Ideas 21-30

#21: Car Shield

If you had a strong air blower in front of the car, would that improve aerodynamics? And if so, would the energy spent in blowing the air be less than the energy lost due air friction when the car didn't have the air blower?

I've also considered some retractable plastic covers, that would stay inside the car when it is parked, but would unfold when the car was in motion. These covers would produce highly aerodinamic profiles; this for cars that are not very good in this, where designers chose aesthetics over aerodynamics. But this variant is a bit messy. 

The apex of this idea would be to use a Star-Trek like shield. It is a shame we don't have that and it just seems out of our reach. I tried to come up with a way to make them real in a number of occasions. Confining gases or any other ordinary matter with energy would really come in handy.

#22: Space Elevator

This idea is a bad, embarrasingly bad.

I once read that what prevent us from building space elevators, among other things, is that no alloy would withstand a column so high. 

The idea is to add to the bottom of the space elevator a series of lifting turbines. We would place them for as long as the air doesn't becomes too thin for the turbines to be effective.

The turbines would have to be somewhat special. They would need to be designed to be so redundant, that if one failed or was scheduled for maintenance, the elevator would not collapse. I believe this to be statistically possible to determine, but can't tell about the costs.

#23: Algae for CO2 Capture

This is well beyond my scope.

The idea is to genetically modify, selectively breed, or do everything you can to create an algae strand that is a monster in carbon capture. Then seed every water body with it. 

This is a radical and risky approach in fighting climate change. The only reason why it is here is because I share the view that this is a time to have every weapon at our disposal.

#24: Plant Edict

It starts with seeing if the law "Every citizen should have a plant." makes sense. The motivation here is to capture carbon dioxide. Then it goes into thinking, is one enough, two, maybe three plants? What should be the size of the plant? What species works best? Can you improve those plants? Then it goes to deciding if wealthy individuals should have more plants than poor people. What about people who don't have space, can they rent a public space? How would you check if people really have plants? 

This actually is a series of ideas that go along the lines of dilluting the responsability for our planet. 

#25: Structural Integrity

This is inspired in Star-Trek, as many of my ideas.

In the show, the crew is able to make the ship sturdier by transfering power to something called structural integrity fields. This idea is an attempt to make this real. 

Imagine a wall made of bricks, but these are not ordinary bricks. They are lego-fitting bricks, with electromagnets inside. The lego-fittings merely keep pieces in position. The electromagnets are placed in such a way that when energized, the bricks attract each other, and on theory, can withstand more impact or pressure than a simple and uniform block of the same material..

Now, there are some funky stuff going on. You are trading a continuous wall for one made of separate pieces, but there is an electromagnetic force added. Is this trade good? I honestly can't tell. 

The cool thing is that you can make you wall as sturdy as it needs to be, only when it needs to be. Material strength is no longer a passive property, but an active one. This is something that, to my knowledge, we don't have. 

The wall is merely an example, you can use plates, or a beam, or any other structural component you would like.

#26: 1001 Colors

A business idea!

This is a machine to be placed in malls. The user chooses a color in an RGB color picker, and the machine mixes the colors and paints a plain white T-shirt with the color the client has selected.

I think it would be required for the client to wait a couple of hours - I don't think the making would be instantaneous. But he grabs a bite to eat at the food court, while his T-shirt is getting done. 

Why is this better than simply going to a store? You'd never find those colors there. The appeal is ultimate customization.

#27: Road Repair Bot

This is a robot that would roam the streets at night, and do small repairs to streets and avenues. I'm not proposing that the robot completely replaces the asphalt. All I'm saying is to patch those cracks that show up after a heavy rain, before they turn into real issues. During the day, when streets are used, the robot would go to sleep in a shed and recharge its batteries. 

Some thought would be necessary into making the robot smart enough not to be rammed while working. Theft is also a potential liability. 

#28: Fortification

This is a military idea. 

The idea it is to devise a scheme that would build a fortified building as quickly as possible. Optimize the materials and constructions blocks to have it operational as fast as possible. This would be a simple and practical fortification, that although wouldn't be designed for comfort, would be able to function as a command center. 

I thought about a pyramid like building, without a top, where the constructions blocks would be layered sequentially, possibly by robots.  

The blocks would give it some ability to withstand assaults, and it would have the elevated top for visibility and advantage. It could be paired with Idea #25 (Structure Integrity) and become strong only when an assault is incoming. This would require a powerful mobile power source.

In terms of tactics, this idea is intended to solidify the presence in an advanced position.

#29: How to Get by Consuming Less

This is the idea for a practical book that focus on finding everyday things people can do to consume less, save the planet and incidentally their money.

It focus on challenging our way of life and thinking: "Is this really necessary?", "Is there a better alternative to this?" It should target where the act of consume, so necessary, is most damaging. This means where the social or environmental impact is greater. 

It should always show how much the consumer is saving or spending by changing a habit.  Often, choosing the greener solution costs more. People could begin to question why do they need to replace their phones so often, for example. I know I'd waver if I saw a calculation telling how much I'd save by not doing so. Present the facts, let people make their own minds according to what is important to them.

As a suggestion, the possible measures should be ranked from the higher impact to lower impact, the ones with marginal gains. You may also choose to rank them by commitment from the reader, it would also be interesting. Rank it because, after all, sometimes you just don't go through the entire book. It goes without saying that should be backed by what the respectful scientific community has to say.

It is not a small undertaking. To sort through the tons of misinformation around would take a very rigorous Reseach. But it will be worthwhile. 

#30: Acoustic Kit

This is a very naive idea. I confess I know jack about virtual reality or those glasses people wear. 

I wonder, imagine if you could have an acoustic kit, made of attachable speakers, microphone modules, and a central processing unit. You disperse these around a room, in carefully considered locations and use the speakers to send pulses that bounce on objects. You get data from the microphones to get a quick 3D representation or CAD file of the environment.

Is this possible, at all?

BANNER IMAGE CREDITS: NASA, ESA, and D. Gouliermis (University of Heidelberg). Acknowledgement: Luca Limatola. The image had oppacity reduced in 20%.

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