Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Watermelon Chips?

Food scientists are always looking to create new food fantasies for the consumers wanting to tickle their taste buds. Water and hot oil is not a good safety combination, so how do you take a fruit that is mostly water and fry it up? Scientists have found by compressing watermelon slices with starch the water is replaced by the starch. They flavors stay in the starch and allows the frying process. Watch the video: Watermelon chips
Why would we want to fry up fruit? We may look at our local grocery stores for the answer. At our local grocery store in Green Bay, like any grocery store, there is a spoilage concern with all produce. After a truck load of strawberries go on sale, a week later the same grocery store has a sale on strawberry pies! The Bakery finds ways to turn what would be a monetary loss to a profit. Watermelon is a little bit challenging to make into pies. This is another alternative that should push shelf life and profitability to a new positive. This innovation has many applications and possibilities. Check out the New Scientist website for this and other innovative ideas:

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

European Hydrogen Effort Moves Ahead With American Cars?

The Denmark Hydrogen Link Project began in October 2005 with the goal of connecting hydrogen highway infrastructure in Northern Germany, Norway and Sweden. Currently, however, the Denmark Hydrogen Link has more ambitious goals for itself in putting up stations and rolling out cars.

By 2015, Dednmark expects to have 85-percent of the governmental cars in Copenhagen converted to hydrogen or electric vehicles. By 2025, Copenhagen is expected to have a 100-percent conversion rate.

American car makers are scrambling to get their feet in the door. To the left, the Texas made Scorpion (Check out: Scorpion ) and above to the right of this article is a Ford hydrogen vehicle.  In May 11th, 2009 Norway opened their hydrogen high way highlighting the Mazda Hydrogen vehicles.( Hydrogen power Mazdas ) 

As the fuel prices move to the $5 range, I thought it is important to point out while the U.S. government was telling us that hydrogen was 10 years off, we are watching the other countries move ahead of the United States. While United States struggles to break free of the recession, oil prices shackle any progress. In 2009 Germany was the first to come out of the recession followed by France, Norway, Sweden and China. Could all these countries be using innovations of the future to move forward? The part that bothers me is that we are making cars to help them! The only Hydrogen highway in the U.S. is found in California. Can we pass laws to force our government to buy hydrogen and electric cars? That will force the infrastructure for the new technologies to advance.
Read more at: Europes plan to go hydrogen.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Blog Post 8 Tigers In Action

Class -Workplace Innovation, Instructor Todd Perrault
Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, Green Bay, WI
Blog Post #8 Rocking and Rolling and Cutting?
Team Innovation Tigers Class Room Progress

     The Innovation class internet tools provide a great opportunity to see how they can impact business effectiveness through time savings, traveling costs and project efficiency. I enjoy the blogging exercises because it allows for me to explore the world of innovative gadgets and inventions which have always been a passion of mine. The idea that an object of human creation can impact the world both positively and negatively has piqued my curiosity. Even though many share my fascination, there is a wide range of interests. By watching the page reviews, I track the amount of traffic per article content. It changes with topic and time of day, and even the day of advertisement on my social network pages. It makes me wonder if there are certain times that everyone is on the internet. That not only affects blog traffic but affects the ability to impact efficient usage on net based tools.
     One of the reasons I was happy that our team picked the Verge project was it seemed that it would be simple to complete before the end of the semester. What a learning experience! None of us had printing or label making experience. To progress through the processes of innovation, it became apparent to learn about the business of printing and label making. What seemed simple was not. I recently found that not all printers cut shapes. It requires a special process that is expensive and, if required, can only be done economically in larger quantities. This drives our prices, profitability and marketability. This becomes a new hurdle for us to clear as we continue down the home stretch. 

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Halographic Technology in 2011

How far away are we from the halographic technologies of the images we seen displayed in the 1980's Star Wars movies ? When will the technologies of our flat screened TV sets to the realistic, life-like 3-D plays on our living room floors? This video may answer some of these questions. Are the video screens from the Iron man series be far behind?    Cool Halographic Imagery

President Obama made the statement that he is going to upgrade the White House technology. He said the present technology is 30 years old. Microsoft is suggesting their new soft screen technology that uses no screen or mouse. Everything is like a super touch I phone screen. However other companies are coming close to the halographic technologies that use other controls.         

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Students For Solar Schools Invent App

Students For Solar Schools is a non profit organization of students across the country that are trying to make a difference in their schools and around the world. They started in California and have caught on around the United States.
Lately  their founder has invented a APP that will help people interested in installing solar on a home or business.Adam Raudonis, recently released an iPhone App called PV Solar Calculator that calculates the environmental and economic benefits of solar installations. Designed for both homeowners and installers, it determines the appropriate size needed and then provides a wealth of information in an easy to use format.

Read more about Students for Solar Schools:

Our Earth, Another Reason For Innovation

Happy Earth Day 2011, This video is two years old already, but is the best one I have found to make the case for innovation to save our planet. I'm on my way to clean a park this morning. I hope you will find a way to show your concern for our planet.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Saving Money On Fuel Costs Can Be Simple, "Planning"

As fuel prices began to rise, companies like UPS realized saving on fuel costs, mean higher profits. Their one innovative method was planning trips with only left turns. Crossing traffic to the right, meant extra time for the engine to run, causing the trips to run longer and using more fuel.

Much of our driving takes place close to our homes. When was the last time you analyzed your routes? I've heard of  some people planning trips, but I would guess millions of dollars are wasted every year by poor trip planning. Add in the waste from running your vehicle with low tire pressures, and vehicle maintenance issues, Americans waste enough fuel every year, OPEC laughs about it. Could we be smarter and more patriotic Americans by doing our parts to save us from buying more foreign crude? Yes we can!
Check out what our government would like us to do:

 Using Mapquest is a place to start . Recently they added a feature that allows you to play around with the routes to your destination. By grabbing the circle icon on the route you can move the route to where ever you would like and the route will change. You could design a route with all left turns in some cases. You can check the route mileage to see if you are shorter going one way vs the other. They also have a feature to find cheap gas. Design your routes on Fridays by a cheap gas station. Say construction is on your way to work, become creative and try several different routes to work that can shorten or add great value. By taking a few minutes each month could save you hundreds of dollars in a year. Multiply this by millions of Americans and we can stick our tongues out at OPEC! Another site for cheap gas: Mapquest fuel prices

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Pill Cam Is One Of The Top Ten Innovations Of 2011

Imagine the journey through the body. Many movies have been created about this vision. Thanks to technology advances by an Israeli company visualizing this is possible. The camera is as small as a pill. It is coated to make it slippery and swallowed. During the journey through the body it takes and send 100's of pictures for the doctors to diagnose. For it's size the pictures are very clear. The first tiny cameras cost over $500 to make and only make one trip. Doctors are excited with many ideas for using it in different ways. Read more at: Micro cameras

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Future Bikes

 Though the design is great to look at, I can only think they lack the comfort that the recent bikes are offering with the comfort seats and the shock suspension. It will remain to be seen how well the tire assembly will hold its shape. The design will definitely get the looks. Find out more at: Trends of Bikes

Monday, April 18, 2011

Oregon Is Home To America's First Wave Generator Farm

      After several attempts, Oregon launches America's wind farm off the west coast near Reedsport, Oregon. This technology of using waves to generate electricity is more costly to get implemented than wind or solar. Wave generation is more predictable, reliable and then more productive than wind and solar. They quickly pay for themselves and after they go into production will get cheaper to install.
     Oregon is targeting a future where 25% of their power is produced by this source. Read more at: Wave Power Is The Future

Blog Post 7 Verge With A Vengeance

Class -Workplace Innovation, Instructor Todd Perrault
Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, Green Bay, WI
Blog Post #7 “Verge With A Vengeance.”
Team Innovation Tigers Class Room Progress

     I am always amazed at the new innovative creations the members of the class find to present. I loved the sensor that can be installed in bathroom doors to sense if the person used the antibacterial soap or not. We talked of the practicality of using it in a hospital or restaurant. There are super cool watches that act as a phone. In fact I have to look that up myself.
     We found out in class that we have some ground to cover with our verge project. Our team had the misconception that the verge project was about the project completion. Although it is important, our team WIKI has to be about the process. We came up with a plan as a group of how we should make it happen. For the remainder of the project, I divided the project pieces up and delegated the remaining jobs and posted them on the WIKI by the next day like we discussed. We had decided to check the WIKI daily, however that seems to be a challenge to accomplish. I sent out an email the following Friday to make sure everyone knew I had updated the WIKI. I am learning, as a person uses the new technology in a team environment, there is a learning curve, not just with how it works but when to use it. Using new technologies, in most cases don’t happen overnight. I used to think that the younger generations have high tech advantages. However, they don’t have the fear that some older persons exhibit when working with technologies. To use the technologies in a business application, the older workers are familiar with the business operations and can work with the younger people to understand the business expectations. 

Cell Phones Move Beyond The Small Square Box

This Phone was part of our innovation class research, that Sandy a IT team blogger had brought to show. I was so interested in, I had to check it out myself. Called the roller phone, it serves as a projector watch and uses optical projection technology to make a high tech, high fashion futuristic master piece. Move over Dick Tracey, Buck Rodgers is in town. Find out more at:  High Tech Phone Information 

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Innnovation And The Smart Grid

How do we combine all the new energy technologies to the demands of society? This is the challenge of governments and energy suppliers around the world. Last year General Electric tried to reach outside their companies labs and ran a 200million dollar contest for smart grid ideas. This year in 2011 Siemens a European company is conducting a high stakes contest, but hurry the final submissions will be May 31st.
European Contest for the Smart Grid  In 2010 the Obama administration announced that the official Office of Science and Technology would release the official plan for the United States smart grid. Everyone in the energy fields are still waiting. Waiting for the American Plan.

Meanwhile EURELECTRIC, the association of the electricity industry in Europe, has released a ten-year, ten-point road map for smart grid deployment across the EU in April this year.  European 10 point plan.
The smart grid will not happen overnight. But is evident the at a time when unemployment is high, this is an area  where government directions and plans will help America's future and get it working again. This is a way to innovate new jobs in America.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Innovative Tigers See Progress Blog Post #6

Maker Bots - Machines Making Machines

Movies have been made about robots making other robots. Like innovator Henry Ford, the MakerBot company realized that in order for this technology to take off, it needs to affordable to the customer. From the mind of a mechanic, I can see the value of this machine. Need a bushing, make it need a special part make it. Inventing something, make it by simply using available software to make a 3D picture, and there it is.

 These machines can be purchased to sit on your desk for under $3000, or if you can build it yourself much less.

To checkout and purchase : Maker Bots

I have included this extensive presentation made at Google. It is worth the time to watch. Imagine the vast applications !

Thursday, April 7, 2011

New Holland Offers Hydrogen Powered Tractors For Euro Farming

While Americans are told that hydrogen powered vehicles are years away, checkout the 2009 "Tuvie " that Dutch farmers are using to beat the very high European fuel prices. These tractors run for 2 hrs on a fill of Hydrogen boasting of 106 horses to get the work done. Absolutely no emissions period. While American farmers struggle under high energy bills pushing down profits, innovation is giving euro-farming the edge.
Read more at: The new NH2 Tuvie

China's New Straddling Bus, Transportation Innovation

China's new bus system saves city infrastructure costs, no pollution and uses new electrical charging technology. Subways are very expensive to build and maintain. This an upgrade to the very congested roads of their larger cities. This will answer their growing needs and meet the lower fossil fuel regulations and meet the lower pollution demands of their society.
Read more about the buses of the future, first in China: New Chinese Buses

Monday, April 4, 2011

Innovation To Save Our Planet In 2036

     In January of 2011, when the tsunami hit Japan, a major asteroid hit Jupitor. The asteroid the size of the Titanic hit Jupiter with the force of 416,000 Hiroshima bombs. It was a surprise to scientists, when the event happened. It was a vivid reminder of our impending doom if we do nothing. In fact Science has deterimined one such asteroid could impact earth. Mark your calendar for Sunday, April 13, 2036. That's when a 1,000-foot-wide asteroid named Apophis could hit the Earth with enough force to obliterate a small state.
     The press was taken back when President Obama announced that he was changing the agenda of landing on the moon to the challenging task of boarding an asteroid in 2025. 
     In 2005 NASA successfully crashed a comet with a spacecraft to move an asteroid from a path that could intercept the earth in the future.The space probe named the"impactor" collided with Comet Tempel 1 at a relative speed of 37,000km/h, pictured below.

There are 10 things NASA is investigating for innovative solutions to this problem. Here are the ten ideas:

1. Nuke it.
2. Sent out mirror arrays to heat up the surface and change its path.
3. Strap rockets to it.
4. Send robots to chew and throw pieces of rock from the asteroid causing thrust like strapping a rocket yet using less fuel.
5. Shoot something at it to  give it a love tap to move it like a large cannon ball!
6. A huge net that could act as a solar sail and change the direction. 
7. Tow it with gravity.
8. Hook huge solar sails to it, then move it and it can be remotely moved to change its direction.
9. Paint the one side of the asteroid to had the dark side reflect and be moved by the heat of the sun.
10. We can dig in like cockroaches into the earth and let it hit.

Read in detail the innovative ideas:  Save the earth! 
Other sources: When is it coming?
President Obama's plan: The new challenge.
Jupiter's visitor: Wow!

Blog Post #5 Innovation On The Move

Class -Workplace Innovation, Instructor Todd Perrault

Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, Green Bay, WI

Blog Post #5

Team Innovation Tigers Class Room Progress
     Recently, I was working on an innovative project for the ACES NWTC Club of which I am the president. The idea is to get the names of the members out and in front of the eyes of area business employers. As an employer, it can be a little overwhelming trying to find quality people. The project is to use the blog format in an effort to make it easy for employer access and student use. During the first part of the process, the committee determined what we wanted and how to operate the blog. For ease of use, I compared the tools and ease of usage to the Word Press blog format. I found that has the ease of blog ability and has more tools to use. I set up the preliminary sites on both to have the ACES committee review and give their opinion. It is important to get the blog up and running before the end of the month. The ACES will be having an end of the semester interview training. At that time we will be having Linkedin training and blog spot sign up. This is an effort to give graduating seniors extra help with job hunting. The competitive job market is requiring innovative ideas to sharpen the edge.

     In class we are learning about the innovations of many different successful companies. I find it interesting that it’s not just the new high tech companies that are prospering because of innovation. Companies like General Electric, which was one of the longest companies on the Dow Jones Industrial is an example.
     Our edge in innovation comes from practicing with the tools and methods we have learned in the textbook in the first part of the semester. We are proceeding forward with the Verge project. The Verge seemed simple enough, until we realized the project we are implementing has to work with a variety of makes and models of vehicles and different styles of oil containers. Research for measurements is going to require team work.