was enough to win him a gold award at the latest International Bicycle Design Competition in Taiwan.  Read More

The Yikebike is a miniature, electric penny farthing made of carbon fiber capable of 25km/...

The Yikebike is a miniature, electric penny farthing made of carbon fiber capable of 25 km/h (15 mph) with a range of 10 km (6.2 miles), or 20 km (12.4 miles) if you carry a spare battery.  Read More

Version 3 of the Self-Balancing Unicycle from Focus Designs has a faster top speed but a s...

Inner city congestion, rising parking charges, pedestrian-only zones and other measures to persuade folks to leave the car at home can seem a little at odds with the increasing pace of our busy working lives. Getting the train to work is all well and good but if the office is quite a distance from the station, then workers are faced with hopping on more public transport or taking along a portable personal vehicle like a folding bicycle, mini scooter or unicycle. If you want to avoid having to hit the showers before sitting at your desk, then motorized versions of most are now available. Regular readers will already know that we're quite fond of the electric unicycle, particularly when it's combined with self-balancing mechanisms. One of the first to be featured was the SBU from Focus Designs, the third version of which has just been released.  Read More

The featherweight foam-reinforced Tegris composite monocoque gives the emcycle the kerb we...

The potential for electric-assisted, human-powered vehicles to play a substantial role in the transport systems of the future is immense, and there has never been a better example of this potential than the Emcycle concept. The Emcycle is a tilting, three-wheeled pedelec (electric pedal assist), with a foam-reinforced, Tegris composite monocoque body, full suspension and a kerb weight of just 36 kg (80 lb). The Emcycle is initially planned as a 500 W electric assist but could easily be built in 1000 W (1 kW) and greater versions. Importantly, the Emcycle offers many of the amenities of a car (instrumentation, wipers, entertainment etc), plus weather and crash protection, and a huge lockable carrying capacity. In terms of weight, the Emcycle can safely carry 320 pounds (144 kg), including the weight of the rider, making it ideal for the citybike rental and inner urban delivery markets. A target price of US$4000 to US$5000 is envisaged.  Read More

The aptly-named 'Board of Imagination' moves forward just by having a user think about it,...

Chaotic Moon Labs drew a lot of attention last month at CES 2012 with its motion controlled "Board of Awesomeness," a longboard that a rider controls by gesturing at a Kinect sensor on the front. Apparently though, that was just the beginning. So, how could the studio possibly improve on a skateboard that starts and stops just by having a person move their hands? By not having the rider move at all. The latest creation, the aptly named "Board of Imagination," moves forward just by having a user think about it while wearing an Emotiv EPOC headset.  Read More

Bus shelters across the UK will smell like baked potatoes, thanks to a new advertising cam...

With the assistance of signage suppliers JCDecaux, McCain - makers of a variety of oven-cooked potato products - have come up with a novel advertising campaign to promote their ready-baked baked potatoes. Bus shelters in cities across the UK are to be fitted with smell-emitting advertisements designed to mimic the aroma of a slow-baked potato.  Read More

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