The Antarctic Snow Cruiser (a.k.a. “Penguin 1″) was a hugely ambitious one-of-a-kind vehicle developed in the late 1930s. It was built under the direction of American scientist and arctic explorer Thomas Poulter, and was intended to act as a giant self-contained transport vehicle, research station and accommodation unit for a 1939 Antarctic expedition led by Rear Admiral Richard Byrd, Jr.
Blueprints for the Antarctic Snow Cruiser were shown to officials in Washington, D.C. in the spring of 1939. The Research Foundation of the Armour Institute of Technology would foot the bill for the construction, and then lend the vehicle to the United States Antarctic Service. Amazingly it only took 11 weeks to build, lumbering out of the warehouse of the Pullman Company in Gary, Indiana on October 24, 1939. It then began a 1,000 mile journey to the Boston Army Wharf. During this trip, the Antarctic Snow Cruiser famously drove off a small bridge on the Lincoln Highway due to a damaged steering system. It took three days to get it out, but thankfully no major damage was sustained. After arriving at its destination, the Antarctic Snow Cruiser was loaded aboard the vessel the North Star which set sail headed for Antarctica on November 15 1939.
Continue reading ‘The Antarctic Snow Cruiser – it didn’t do what it said on the tin’ »
When the robots do eventually rise up, there isn’t going to be anywhere for humanity to hide. They can now walk just about anywhere a human can, they can run like a dog, swim, fly – they’ve even been to space – and now they can stroll about on the seabed 200 metres down.
You can thank the Korean Institute of Ocean Science and Technology (KIOST) for that. Their new Crabster CR200 robot is designed to inspect the seabed, pipelines and shipwrecks of the coast of the Korean Peninsula.
You might be wondering why they chose to make a submersible which can walk instead of maneuvering around with propellers like a normal submersible. Well that’s because there are some very strong currents in the areas in which the Crabster is likely to operate. A normal sub would be pushed around like a plastic bag in the wind. The comparably heavy Crabster is able to plant itself on the seabed and slowly lumber around as the water swirls past.
Continue reading ‘Crabster CR200 Underwater Walking Robot’ »
Orchard Mobility, a british company specialising in mobility scooter sales, has just claimed the Guinness World Record for the longest mobility scooter. Measuring 10 feet (3 metres) long, the specially constructed vehicle took six weeks to build. It was commissioned by business partners Nigel Fitzgerald and Anwar Watson.
To comply with Guinness regulations, the Limobilizer had to be driven 300 ft (100 metres) in two directions with passengers on-board.
Continue reading ‘Limobilizer, officially the world’s longest mobility scooter has its own mini-bar’ »
Ettore Bugatti became famous in the early part of the 20th century for producing some of the world’s most exquisite automobiles. What most people, myself included, didn’t know, was that he also had a go at aircraft design.
Originally designed in collaboration with Ettore Bugatti and Belgian engineer Louis de Monge, the original 1937 Bugatti 100P is considered by many to be one of the most technologically advanced airplanes of the era. The 100P featured cutting-edge aerodynamics with forward swept wings, a zero-drag cooling system, and computer-directed flight controls, all predating the development of the best Allied fighters of World War II. It was powered by two 450-hp engines squeezed into the narrow fuselage, and it was designed to reach speeds approaching 500mph. A feat previously only achieved by aircraft with twice the horsepower.
The 100P was also much more compact than most aircraft of the era, with a wingspan of nearly 27-feet and an overall length of approximately 25.25-feet. In June 1940, Bugatti stopped work on the 100P and concealed the plane to prevent its discovery by the German military. Though the plane survived the war, it was left in a condition unfit for flight. Amazingly the original aircraft still survives, currently residing at the AirVenture Museum in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
Continue reading ‘Recreation of the 1937 Bugatti 100P aircraft brought to life by dedicated enthusiasts’ »
The GG Taurus is a BMW-powered reverse trike which is manufactured in Switzerland. The vehicle features a 1300 cc BMW inline 4-cylinder engine which produces 175 horsepower and 104 ft-lbs of torque. The transmission is a six-speed unit with a reverse gear. Top speed of the GG Taurus is 140 mph.
The GG Taurus will make its US debut in Miami on February 22. It will be sold as a limited edition, with a long list of options available, including different suspension setups, a digital dash, luggage boxes, lighting and custom paintwork.
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The Nisttarkya is a 100-percent electric-powered bike created in India by an imaginative guy called Santhosh. It features a highly unusual riding position with the rider sitting crouched in the prone position. The handlebars are connected directly to the front wheel hub, and it features both front and rear suspension.
It looks like riding the Nisttarkya would be extremely fun, dangerous and painful at the same time! Longer journeys, or using it on any terrain which isn’t glass smooth could cause fairly severe discomfort for the rider, as pretty much all their weight looks to be distributed along the unpadded metal backbone frame. Also I’m not sure how happy I would feel with my teeth just a few millimetres from the metal frame!
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Nicholas Mee & Co, an Aston Martin Heritage Dealer in West London, have just finished putting the final touches to a fully functional kid-sized car inspired by the legendary Aston Martin DB models of the 1960s. But this is no rickety pedal car. It has a steel chassis, composite bodywork, leather seats, a wood rimmed steering wheel and Brembo disc brakes.
Power for the DB Convertible Junior comes from a 110cc four-stroke engine with key-operated electric start. The transmission is a semi-automatic three speed unit. Top speed for this “kids” car is a remarkable 46 mph! Although this can be restricted downwards.
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It would seem that back in 1978, Swiss “car designer” Franco Sbarro spent nearly the entire year under the influence of powerful narcotics. That’s the only sensible explanation for the six-wheeled rolling abomination that he managed to create that year. Called ironically the Sbarro Function Car, the leviathan was a based on a lengthened Cadillac Eldorado and weighed over 3 tons. It was powered by a 350 horsepower 8.2 litre V8 mated to a four-speed automatic transmission.
The car was commissioned by Joseph E. Adjadj, a wealthy Saudi Arabian businessman and owner of the brand TAG. He wanted a mobile office which had all the luxuries of home – clearly he’d never heard of an RV. Or good taste.
Continue reading ‘Retro Concepts: 1978 Sbarro Function Car’ »
Ever since the wheel was invented by someone rather clever thousands of years ago, mankind has used it to efficiently transport goods and passengers across the surface of the earth. And after all these centuries of research and development, it’s generally accepted that you need more than one wheel to create a stable vehicle platform. However with the ready availability of high-tech software and gyroscopes that old balance argument is slowly being eroded.
The most recent of these unconventional single-wheeled contraptions is the aptly named Onewheel, developed in Mountain View, California by Future Motion a company founded by Kyle Doerksen. The Onewheel is basically a skateboard with all four small wheels removed and one big fat wheel in the center, all the electrical stuff is neatly hidden inside the aluminium chassis of the board.
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Theophilus Chin is a guy who loves nothing better than screwing around with Photoshop and creating speculative vehicles based on production cars. His latest effort sees the all-new 2015 Ford Mustang reimagined as a sedan. Purists may scream in horror at the thought of a four-door Mustang. But you can’t deny he’s done a good job!
Continue reading ‘4-door Ford Mustang sedan rendered’ »