Archive for October 2012

Examination Time Table For All Schemes December/ January 2012-13

October 27, 2012


October 19, 2012

GIBBS Quadski to launch in U.S. next month

October 18, 2012
The GIBBS Quadski

The GIBBS Quadski

After existing only in prototype formsince at least 2006, the GIBBS Quadski is finally about to become a commercially-available product. The amphibious vehicle can be driven like a regular 4WD quad while on land, but it draws in its wheels and becomes a Jet Ski-like contraption upon entering the water – all within five seconds. At a press conference yesterday in Detroit, GIBBS founder Alan Gibbs and chairman Neil Jenkins announced that the Quadski will be available in select U.S. markets starting next month … priced at about US$40,000.

The Quadski weighs 1,300 pounds (590 kg), has a 15-gallon (57-liter) fuel tank, and is powered by a 175-horsepower BMW Motorrad four-cylinder water-cooled engine – that engine also features electronic fuel injection, a double-overhead camshaft and dry-sump lubrication.

The GIBBS Quadski

Both on land and water, the vehicle has a claimed top speed of 45 mph (72 km/h). Users just drive it into the water, then press a button to pull in the wheels and enable its jet propulsion system. Upon returning to land, it is likewise a simple matter to deploy the wheels and switch back to driving mode.

Manufacturing of the Quadski will take place at a plant in Auburn Hills, Michigan. Plans currently call for the opening of over 20 U.S. dealerships within the next year, starting this November. The vehicle will initially be available in a single-person model only, in a choice of five colors.

The GIBBS Quadski

The company hopes to introduce the Quadski to other markets, such as Europe and Latin America, in 2014. Additionally, it was stated that the vehicle “will pave the way for a host of other HSAs [High Speed Amphibians] for consumers, sports enthusiasts, law enforcement agencies, first responders and other commercial enterprises.”

GIBBS currently also manufactures the Phibian and Humdinga II high-speed “Amphitrucks.”

Source: GIBBS

Chiba robotic wheelchair turns wheels into legs

October 18, 2012
The Chiba Institute of Technology robotic wheelchair in action

The Chiba Institute of Technology robotic wheelchair in action

Making a wheelchair that can deal with steps and other obstacles has puzzled engineers for decades, with everything from tank treads to spokes tried and found not quite practical. Now a team of engineers from the Chiba Institute of Technology, led by associate professor Shuro Nakajima, have applied a bit of lateral thinking. They have developed a robotic wheelchair that isn’t sure what it is. Normally, it operates on wheels like a conventional wheelchair, but when it meets an obstacle, the wheels turn into legs.

Wheels are the most efficient way for the disabled to get around, but they have one important limitation. For wheels, seemingly trivial obstacles like a curb or even a door sill can be as insurmountable as a brick wall. The Chiba robotic wheelchair gets around this problem by equipping the chair with four independently powered wheels mounted on five axes. These axes act as a suspension for the wheels, but when the wheels meet an obstacle, a transformation takes place.

The wheels have sensors next to them that scan the obstacle. If rolling over it isn’t an option, the axes shift and turn into legs while the wheels act like feet. However, there’s more to it than that, in order to keep the chair from unceremoniously dumping its passenger on the ground.

The chair’s on-board computer assesses the obstacle and determines whether or not the leg can negotiate the step. Meanwhile, the other legs realign themselves to keep the chair stable. If the size and distance of the obstacle are right, the chair steps on or over it. If it makes a mistake, the variable wheel torque acts as a backup to power the chair over the obstruction.

As far as the passenger is concerned, none of this requires any attention. The chair has a joystick for steering, and all the passenger has to do is tell it where to go. The chair does the rest automatically, and the stability systems keeps the passenger comfortably level when negotiating obstacles or going down a ramp. Even tight spaces are easier to deal with because the chair can line up its wheels, extend a pair of stabilizers and turn a circle inside its own radius.

The robotic wheelchair is still in the concept stage, with the engineers figuring out the mechanics of the system. Once satisfied, the team’s next goal will be to have users test the chair so the team can fine tune its operation.

The video below shows the robotic wheelchair in action.


Source: DigInfo