Tag Archives: invention

Steven M. Johnson’s Bizarre Invention #58: Unusual Bike Seat for Kids

Editor’s Note: Steven M. Johnson’s “Patent Depending” series of inventions range from social commentary to plain ol’ bizarre, and they always give us a laugh. So we’ve contracted him to let us publish one every week.

Up this week: For those who cycle, and for whom their baby is the hub of their life….


Core77

Steven M. Johnson’s Bizarre Invention #58: Unusual Bike Seat for Kids

Editor’s Note: Steven M. Johnson’s “Patent Depending” series of inventions range from social commentary to plain ol’ bizarre, and they always give us a laugh. So we’ve contracted him to let us publish one every week.

Up this week: For those who cycle, and for whom their baby is the hub of their life….


Core77

“Vertical Walking” Invention: A New Way to Get from One Floor to Another

To change floors in a building you’ve got staircases, escalators, elevators and, in some magical parts of the world, paternosters. That’s pretty much it. But an international design collective known as the Rombout Frieling Lab has designed an entirely new method of going up or down. They call it Vertical Walking:

While this seems unlikely, they claim that by “Exploiting the potential of the human body and materials, less than 10% of the effort is required [to use this system] compared to taking stairs.” To prove its efficacy, they put together this side-by-side video of a man with a prosthetic hip and knee using both systems:

As for why they invented it:

The price of urban land is skyrocketing. And another 3 billion people are expected to live in cities: we will be forced to exploit vertical space: More and taller towers, the use of attics and roofs: we need to get up high.

Yet, our populations are aging and staircases become major bottlenecks, while being unattractive at greater heights for all. Lifts are rarely a good alternative as they rely on significant external power, they deprive us from daily exercise and are expensive and intrusive to install.

…No external energy is needed [for this system]. This prototype has been successfully tested by a wide range of users, including MS-suffering Angelica, Nigerian amputee Abiodun as well as young office tower workers who found it ‘incredibly cool’.

While they’ve apparently got the mechanics figured out, it does raise all sorts of interesting design questions. Ought it be enclosed? If so, what can be done to prevent claustrophobia during use? And from a UX standpoint, would there be markings within the shaft for the user to have a sense of progress?

In structures housing multiple people, how would bottlenecks be avoided? How many units need to be installed?

Is there a mechanism to send it up or down autonomously, or does the unit always remain where the last user left it?

How will one carry things—packages, a glass of water, a load of laundry—up and down?

I for one hope they pursue the project, as I’m curious to see how these questions and more are answered. And apparently they will pursue it: “It is [our] ambition,” they write, “to develop this experimental prototype into solutions that can help…all of us, to move harmoniously through our vertical habitats of the future.”


Core77

“Vertical Walking” Invention: A New Way to Get from One Floor to Another

To change floors in a building you’ve got staircases, escalators, elevators and, in some magical parts of the world, paternosters. That’s pretty much it. But an international design collective known as the Rombout Frieling Lab has designed an entirely new method of going up or down. They call it Vertical Walking:

While this seems unlikely, they claim that by “Exploiting the potential of the human body and materials, less than 10% of the effort is required [to use this system] compared to taking stairs.” To prove its efficacy, they put together this side-by-side video of a man with a prosthetic hip and knee using both systems:

As for why they invented it:

The price of urban land is skyrocketing. And another 3 billion people are expected to live in cities: we will be forced to exploit vertical space: More and taller towers, the use of attics and roofs: we need to get up high.

Yet, our populations are aging and staircases become major bottlenecks, while being unattractive at greater heights for all. Lifts are rarely a good alternative as they rely on significant external power, they deprive us from daily exercise and are expensive and intrusive to install.

…No external energy is needed [for this system]. This prototype has been successfully tested by a wide range of users, including MS-suffering Angelica, Nigerian amputee Abiodun as well as young office tower workers who found it ‘incredibly cool’.

While they’ve apparently got the mechanics figured out, it does raise all sorts of interesting design questions. Ought it be enclosed? If so, what can be done to prevent claustrophobia during use? And from a UX standpoint, would there be markings within the shaft for the user to have a sense of progress?

In structures housing multiple people, how would bottlenecks be avoided? How many units need to be installed?

Is there a mechanism to send it up or down autonomously, or does the unit always remain where the last user left it?

How will one carry things—packages, a glass of water, a load of laundry—up and down?

I for one hope they pursue the project, as I’m curious to see how these questions and more are answered. And apparently they will pursue it: “It is [our] ambition,” they write, “to develop this experimental prototype into solutions that can help…all of us, to move harmoniously through our vertical habitats of the future.”


Core77

“Vertical Walking” Invention: A New Way to Get from One Floor to Another

To change floors in a building you’ve got staircases, escalators, elevators and, in some magical parts of the world, paternosters. That’s pretty much it. But an international design collective known as the Rombout Frieling Lab has designed an entirely new method of going up or down. They call it Vertical Walking:

While this seems unlikely, they claim that by “Exploiting the potential of the human body and materials, less than 10% of the effort is required [to use this system] compared to taking stairs.” To prove its efficacy, they put together this side-by-side video of a man with a prosthetic hip and knee using both systems:

As for why they invented it:

The price of urban land is skyrocketing. And another 3 billion people are expected to live in cities: we will be forced to exploit vertical space: More and taller towers, the use of attics and roofs: we need to get up high.

Yet, our populations are aging and staircases become major bottlenecks, while being unattractive at greater heights for all. Lifts are rarely a good alternative as they rely on significant external power, they deprive us from daily exercise and are expensive and intrusive to install.

…No external energy is needed [for this system]. This prototype has been successfully tested by a wide range of users, including MS-suffering Angelica, Nigerian amputee Abiodun as well as young office tower workers who found it ‘incredibly cool’.

While they’ve apparently got the mechanics figured out, it does raise all sorts of interesting design questions. Ought it be enclosed? If so, what can be done to prevent claustrophobia during use? And from a UX standpoint, would there be markings within the shaft for the user to have a sense of progress?

In structures housing multiple people, how would bottlenecks be avoided? How many units need to be installed?

Is there a mechanism to send it up or down autonomously, or does the unit always remain where the last user left it?

How will one carry things—packages, a glass of water, a load of laundry—up and down?

I for one hope they pursue the project, as I’m curious to see how these questions and more are answered. And apparently they will pursue it: “It is [our] ambition,” they write, “to develop this experimental prototype into solutions that can help…all of us, to move harmoniously through our vertical habitats of the future.”


Core77

Incredible Dutch Invention Allows One Person to Move a 20-Ton Trailer

A Netherlands-based outfit called Verhagen Leiden got their start 52 years ago providing industrial cleaning equipment to companies in the Benelux region. Well, apparently part of their clients’ needs for keeping their operations tidy involves moving heavy things around to keep their lots organized. Some of these things can be really heavy, like 20-ton trailers.

The established way to move trailers is to have a licensed driver back his rig up to them, hook it up, and start burning diesel while zigzagging the trailer around the lot. Instead Verhagen Leiden developed this ingenious thing:

They call it the V-Move Trailer Mover XXL, which runs on an electric motor and battery power. What you can’t see in the video is that the V-Mover comes with an emergency stop, a horn and some type of unspecified anti-tipping mechanism. Companies that use it don’t need to tie up a driver when moving trailers—a single unlicensed employee can operate it. However, we assume they must still have a good grasp of the physics and geometry required to safely move a trailer around.

Via The Awesomer


Core77

Incredible Dutch Invention Allows One Person to Move a 20-Ton Trailer

A Netherlands-based outfit called Verhagen Leiden got their start 52 years ago providing industrial cleaning equipment to companies in the Benelux region. Well, apparently part of their clients’ needs for keeping their operations tidy involves moving heavy things around to keep their lots organized. Some of these things can be really heavy, like 20-ton trailers.

The established way to move trailers is to have a licensed driver back his rig up to them, hook it up, and start burning diesel while zigzagging the trailer around the lot. Instead Verhagen Leiden developed this ingenious thing:

They call it the V-Move Trailer Mover XXL, which runs on an electric motor and battery power. What you can’t see in the video is that the V-Mover comes with an emergency stop, a horn and some type of unspecified anti-tipping mechanism. Companies that use it don’t need to tie up a driver when moving trailers—a single unlicensed employee can operate it. However, we assume they must still have a good grasp of the physics and geometry required to safely move a trailer around.

Via The Awesomer


Core77

Best Game Invention Ever: Mousetrap Jenga!

If you’re the type of yellowbelly that jumps at loud noises, yeah, maybe stock Jenga is exciting enough for you. I mean nothing gets the adrenaline going like the sound of small wooden blocks clattering on a tabletop, amirite? But for those of you interested in introducing some real stakes—like physical pain—what you need to do is make little tiny Jenga blocks, followed by a trip to the hardware store. Then you can make a real game.

Now presenting: Mousetrap Jenga!

Who knew Gandalf’s younger brother was such a goddamned coward? 

Man up, Randalf!


Core77

Best Game Invention Ever: Mousetrap Jenga!

If you’re the type of yellowbelly that jumps at loud noises, yeah, maybe stock Jenga is exciting enough for you. I mean nothing gets the adrenaline going like the sound of small wooden blocks clattering on a tabletop, amirite? But for those of you interested in introducing some real stakes—like physical pain—what you need to do is make little tiny Jenga blocks, followed by a trip to the hardware store. Then you can make a real game.

Now presenting: Mousetrap Jenga!

Who knew Gandalf’s younger brother was such a goddamned coward? 

Man up, Randalf!


Core77

Best Game Invention Ever: Mousetrap Jenga!

If you’re the type of yellowbelly that jumps at loud noises, yeah, maybe stock Jenga is exciting enough for you. I mean nothing gets the adrenaline going like the sound of small wooden blocks clattering on a tabletop, amirite? But for those of you interested in introducing some real stakes—like physical pain—what you need to do is make little tiny Jenga blocks, followed by a trip to the hardware store. Then you can make a real game.

Now presenting: Mousetrap Jenga!

Who knew Gandalf’s younger brother was such a goddamned coward? 

Man up, Randalf!


Core77

An Epic Workbench, Complicated Joinery Made Simple, a New Hardware Invention and More

The Workbench to End All Workbenches

WOW. Jesse de Geest finally shows the video of him building his epic workbench, and it’s every bit as awesome as it was hyped to be. For those of you who haven’t been following, de Geest was determined to build his workbench like a fine piece of furniture, an heirloom that would be passed down to subsequent generations of his family. And his intention shows:

A New Type of Hardware for Fastening Tabletops

Pretty cool: Izzy Swan has invented a piece of hardware that is now being manufactured and sold by FastCap. As Swan walks you through an end table build, he shows you how his Izzy Skirt Washers can be used to securely affix a tabletop while the slotted design allows for wood movement, permitting your tabletop to seasonally expand and contract without warping or cracking.

Experimental Lathe-and-CNC-Made Bowl

In order to become good at making things, you need to develop a mastery of skills through repetition. But it’s also equally important to explore techniques you’ve never tried before. Hence Frank Howarth experiments here with cutting concentric rings out of a single board, then glueing it up into a bowl he can turn on the lathe before adding some details on his new CNC tilting end table:

Mallet Madness

Depending on the kind of work you do you’ll find a mallet either handy, for the occasional persuasion-fit, or indispensable, for driving chisels. Here Jay Bates shows you two methods for making your own. The first method relies primarily on hand tools, while the second method is for those that prefer power tools:

Making Elaborate Joinery Simple

Another from Jay Bates: In this one he demonstrates a classic joinery technique for keeping tabletops flat over time, while still allowing for expansion and contraction: The breadboard end. Bates adds his own twist by incorporating a through-mortise, and we get to see the meticulous nature that makes Jay Bates, Jay Bates as he agonizes over an error that resulted in a visible wedge being 1/16th of an inch off. (Bates, no one will notice, the piece is beautiful!)

Wood and Steel Bathroom Cabinet

Using nothing but common big-box hardware store materials, Steve Ramsey builds an improbably handsome bathroom cabinet. Just goes to show you what some stain and spraypaint can accomplish. He also recovers from a mid-project error, and has a piece of good luck with the final distance of the door swing:

Angle-Top Cabinet Install

Being able to use the awkward space where an angled ceiling meets a low wall, as in an attic, is often challenging. Here Sandra Powell, a/k/a Sawdust Girl, shows us how she got the most out of it by designing and installing angle-topped cabinets to fill the void:

Lego Build Table

Jeez Louise. Bob Clagett already had our Father of the Year award for his epic arcade cabinet build, but here he goes the distance again, this time crafting a well-designed Lego Build Table for the Clagett brood:

Ipe-Topped Media Cabinet

Here Linn from Darbin Orvar bangs out a mightily impressive media cabinet, with an Ipe top and self-turned legs and knobs. As always, she helpfully highlights which products and tools she’s using, and why. (I’ve gotta say though, watching her using the doweling jig made me want to call Festool up and beg them to give her a Domino!)


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