tech e blog

The first patented roller skate was introduced in 1760 by Belgian inventor John Joseph Merlin. His roller skate wasn't much more than an ice skate with wheels where the blade goes, (a style we would call inlines today). They were hard to steer and hard to stop because they didn't have brakes, as such were not very popular. The initial "test pilot" of the first prototype of the skate was in the city of Huy, which had a party with Merlin playing the violin. These motorized versions from 1961 are another story. Continue reading for more bizarre inventions and gadgets from the past.

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Sure, not everyone has or can kayak on a regular basis, but for those who find themselves in the position to do so, Oru Kayak should be on your short list. It's basically a 12-foot-long kayak that can be folded up into a compact 33 x 29-inch carrying case when not in use for easy transport. No tools are necessary to build the kayak, just unfold it, and you're ready to hit the water. Continue reading for a video and the product page.

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What sets the Big Wheel Drift Trike from SFD Industries apart from its competitors, is the 26-inch by 3.5-inch wheel. It's powered by a 6.5 hp (4.8 kW) motor and boasts thicker PVC sleeves wrapped around the rear wheels to create the loss of traction. SFD owner August Agner says, "The most unique feature we designed is the frame mounted pegs that eliminate foot lift while drifting, so you don't have to worry about the tire scrubbing up your leg." Continue reading for a video of a homemade version, more information, and the product page.

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The Maybach Exelero is the world's most expensive car with the price of about $8 million. This supercar has room for 4 and is powered by a 700hp twin turbo V12 engine. It was built on request for Fulda Tires. The German luxury car manufacturer created the model as a modern interpretation of its legendary streamlined sportscar from the 1930s. Continue reading to see what the zombie-fighting version looks like.

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Hank Butitta, an architecture graduate student, didn't want to pay rent, so he decided to pay $3,000 for an old bus and convert it into a livable home. He says, "This project was a way to show how building a small structure with simple detailing can be more valuable than drawing a complex project that is theoretical and poorly understood." It includes two beds, a small kitchen, a bathroom, and hardwood floors to top things off. Continue reading for two videos.

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What happens when you combine an old ship and a truck? The UHAC of course, which stands for Ultra Heavy-Lift Amphibious Connector. Built to succeed hovercrafts, the final production UHAC will feature 2,500 square feet of parking space on the deck and be capable of carrying 150 tons of gear - 190 tons if modified with special upfitting. Continue reading for a video and more information.

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Joel Zwicky isn't your average cop, as a former photographer and musician, he likes to get creative while working as a patrol officer at the Green Bay Police Department, in Wisconsin. To accomplish this, he patrols the streets on a skateboard. This all came about when the department's chief was looking for new initiatives to engage more with the community, so Joel suggested the idea: "You know chief, I had this crazy idea in the back of my head what would you do if I brought my board to work and started skating it?" Continue reading for a video and more information.

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The Pal-V One helicopter motorcycle is essentially a two-seat hybrid car and gyrocopter that just went on sale today. At $395,999, it's both road and air legal, capable of reaching speeds of up to 112mph and goes from 0 to 60 in under 8 seconds when driven on the road. Continue reading for a video, more information and the product page.

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Priced at $500, these nifty RocketSkates are designed to be strapped on over regular footwear, and monitor foot movements to make them easy to control. Each skate features two hub motors controlled by an on-board microprocessor that are powered by a lithium-ion battery pack. When you want to let the motors do the work, simply tip your feet back so that only the rubber wheels make contact with the ground. If you need to climb stairs, just tip forward and walk on the balls of your feet. Continue reading for a video and more information.

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AVX has just unveiled a futuristic super helicopter that's set to win a $100-billion contract from the Pentagon. Unlike its predecessors, it uses two rotors to create lift, while fans propel it forward to reach 270mph. That's not all, the superchopper also has retractable landing gear and the attack variant carries all armaments stored inside until needed which provides a 'clean' aerodynamic design. Continue reading for a video and more information.

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