New York City currently uses thousands of CityRacks, which are variations of fabricated square steel tube that take up little sidewalk space and don’t interfere with the flow of city life. But according to the City, the CityRack has been used for over 10 years and can’t continue as an NYC icon to promote cycling as a preferred and convenient means of transportation. The City will use the winner of the sidewalk rack competition as its new bike-parking standard, and Google will install the winning design for the in-building rack in its NYC headquarters.
The CityRack does seem economical in terms of space — but I’m sure there are better materials and designs that could both improve the space situation for bike racks in New York and encourage City commuters to regularly rely on their bicycles for transportation. Perhaps a vertical design could be a solution, stacking bikes on top of one another rather than side-by-side. And maybe there is a durable material out there that could retract when bicycles aren’t inside it — a flexible material that would still be durable enough to last indefinitely, and maintain its integrity in both sweltering summer months and frigid winters.
What materials or designs do you think would contribute to the most effective bike rack, in terms of space and usability? Find out more about the competition and upcoming registration dates, and let me know if you’re entering a design in the competition.
For decades, engineers have worked to combat erosion by developing high-strength alloys, composites, and surface coatings. However, in a new paper, a team at Jilin University in China turned to one of the most deadly animals in the world for inspiration -- the yellow fat-backed scorpion.
Green energy is being billed as a way to make communities that are energy deprived more self-sustaining. So it makes sense to use natural materials to create devices that harvest this type of energy. That’s the idea behind a hybrid wind/solar energy harvester made of bamboo that’s been developed by UVM researchers.
Anyone who’s ever moved files from a hard drive to a computer has sat patiently waiting for the transfer to complete. But what if this process could be done wirelessly, without having to connect devices with cables, and in seconds?
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.