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  1. #21  
    "...so far nobody has managed to make one work." Well, that's kinda true but not really. NASA has been using them (in satalites I believe) and there are a number of companies offering them in several forms like, "science project" motors that run off the heat of a cup of coffee and even pellet-burning home-power generators. But you are right in that no one has created a powerful, small, commercially robust design that could, say, power a scooter or even a car (though Ford may have dabbled in Stirlings in the '70's). The Deka engineers suggested that the science and technology is available now to pull it off.
  2. #22  
    What ever happened to Ginger?
  3. #23  
    Originally posted by olendorf
    What ever happened to Ginger?
    They got off the island.
  4. #24  
    Now that was good!
  5. #25  
    The light at the end of your tunnel has been disconnected due to non-payment. Please remit funds immediately for restoration of hope.
  6. #26  
    IT's the second coming of Christ! Repent! Repent!
    -Joshua
    I've decided to become enigmatic.
  7. #27  


    larger picture (173K) can be found here

    yeah, i wrote that ...
  8. #28  
    interesting. hope they invent a good way to lock it up.

    mc
  9. #29  
    I know What Ginger is. Dean Kamen and company have been hard at work improving on their original upright standing, stair climbing wheelchair, and this one is so much more. This wheelchair, in addition to standing upright and climbing stairs incorporates a revolutionary new expansion sled that allows the user to add functionality. The add on modules, known as "Trampoline Modules" can turn the chair into a lawnmower, a tow truck and even a voice recorder! A large number of third-party developers are reportedly planning Trampoline Modules, or TpM's, including one multi-function device that will be known as the "Twelve Pack." The release date is set for second quarter 2002.

    It's so much more fun making up things myself than it is listening to Chuck and Diane do it on Good Morning America. Seriously, though, Dean Kamen Doesn't seem to be making much of this new thing. I Can't understand what makes no information about a product that nobody seems to know anything about newsworthy.
  10. #30  
    Not sure if I'd want to be cruising along at 20mph on that thing and then hit a pothole.
    We're all naked if you turn us inside out.
    -David Byrne
  11. #31  
    Originally posted by homer
    Not sure if I'd want to be cruising along at 20mph on that thing and then hit a pothole.
    \

    Homer- would the car in your avatar do a lot better hitting a chuckhole?
  12. #32  
    Homer- would the car in your avatar do a lot better hitting a chuckhole?


    Well, of course it would. The smart car has 4 wheels, an nclosed shell, and a much larger center of gravity. (not to mention seatbelts, airbags, and other safety features).

    I'm not sure why they made the scooter a side-by-side whell configuration. The 'tipping axis' is parallel to the motion path. A motorcycle/scooter can take a pothole, because it has an elongated center of gravity when moving in a forward direction. The wheels then act as gyroscopes, stablizing the opposite axis.

    It just seems like a huge design flaw (and safety concern) to have a two-wheels, side-by-side vehicle.
    We're all naked if you turn us inside out.
    -David Byrne
  13. #33  
    Ok. I'll bite. What IS that thing, homer?
    -Joshua
    I've decided to become enigmatic.
  14. #34  
    Originally posted by ****-richardson
    Ok. I'll bite. What IS that thing, homer?
    It's the Mercedes-Benz Swatch mini-car

    As I recall, they changed the laws in Europe so you could parallel park just by pulling in, so long as you owned that car.

    You can also go to the dealer whenever you feel like it and change the panels, like a m100, I guess
  15. #35  
    It's a Smart car.

    http://www.thesmart.co.uk

    It's hopefully my next car. Unfortunately, they don't sell them in the US yet.

    They're big in Europe (Europeans are always so much more practical than us Americans.) Namely because they're fuel efficient (something like 70mpg) and also because they're cheap and you can park them anywhere.

    I probably wouldn't trek across the country in one, but they'd be great for cross-town commuting.
    We're all naked if you turn us inside out.
    -David Byrne
  16. #36  
    I want one.
    -Joshua
    I've decided to become enigmatic.
  17. #37  
    Originally posted by homer
    It's a Smart car.

    http://www.thesmart.co.uk

    It's hopefully my next car. Unfortunately, they don't sell them in the US yet.

    They're big in Europe (Europeans are always so much more practical than us Americans.) Namely because they're fuel efficient (something like 70mpg) and also because they're cheap and you can park them anywhere.

    I probably wouldn't trek across the country in one, but they'd be great for cross-town commuting.
    I've driven one a couple of times. They are pretty cool. Especiallyt the semi automatic transmission (like in the new porches) and quite spacious for 2 people.
    They are pretty fast too, but because they are so short they kinda rock when you slam on the accelerator or brakes (or go ove a speedbump)

    Just be carefull not to buy the ones with the sunroof, apperantly there is a problem with it (this has not been confirmed by Smart yet, but I heard multiple stories about it)

    I almost bought one, but the wife veto'd it and I found them to be a bit overpriced...
    <IMG WIDTH="200" HEIGHT="50" SRC=http://www.visorcentral.com/images/visorcentral.gif> (ex)VisorCentral Discussion Moderator
    Do files get embarrassed when they get unzipped?
  18. #38  
    Originally posted by ToolkiT
    Especiallyt the semi automatic transmission (like in the new porches) and quite spacious for 2 people.

    There are porches with semi-automatic transmissions?
    gee, mine just sits there ...
    The light at the end of your tunnel has been disconnected due to non-payment. Please remit funds immediately for restoration of hope.
  19. #39  
    Yeah, but your porch has to have a gated transmission. I wanted to install one on my house, but my wife vetoed it 'cause it wasn't going to look right on our 1840's centerhall colonial. I think they only look good on on of those Bauhaus inspired modern houses.
    "I am a debtor both to Greeks and to Barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish."
  20. #40  
    Originally posted by homer




    Well, of course it would. The smart car has 4 wheels, an nclosed shell, and a much larger center of gravity. (not to mention seatbelts, airbags, and other safety features).

    I'm not sure why they made the scooter a side-by-side whell configuration. The 'tipping axis' is parallel to the motion path. A motorcycle/scooter can take a pothole, because it has an elongated center of gravity when moving in a forward direction. The wheels then act as gyroscopes, stablizing the opposite axis.

    It just seems like a huge design flaw (and safety concern) to have a two-wheels, side-by-side vehicle.
    Interesting about the Smart Car (even though it looks like a plastic toy model), and I really wish MY porch was semi-automatic (sigh), but...

    The side-by-side configuration of the wheels is pretty amazing. I used to have a video clip of the power chair he designed in action (Johnson and Johnson's website, I believe?) and our facility offered to be a test site (but we really do not have the proper on-site staff to monitor such a test). It is an incredible design! The responsiveness is awesome, and the possibilities are pretty mind-boggling.

    As far as hitting a chuckhole- sure, there are some things that would have to be dealt with, and you better believe that if I had one, helmets and pads would be standard equipment. But... the wheelchair version can climb stairs and roll over uneven surfaces steadily enough at walking speeds (according to a long-lost report I had) to not disturb a glass of water in a on-board cup holder.

    Now, personally, my biggest question is how the heck do you get on the thing? Stand with one foot on and one off and just start it?

    We were in Chicago for vacation recently (I am from Omaha- a much different type of town). Thinking about the people we saw there, and the problems of transportation- I can easily see how revolutionary it would be if only 15% or so of the people used a Ginger device. Traffic flow, parking, pedestrian traffic, public transportation, and transport-related incomes would all undergo a pretty significant change- and this is just one city that is not all that badly off!
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