inventions

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Design

Inventor Simone Giertz Converted Her Tesla Into… a Truckla

June 18, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Famed inventor Simone Giertz (previously) is most well-known for her devices that attempt to complete basic tasks in a comically dysfunctional manner. However, after Giertz purchased a Tesla sedan she set out to make the vehicle more functional. Because she uses lots of large supplies and tools to construct her quirky robotic machines, Giertz found that the open design of a truck bed and racks would be better suited to her lifestyle than a segmented sedan. Instead of buying a different vehicle, she transformed her Tesla into a custom truck that she has dubbed the “Truckla”.

You can watch the behind-the-scenes process video above, as well as Giertz’s parody ad for her invented vehicle (below), the tagline for which is “available nowhere”. See more of the San Francisco-based inventor’s videos, including one where she turned a piece of her radiation treatment into a lamp, on YouTube and Twitter.

 

 



Design

Mr. Trash Wheel: An Anthropomorphic Debris-Eating Mechanism Located in Baltimore Harbor

April 25, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Mr. Trash Wheel, a floating mechanism with large round eyes affixed to its hood, was installed on a tributary leading to the Baltimore Harbor in 2014. Since then, the trash-scooping object has intercepted 638,594 plastic bags, 1,000,000 styrofoam containers, 150 miles of cigarette butts, and one ball python. Using the power of the sun, the semi-autonomous machine rakes litter out of the water and up a slow but sturdy conveyer belt. The belt is strong enough to hoist mattresses, trees, and kegs from the water and into a dumpster located on a separate barge for recycling and disposal.

The device was created by sailor and engineer John Kellett who watched debris build up around Baltimore’s waterfront for over twenty years. Mr. Trash Wheel has helped lead to Maryland’s statewide ban on Styrofoam food containers (a first in the country), partly because of a loyal Twitter following by local fans who are witness to the devastating amount of trash intercepted each day.

Although Kellett plans on installing trash wheels in other cities across the US including California, New York, and Hawaii, and internationally, he had also focused on adding more trash-eating power to his local harbor. Mr. Trash Wheel now has two cousin interceptors named Professor Trash Wheel and Captain Trash Wheel who have equally cartoonish eyes attached to the front of their wide-mouthed exteriors. You can watch Mr. Trash Wheel digest its millionth pound of trash in the video below, and view a live stream of real time waste consumption on its website. (via WBUR)

 

 



Design

Kid Thinkers Partnered With Grown-Up Experts to Bring Their Inventions to Life

December 12, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

London-based designer, artist, and all-around professional brainstormer Dominic Wilcox is the person behind Little Inventors, a global project that connects kid inventors with grown-up experts to bring children’s ideas to life. Little Inventors took root in 2015, when Wilcox began establishing inventing workshops for children in his native Sunderland in the north of England. Since then, Little Inventors has steadily grown to a global scale. The organization currently hosts over 7,000 youthful ideas on their website, where adults chime in with words of affirmation to champion the original thinking that goes into each project.

Some of the clever concepts designed through the project include Connor’s customizable space boot, an invention that quite literally allows astronauts to leave their mark on interplanetary explorations, an electronic fruit bowl by Rumaan that sends out alerts when produce is about to expire, and 6-year-old Emilia’s snake-like robot that takes firefighting into its own hands. The video below shows kid inventors at work, and explains more about the project. You can discover more ideas and access resources for having an inventing session of your own on the Little Inventors website. (via IDEO)

 

 

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