Weird Science – Invention Is The Mother Of Necessity

Build a better mousetrap, it is said, and the world will beat a path to your door. The implication being that there are some problems which are just crying out for a solution. And then there are the solutions crying out for a problem - those inventions that, while inspired, are just a tad “out there”. It is this later category I shall be celebrating today.

First up, how clean is your cow? This age old problem has nagged at the minds of farmers down the ages, are their cows clean enough? And why isn’t there an easier way to clean cows? Well these merchants of the soil need worry no more thanks to a Swedish company that has developed the fully automated “cow wash”. Supposedly improving the health and yield of cows that use it, the cow wash uses a free swinging revolving brush to groom the cows while simultaneously stimulating their circulation. Apparently the cows enjoy using it and the makers DeLaval have sold over 30,000 in Sweden alone (Daily Mail).

Bigwigs in the US military will also soon be able to sleep sounder in the knowledge that the men under their command are safely in their underpants. We’re not just talking about any undies though, these have been specially designed by University of California professor Joseph Wang. Not only will his techno-trunks monitor the vitals of the personnel wearing them, they can even administer painkillers or antibiotics as the situation demands (Post Chronicle).

And if your pants don’t save you, at least your modesty will be preserved when you are taken to hospital, all thanks to the University of Montreal. For it is from that fine establishment’s School of Industrial Design that our next invention hails, a hospital gown that isn’t quite so revealing. The DUO gown is the brainchild of Noemie Marquis and Denyse Roy and consists of two overlapping panels, front and back, that is easy to put on and requires no fasteners making life simpler for both patients and staff (Medical News Today).

Meanwhile British scientists have been working on an altogether sterner cover. Nicknamed “bullet-proof custard” by its inventors, Bristol based BAE systems have developed a liquid armour consisting of layers of Kevlar combined with a secret “shear-thickening” liquid that hardens as force is applied. The company’s eventual aim is to produce lighter, more-flexible body armour for the military (BBC News).

Another surprisingly flexible invention now, one that netted its creator several awards, the bendy-bike. Obviously the bike doesn’t bend when you ride it, that’d be silly, it’s only when you get off that the ability to twist the bike around comes into play, allowing you to store it more conveniently or fold it around a lamppost for security. A case of Lance Armstrong meets Stretch Armstrong surely (Daily Mail).

Of course for some inventions their time has obviously come. Hence the recent unveiling of not one but three beer delivery robots. Yes, Steve Norris of Norris Labs (3News), Jim Gunderson of Gamma Two (IEEE) and California based Willow Garage (CNet) have all recently rolled out their solution to the age old problem that men have faced since time immemorial. Well, the unmarried ones anyway.

More robots now, and in the wake of the Soccer World Cup, I thought I’d highlight the work of a University of Chile team lead by Javier Ruiz-del-Solar who are busy teaching their soccer playing robot how to take a dive. Of course the more serious purpose is to get the robots to fall and recover “gracefully”, only then can they move on to rolling around in mock agony (New Scientist).

But for weirdness, taking a dive has nothing on a robot taking a dump. Engineers from Bristol Robotics Lab in the UK have been working on a robot powered by waste biomass, which is broken down by “microbial fuel cells” to generate electricity and a certain amount of waste “waste” that has to be eliminated. Cue the artificial gut, a digestive tract for robots that uses gravity and peristalsis to squeeze away the remains of its last meal. Called Ecobot-III, it can feed and water itself from special “fuelling points” and relieves itself once a day into a litter tray, though as lab director Chris Melhuish points out, “Diarrhoea-bot would be more appropriate” (New Scientist).

And finally, simply because it is so cool, here is someone who has invented his own musical instrument…
     Posted By: Dumbfounded - Thu Jul 22, 2010
     Category: Animals | Farming | Bicycles and Other Human-powered Vehicles | Futurism | Hospitals | Inventions | Robots | Science | Technology | Underwear

I would just like to say that its udderly amazing how happy that cow looks.

Also I want that bike. Not because its hard to steal but because it would be such a cool thing to have.... to you know show off to the ladies. Yeah your bodyfriend has a sports car? Guess what I have a bendible bike. Besides criminals are stupid they most likely would be unable to figure out how to ride it anyway.
Posted by EmperorUnknown on 07/22/10 at 05:52 PM
cows- a fool and his money...

wang- my thought too passin'by! who better to develop undies tham professor wang!

hosp. gown- when you are sick enough to be in the hospital, who cares. besides it sounds like a pain to get in amd out of for care.

liquid armor- so you run around with sloppy sludge slathered all over yourself and if you get hit it hardens up. sounds uncomfortable to me.

bike- lance armstrong meets stretch armstrong!lol love it dumbfounded.

beer robot- teach it to blow the guy and ladies, we might be replaced!

falling robot- never thought anyone would teach clumsiness.

robopoop- for the love of humanity why? i got enough trouble with the cat!

music- very cool! like an accoustic synthesizer.

really great post dumbfounded! 💋
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 07/22/10 at 05:55 PM
maybe they could add the armor to the undies so when you get excited a thin layer of the stuff coats your stuff as an automatic condom. whada think guys?
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 07/23/10 at 12:20 AM
Cow Wash - does it have an undercarriage wash attachment? Can you get a Wax, Polish, Sealer & RainX, too?

Mad Science Undies & “Bullet-Proof Custard” - I Loves me some DARPA Mad Science! You know they're working on Regrowing Limbs if soldiers lose'em in battle, and are testing Mind Controlled Robot Arms for when that doesn't work; they have Lab Grown Blood for transfusions when they run low in the field, and can send wounded into Suspended Animation if that runs out, too.

That being said, there were a few fights in my youth where underwear that would harden to absorb blows would have been appreciated.

Beer Bot - Asahai already built one years ago, and released an improved version. Once they've mastered Pancakes humans will be superfluous!

Diego Stocco - Look at his website for his 4 Necked Contrabass (Violin, Viola, Bass & Cello) with Drum Pedal, playing a Drying Rack with a Bass Bow, Music from him playing a Tree, and him playing a Piano while it's on Fire!
Posted by Freddie Freelance on 07/23/10 at 02:22 PM
cello! that's the one i was trying to remember yesterday!
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 07/23/10 at 02:44 PM
There's always room for Cello.
Posted by Freddie Freelance on 07/23/10 at 03:38 PM
patty, have you seen those commercials lately where California is trying to sell their dairy products with happy cows, and asking people to vote on the next Happy Cow? I live on the opposite side of the continent and I still have to watch them. I bet they use those machines!
Posted by Nethie on 07/23/10 at 08:22 PM
yeah those commercials crack me up too nethie. prolly do use them there!lol
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 07/23/10 at 08:31 PM
nice one.. keep it up
Posted by Hose Reel on 03/27/13 at 01:46 AM
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