Tag Archives | Machinery

Do You Know What These Objects Are?

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is into historical inventions, including the revolutionary, strange, and ill-conceived — everything from primitive 45 rpm record players to radiation monitors. However, some items in their fascinating digital archives defy explanation — no one is sure where they came from or what their functions are (time travel dial? witch detector?). The government is asking for your help in identifying mystery machines:

Do you hold the key to solving some gadget mysteries from the last century of U.S. science and technology? Visitors to the site can view the items and offer clues about the history and origins of some of these important artifacts.

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German Inventor Saves Fuel By Flying A Kite

SkySail kite being demonstrated at promotional event. Photo: Ursula Horn (CC)

SkySail kite being demonstrated at promotional event. Photo: Ursula Horn (CC)

SkySails has invented a method that could cut down on ‘fuel consumption, costs and carbon footprints’ for commercial ships by developing giant kites. The Raw Story reports:

The blue-hulled vessel would slip by unnoticed on most seas if not for the white kite, high above her prow, towing her to what its creators hope will be a bright, wind-efficient future.

The enormous kite, which looks like a paraglider, works in tandem with the ship’s engines, cutting back on fuel consumption, costs, and carbon footprint.

“Using kites you can harness more energy than with any other type of wind-powered equipment,” said German inventor Stephan Wrage, whose company SkySails is looking for lift-off on the back of worldwide efforts to boost renewable energy.

The 160-square-metre (524-square-foot) kite, tethered to a yellow rope, can sail 500 metres into the skies where winds are both stronger and more stable, according to the 38-year-old Wrage.

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