Ideas 1-10

#1: R2-D2

A robot, with suction cup legs, that would live inside a compartment under the car's hood. He would leave through an opening, equipped with a electronical door, only when the car was parked safely. Then, the robot would clean the outside of windscreens, or maybe even the whole car.

#2: Virtual Reality

A virtual reality simulation that would speed itself slowly, giving the user time to adjust. The idea is that the user would not realize things were speeding up. This would be used to teach or work faster. 

How fast could you go?

#3: Restaurant Business

This is a business model. 

In Brazil we have a sort of self-service restaurant called per-kilogram, where the plate is weighed and (discounted the plate) you pay proportionally to the weight of food. Each restaurant fix a price per kilogram of food, carefully averaged to make the business profitable (after all, meat is more expensive than salad). 

But this sort of business has a nasty side: they do everything to encourage the customers to consume larger and larger portions of food, in order to increase the net profit. One of such things is to use giant plates, much bigger than the ones you would use at home, so that people are fooled into thinking there is little food served.

Do a restaurante in this fashion, but give a discount if the weight of food is close to the recommended weight defined by health agencies. In fact, the lowest a customer can pay should be exactly when he eats the recommended value. An average number need to be carefully studied, and whether it is necessary to know the person's age or other data. Also, punish in price if you eat more than the recommended weight. 

The idea is to promote healthy eating habits. Give your regular customers a goal to work towards. I don't know about you but money can be a powerful motivator.

#4: CO2 Capture in Vehicles


Attach a tank to a car, that has living plants, dead plant material or algae. This is in order to do capture CO2 from engine's exhaust. It is necessary to devise a storage tank system too because you woudn't be able to just hook up the exhaust to the device directly. It could be a trailed kart, it does not need to be something that every car is required to have if that is asking too much. From time to time people would replenish the biological component. 

I often wondered if crushed leaves could still do photosynthesis, or rather absorb CO2. It isn't very difficult to run an experiment to determine this. Oh, the itch. 

#5: Carry Electricity

Instead of using wires to transport electricity, maybe we could transport the storage medium itself. 

Charged batteries or capacitors are moved from one place to the other, such as suspended in water streams through a network of pipes, or by trains or trucks. I've always though of these batteries as spherical for some reason. 

Would there be any advantage in this? Reduced power losses? More bulk energy transport? How to extract the energy efficiently?

One of the branches of this idea is for an electric vehicle. It would have a tank. We would refil the tank at the gas station with a load of these batteries or capacitors, This would be with mass transfer, instead of charging stationary batteries in the vehicle. Just dump the batteries inside the car as fast as possible. The idea is that transfering a batch of material is faster than charging batteries. 

I was amazed when I first learned how long it takes to charge electric vehicles. To this day, I can't tell exactly why does it takes so long to charge a battery. 

#6: (Reserved) 

I've decided to retract this idea for personal reasons. 

#7: Tunable Spring

A coiled mechanical spring, that somehow, has variable and tunable spring constant K.

This is sort of an idea like Faraday's Electromagnetism Theory, a solution looking for an problem.

#8: Artificial Lifeform

This is an artificial lifeform, built by technological means, with the sole purpose of reproducing and gobbling up CO2. It can either be microscopic or not. It would have a limitation in its metabolism that required something only we could provide, so we could control its population.

#9: Replicant Probe

A self-replicant probe with solar sail for propulsion, to explore space. This is a probe that gets to a solar system, and starts mining resources. Then, it builds facilities to assemble more copies of itself. The probe explores the local system, sending data back to Earth. New probes moves to other star systems, and this process keeps going, always reporting data back to us.

One day, maybe, a probe will run into an alien spacecraft, or even a populated planet, and we will have finally answered one of the most fundamental questions ever asked. 

If I'm not mistaken this was considered by a famous scientist, but I can't seem to recall his name [John von Neumann, 20th century Hungarian-American polymath]. Though the idea is not mine, it is damn too good not to bring it into focus here.

It should be beyond difficult to turn this idea into reality. The AI alone to coordinate such operations would be eons beyond anything we have.

I find it puzzling that we've never came across an alien probe before. It brings some doubts about the feasibility of the idea, and to the existence of extraterrestrial intelligence itself.

#10: Branched Tale of Ethics

It is a book or game with several possible outcomes. The user chooses what to do. It explores the consequences of making decisions, in light of Ethics. The situations should mirror problems people might face in real life. This is to increase awareness of Ethics and the consequence of actions. Perhaps after each scenario, there could be a section telling what important thinkers concluded about that particular issue. It could also be tailored for kids, it is never too early to learn good things.

BANNER IMAGE CREDITS: NASA, ESA, A. Simon (GSFC), M. Wong (UC Berkeley), and G. Orton (JPL-Caltech) 

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