Monday, July 25, 2011

Protecting dykes and walls digitally

"fibrisTerre“: The company produces, installs and distributes measurement equipment for uninterrupted monitoring of the health of large structures for early detection of damage.

The entrepreneurs have developed a digital sensor on the basis of one single glass fibre sensing even the smallest earth movement. "Using our fibre we can monitor each structure uninterruptedly and record the strain at any point", says Nils Nöther from fibrisTerre. The sensor - a 1/8th mm glass fibre with plastic sheathing - is placed in the soil, either as an individual fibre or as a mat. The sensors detect any crack as small as it may be along a distance of some hundred metres up to several kilometres and signals it accurately to the metre.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Car made of bamboo

Since 1992 Frank M. Rinderknecht has shown visionary car ideas at the Geneva Auto Salon. This March 2011 the Swiss showed BamBoo and here the name is program. The vehicle reminding of a Rabbit or a safari car is partly made of bamboo. It can be admired in the fair halls at Geneva from 03 to 13 March 2011.

Thanks to the electric drive you can also quickly drive through the dunes and the foldable bicycle for the last few metres to the ocean is also on board - likewise equipped with an electric helper. A motorway is not part of the ideal world of the BamBoo.

Besides the many grey-white-brown creations at the Auto Salon, the new concept does not only raise enthusiasm with eye-catching design by the world-famous New York Pop Art artist James Rizzi. The car provides really smart innovations such as a communication display instead of a radiator grill, an inflatable roof which can also be used as a beach mat or a foldable bicycle for the last few metres from the vehicle to the beach.

The driver can communicate with his passengers via the innovative "identiface", a display-based surface developed by MBtech, a Daimler subsidiary, without having to speak. "Identiface" replaces the radiator grill. Your own facebook contents or news can be recorded and played thanks to a connection with the internet. For this purpose, the development service company Helveting, supported by Zürich Versicherung, developed the "BamBoo community" platform.

Here some technical data: The vehicle provides space for four people and features an e-drive from the group of companies Fräger (German e-Cars) in the front and its power is rated at remarkable 54 kW. This high-torque aggregate "made in Germany" accelerates the 1090 kilogram vehicle to a maximum speed of 120 kilometres per hour. Thanks to the light construction - the steel chassis with lying shock absorbers carries a robust composite chassis in conjunction with the use of polymer plastics - the battery lasts for 105 kilometres.

You can find more information at:

OK, but this whole idea is not exactly new, for example the Shellette Beach Car by Michelotti:

Monday, July 11, 2011

If you cannot decide

... simply take both: Rail and motorway are used by the rail/road Unimog from Zagro.

For first impressions go to:

On the road or off the road, the wide range of implements and auxiliary equipment enables the Unimog to carry out a huge range of varied jobs. On rail the Unimog with ZAGRO track guidance constitutes a high value rail vehicle. The Unimog can perform shunting, track laying work, service, repair and maintenance work, as well as rerailing and emergency rescue work.

It represents a perfect multi-purpose vehicle, meeting and often exceeding the demands of customers and specific rail authorities. A skilful driver can quickly change between rail and road. The requirements to on-rail the Unimog is merely a 5m section of level track.

At Hannover Messe 2011, a Unimog fully equipped with ifm control technology and sensors could be admired. But Zagro also develops other vehicles to the rail/road principle:

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Do electric cars have to look like electric cars?

The magazine mobility2.0 reported on 17 March 2011 on page 2 that electric cars have to look different to be successful: For design professor Lutz Fügener of the Hochschule Pforzheim it is clear what makes electric cars attractive for buyers: "You have to see by passing by in the street: That is such an ecological thing."

Do you agree?

To download the German magazine go to:

Further information about the Renault Twizy: