A parallel Worlds

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.

The appropriately named Swincar Spider has an electric motor in the hub of each wheel and all four wheels are independently suspended on long articulated spider-like arms. These enable the Spider to go up and down inclines as steep as 70 degrees, traverse 50-degree slopes, and cross ditches diagonally, all while keeping the driver vertical.

And it will also lean into turns at speed, just like a motorbike.

French inventors Pascal Rambaud, Jerome Arsac and Thierry James spent eight years developing their innovative off road scrambler, and launched at the 2015 Geneva Invention Fair where they were rewarded with a cluster of prizes including the public prize and a gold medal with congratulations from the jury.

The independent tilting suspension arms provide each wheel with an incredible range movement and enable the Swincar to cross terrain with extreme inclines and rough trenches that would be impossible in any other type of ATV.  And then when you arrive on good flat surfaces and build up some speed, the Spider leans in like a stable 4-wheel motorbike.

Hydraulically assisted 4-wheel steering and braking make operating the as Spider easy as your courage will allow.

Swincar also has a two-seater version in the works for double the fun.

For more information, please visit www.swincar.fr.

Suggested by
Ian Skellern

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.

<< First | < Previous