Posts tagged with ‘engineering’
Whoa, this looks like fun…
A hovercraft that rides like a motorcycle
With what looks like a Speeder Bike from Star Wars, UCLA alum and aerospace engineer Mark DeRoche has developed a new type of hovercraft known as The Aero-X. When onboard the rider feels like they’re driving a motorcycle.
The idea was to build a vehicle that could quickly glide over rough terrain. Your cruising speed could top out at 45mph at 10 feet off the ground on this thing. DeRoche says it could be used by farmers, security personnel or search and rescue missions, but admits that it could also be for those who want to joyride out in the desert.
An unmanned version is also in the works for agricultural uses such as crop dusting large areas of land.
Making Huge Strides for Mobility
This exoskeleton, developed by UC Berkeley professor Homayoon Kazerooni and his team, helps people suffering from spinal cord injuries to walk again.
“Many paraplegics are not in a situation to afford a $100,000 device, and insurance companies don’t pay for these devices,” Kazerooni said. “Our job as engineers is to make something people can use.”
To make his exoskeleton affordable, he used the simplest possible technology: a computer and batteries in a backpack, actuators at the hips, and a pair of crutches with buttons that activate an exoskeleton that fits around the legs. The crutches provide stability, an important consideration for paraplegics navigating streets and sidewalks.
“The key is independence for these people,” he said. “I want them to get up in the morning and go to work, go to the bathroom, stand at a bar and have a beer.”
We always appreciate getting an inside look at some of the tools used to conduct ucresearch. In this case, we were visiting a materials science lab at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering and came across this lab-built vacuum chamber with an attached electron gun. It’s used to measure cathodoluminescent properties of materials, usually for flat panel display applications.