Wireless Power to Electronic Devices

A friend and I have argued for quite some time about if we will ever have true wireless power, similar to how we have wireless Internet connectivity, Bluetooth, Infrared, etc.  I always tell him, if you start sending energy willy-nilly through the air, you will hit someone and kill them.

A company called Powermat has developed some pretty cool technology that creates an “almost” wireless power source.  It is called the powermat and utilizes the principles of magnetic induction to transmit electrical power via an ultra thin mat embedded in, or overlaid on, any surface or wall, to electronic devices placed randomly upon it.  While not truly wireless, it does seem like it could help de-clutter our cabled power world.

For now, I still think I have won the bet, as technically a device still needs to contact the powermat, but who knows, maybe true wireless power delivery will exist someday…

Take a look at it here.  They also have a witty blog here.


Tesla Roadster spotted in Chicago

It looks like the Tesla Roadster is finally starting to make an appearance.  As most people know, the Tesla has suffered from delay after delay, frustrating those who have been so excited to start seeing them out on the road.  Initially they had issues with their transmission, but it looks like they now have that behind them.

Tesla Roadster Spotted in Chicago 5

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Tesla Roadster Spotted in Chicago 2

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Check out Lion Electric Vehicles

I recently stumbled across Lion Electric Vehicles.  These guys have some great new technology that enables you to hop-up your existing hybrid by swapping out your existing batteries with new batteries can greatly increase your range.

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And even more incredible is that they are selling Ford Escape Hybrids that have already been modified with their new technology.  Changes to the battery pack and the sensor program allow it to run on EV entirely within city speed ranges.  On the highway it operates as an ICE vehicle with electric boost.

ford-escape-hybrid_courtesy_photo_ford

These guys are based out of VA, but have facilities all over the world.  It is nice to see a US company developing new technology that will help power the new energy-independence economy.  I am hopeful that our current energy crisis well help pour capital into companies like Lion which will help develop the new technologies required to achieve our goal of energy independence.


The Th!nk City Electric Car

I recently noticed the press release for this nifty little new electric car that is produced by the Norwegian firm Th!nk Global.  Ironically, Ford Motors actually developed this vehicle but sold it to Norwegian investors back in 2003.  Ford Motor Company owned the TH!NK brand from 1999-2004.

While the four-seater has a 110 mile range and a top speed of 65 mph, studies have show that this type of performance is adaquate for almost all city drivers, as well commuters that have less than 20 mile commutes.

Th!nk Global also claims that the car is made from 95% recyclable materials, will cost less than $25,000, and become available in the U.S. in 2009.  Recently Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers, the leading venture firm that is investing in and accelerating Green technology solutions and policy innovations, has pumped additional funding into Th!nk so that they can expand into North America.

While I am certainly excited about the prospects of more and more companies getting into the electric car market, it is a shame that our Big Three are not leading the charge.  The technology innovations required for these new cars should be coming from our own companies, and the manufactoring jobs would certainly be welcome in the Detroit area.

The Th!nk City electric car, a four-seater with 110 mile range and top speed of 65 mph, priced under $25,000, made from 95% recyclable materials, and available in the U.S. in 2009T, but the actual mass roll out is slated for sometime in 2011.

http://www.21stcentury.co.uk/cars/ford_th!nk.asp – Old Press Release from Ford on the Th!nk!

2014 Update

Again, at a time when electric car makers were praying for good news, Th!nk City came along and got laughed out of the industry with its lackluster product. The automaker went bankrupt not once, not twice, but three times before it was all said and done. In retrospect, the “cute” exclamation point in the name didn’t help, either

Read more


RIP – Blue Meanie – 7/7/2008

Blue Lobster - \

Poor Blue Meanie passed away yesterday.  He was a faithful pet for the past 18 months.  Unfortunately his filter stopped running and the rest is history.  Always full of energy and eager for a bite of food, he provided us a lot of entertainment.

Don’t tell anyone, Blue Meanie was not a lobster, but actually a crayfish.  A guy from Florida gets the credit for developing the blue form of P. alleni / P. paeninsulanus (both may be the same species).  His name is Bob Hammer, Sr.  In fact, in Japan, this blue crayfish is also known as the “Blue Hammer”.  From what I’m told, he developed the blue color, through selective breeding, from a few wild crayfish that had more blue in them than others.  Either way, he will be missed.

Good bye Mr Meanie.