How to prepare a moth to drive a car

Step-by-step, practical instructions for how to prepare a moth to drive a tiny automobile. That’s what this video shows, and the accompanying paper describes: It’s all published formally as: “Insect-controlled Robot: A Mobile Robot Platform to Evaluate the Odortracking Capability of an Insect,” Noriyasu Ando, Shuhei Emoto, and Ryohei Kanzaki, Journal of Visualized Experiments, no. 118, December 2016, […]

Cow gas-extraction for automobile propulsion project

The cow-centric project, as reported by Ben Schiller for Fast Company, is as much performance art as state-of-the-art technology performance: “Each cow apparently passes enough gas to power a car or a fridge. Imagine the possibilities…. The project from Argentina’s National Institute of Agricultural Technology is only a proof-of-concept at this stage. But it is […]

The man who drove, blinding himself, on Route 128 — for your safety

[Ig Nobel Prize winner] John Senders led a series of safety experiments in which he drove an automobile on Route 128 — the major highway that circles Boston to the west — while a visor repeatedly flapped down over his face, blinding him…. —so begins another Improbable Innovation nugget, which appears in its entirety on BetaBoston.

Driving a lemon, sort of

When people talk about “driving a lemon“, they generally mean “lemon” to mean a defective automobile. A US patent granted in 1990 to Robert D. Whitworth describes a “Process for purifying limonene for fuel and the like“. A more detailed description, from the patent document: A plant source fuel is disclosed per se and as a blend […]

Safety seat warning: No backwards child drivers.

Investigator Jonathan Ryder sent us this image which, he reports, “came with an Evenflo Tribute 5 Child Restraint System.” The diagram warns owners “DO NOT place rear-facing child seat on front seat  with air bag“. The drawing makes a further injunction against placing the device in the driver’s seat. Ryder commends the manufacturers for this— he […]

Checking email while you drive a car

This car commercial, for the 2012 Toyota Camry, may also be an experiment of some sort. It begins with just the driver,then (as if by magic) the components of the car materialize around him, one by one. These components make their appearance, presumably, in the order of their importance and/or desirability. The announcer, voicing the […]