Interesting Engineering

GravityLight: lighting for the developing countries

GravityLight is a revolutionary new approach to storing energy and creating illumination. It takes only 3 seconds to lift the weight which powers GravityLight, creating 30 minutes of light on its descent. For free.

Following the initial inspiration of using gravity, and years of perspiration, we have refined the design and it is now ready for production. We need your help to fund the tooling, manufacture and distribution of at least 1000 gravity powered lights. We will gift them to villagers in both Africa and India to use regularly. The follow-up research will tell us how well the lights met their needs, and enable us to refine the design for a more efficient MK2 version.

To achieve this we launched a fundraising campaign on Indiegogo and we have been thrilled by the support shown during the first 24 hours of the campaign start. But it’s not yet over we still need your support by contributing to the project and spreading the word.

GravityLight: lighting for the developing countries from T4 on Vimeo.

Kerosene lamps used in off-grid, rural areas are a major problem. They’re bad for people’s healthand the environment’s. One startup’s solution is to tap another, greener resource, something we all have in abundance: gravity.

The invention, GravityLight, does exactly what the name suggests: It keeps a light going through the power of gravity. As an attached weight falls, it pulls a cord through the center of the light, powering a dynamo. That dynamo converts the energy from the falling weight into power for the light. (It’s the same idea as a hand-cranked device, just more vertical.) The weight can be set in a few seconds, and as it slowly reaches Earth, enough energy is generated to keep a light working for 30 minutes. As long as it’s set every 30 minutes, it makes for a green, battery-free, continuous stream of light. Other, similar devices like battery chargers could be used through the same process, too.

The inventors say the gadgets can be sold now for less than $10, which would make a return on investment for owners three months after dumping kerosene lighting. And speaking of investments, the group has already shattered the goal for its Indiegogo campaign, meaning we’ll hopefully see these in action soon.


These Terrifying Handcuffs Can Shock And Drug Prisoners

A recently filed patent details the (scary dystopian) handcuffs of the future.

Electric Shock Cuffs USPTO via Patent Bolt

An Arizona-based company recently filed a patent for high-tech futuristic handcuffs that are, in a word, terrifying. In addition to restraining prisoners, the cuffs can also deliver electric shocks and sedatives.

They’re still in the patent phase right now, of course, but when they do exist on a full commercial scale, they could work manually at a guard’s behest or they could be programmed to automatically activate when someone in cuffs starts to act up or steps outside of certain boundaries. Safety mechanisms could–hopefully will–be set to prevent a guard from doping or shocking prisoners to the point where they suffer from major side effects. Death, for example.

As for the drugs: They could include “an irritant, a medication, a sedative, a transdermal medication or transdermal enhancers such as dimethyl sulfoxide, a chemical restraint, a paralytic, a medication prescribed to the detainee, and combinations thereof.”

If the cuffs move past the patent office and into commercial production, it’ll be interesting to see what sort of rules and regulations come attached. From patent photos, it looks like the developers might already have a prototype, which means we might be seeing them sooner rather than later. Note to self: Avoid jail.

Galaxy Note II – Liquid Pixels – Samsung

Samsung and the Galaxy Note II introduce Liquid Pixels. A short film documenting a piece of interactive water art, controlled solely using the Galaxy Note II and its S Pen technology.

The concept was created by Daniel Kupfer, and took 10 days to create and used over 3,000 connections, which were all fitted individually.

Liquid Pixels is an interactive water art piece that combines the new Galaxy Note II and S Pen technology controlling over 400 water pumps, to create something uniquely creative!

Check out the project’s video:

Circular Pedestrian Bridge in Lujiazui, China

Circular Pedestrian Bridge in Lujiazui, China 

Last year, a new pedestrian bridge was unveiled in Lujiazui in the Pudong district of Shanghai. This large scale circular pedestrian overpass enables pedestrians to avoid traffic at the round-about terminus of Lujiazui Rd. The bridge provides access to the Oriental Pearl Tower connecting financiers to leisure areas such as shopping malls and cafes, a transit station and office buildings. The bridge sits almost 20 feet above the street, with numerous escalator stairway entrances and exits.