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December 2014
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Insulated Stormtrooper Thermos Available!!!

Starwars Mugs

From That’s Nerdalicious! There are some awesome products coming out of Star Wars Celebration V this year, and this Stormtrooper insulated thermos is definitely a testament to that.

However, if beer is your drink, there’s also a Hoth Brewing Company mug. Both items are exclusive to the Star Wars Shop and will ship on August 30th.

Product Page: Thermos ($25) Mug ($13)


Space Invader Seat

Space Invader SeatNow I say ‘I would like that’ many times in a week, but never end up getting any stuff I like. This is something I really like and really want. Shame it is not going in to production and it is a shame Igor can not design all of the Space Invaders, now that would be very cool.

From Igor Chak

US Government Considers Flying Car

Another flying car, what is it with all these flying cars? You never know the future of the ’50s could be just round the corner?

US Government Considers Flying Car

The ultimate SUV will make urban traffic jams a thing of the past – it flies.

The AVX Transformer (TX) is the result of a challenge by the American Government military development agency DARPA. It asked someone to come up with the ultimate go-anywhere four-seat vehicle for combat use.

American company ATX, a military helicopter manufacturer from Texas, took up the challenge. Its proposal for a flying 4×4 is possibly the most mobile SUV ever – and certainly the most extreme.

It’s capable of 30mph on rough terrain, 80mph on a normal road and 140mph in the air. It can take off and land vertically from any sort of ground and converts to flight mode in just one minute.

A 250 nautical mile range (around 280 miles on land) is possible from a single tank, and it can be easily converted into a fully equipped medical vehicle in war situations. It has been designed so that even a non-pilot could easily take to the skies.

US Government Considers Flying Car

The US Government is now considering the proposal, though it will be some time before a decision on production is made.

From Yahoo Cars

ATMOS Develops New Low-Cost Spray-On Solar Panels

A UK company developing spray-on solar panels says its technology could be up to 10 times cheaper to produce than traditional photovoltaic cells. And this could go along with the green power generation reward scheme.

The devices, invented by Cheshire-based company ATMOS, are made from a mixture of metal oxide coatings deposited onto common building materials such as concrete.

Although such a system is unlikely to be as efficient at producing electricity as conventional silicon devices, it can be used to create much larger and more robust solar diodes.

ATMOS has licensed the technology to new company Teckhne, part of Universal Master Products, which will work with King’s College London, UCL and Manchester Metropolitan University to develop it into a commercial product.

‘The devices can be made by a very simple, low-cost method without clean-room conditions and the only by-products are water vapour and carbon dioxide,’ Jeffery Boardman, inventor and ATMOS managing director, told The Engineer.

Teckhne expects that the technology will more likely be used to create large-scale solar farms, rather than for micro-generation by individuals.

‘You can get more efficient solar panels but they’re so expensive no one can afford to buy them,’ said Guy Lamstaes, chief executive officer of Teckhne. ‘If space isn’t a problem but cost is, then this technology is perfect.’

The panels could theoretically by created by spraying the metal oxides onto existing roof tiles. But because the power supply could easily be disrupted if the tiles came loose, the team instead plans to design individual panels of up to 2m2 in size.

To make one of the devices, transition metal oxides are deposited onto the substrate base materials by a process called flame spraying. The minerals are projected through an acetylene-powered flame gun, becoming molten and attaching to the base.

The semi-conducting coating then works in a similar way to silicon-based solar panels, which use radiation from the sun to excite electrons in the material and so generate electricity.

‘One of the biggest challenges in the R&D [research and development] stage will be to improve the quality of the metal oxide deposits by maximising their density,’ said Boardman.

Around £500,000 is needed to develop the technology, which could take as little as 12 months once the money is found. A small Northwest Regional Development Agency grant was used to take the technology to the point of proof of concept.

The team is looking for more R&D grants and venture capital in the UK but is also discussing further investment with companies in the US and South America.

If a large manufacturing deal is agreed, Teckhne expects that it could need investment of as much as $20m (£13m). ‘But we may decide we don’t need to go that big,’ said Lamstaes.

From The Engineer

Flying Car: Not a New Design, But You Can Order One Today

Flying Car

Every pilot faces uncertain weather, rising costs, and ground transportation hassles on each end of the flight. The Transition® combines the unique convenience of being able to fold its wings with the ability to drive on any surface road in a modern personal airplane platform. Stowing the wings for road use and deploying them for flight at the airport is activated from inside the cockpit. This unique functionality addresses head-on the issues faced by today’s Private and Sport Pilots.

Terrafugia’s award-winning MIT-trained engineers have been advancing the state-of-the-art in personal aircraft since 2006. Now you can streamline your flying experience with the revolutionary integration of personal land and air travel made possible by the Transition® Roadable Aircraft.

From Terrafugia