A parallel Worlds

Monday May 2 2016 / Science & Technology - A Little Levity

We've all been here, haven't we? Well, hopefully a few of you at least will have shared the following scenario with me in childhood: you have folded the perfect paper plane, which in your imagination soars effortlessly across the room to gasps of admiration (and a tinge of jealousy) from the rest of the room. But, in reality, when you release your plane (with just a little too much force) it flies straight down to the floor with a paper- and soul-crushing thwack, followed by a quickly rising volume of laughter and sniggers.

If only there was a better way.

If only your control didn't end when the plane leaves your fingers; if only you could fly your paper plane yourself. If only your paper plane could fly itself.

Well, with PowerUp 3.0 you can fly your paper plane yourself. And with PowerUp 3.0, your paper plane can fly itself.

The whole concept is simple, as the best ideas usually are, but executed with enough miniaturized high technology to power an Apollo mission and satisfy the gadget freak's micro-processing fix.

The PowerUp 3.0 kit actually comprises an electronics box attached to a rear propeller by a carbon fibre shaft. It is designed to attach to a wide range of A4-based paper planes.

A PowerUp smartphone app connects to the plane via Bluetooth 4.0, and the user can turn left or right using a small tail rudder, while climbing and descending are controlled by the throttle: speed up, it climbs; slow down, it descends. And you can also turn left and right just by tilting your phone in the desired direction.

For more information, please visit http://www.poweruptoys.com/products/powerup-v3

Suggested by
Ian Skellern

Monday March 28 2016 / Science & Technology

Think about how we move in rough terrain for a movement: whether walking uphill, downhill, or across hills, we always try and stay vertical because that's how our bodies balance best.

However, we do tend to learn over when going around corners quickly because that keeps apparent forces vertical to our bodies. French company Swincar has now developed an off road buggy that operates in the same way on rough terrain and at speed as our bodies do.

Friday January 1 2016 / Art & Design

When the Eiffel Tower was erected for the 1889 World’s Fair in Paris, many outraged people averted their eyes from what they viewed as a hideous iron beast. But the construction that once turned away so many is now among the most recognisable monuments in the world.

In Seville, Spain, the challenge of convincing the public was no different but the materials and engineering were: try building the largest wooden structure on earth atop ancient ruins while creating an inviting space for everyone to enjoy . . . in addition to rehabilitating a dilapidated part of town. This was the Metropol Parasol project.

Monday November 2 2015 / Science & Technology

For its era, it was a racing machine of a different ilk, even its name – The Beast of Turin – evokes images of a forceful, grumbling animal terrorising the streets. But just as soon as the rocket-shaped Fiat racer won the 1911 world speed record, it disappeared. And then wasn't seen or heard again from for another 100 years.

That is until it fell into the hands of Duncan Pittaway.

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