Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Fixie Pizza Cutter by DOIY – Rotating Bicycle Wheel Pizza Slicer

The Fixie Pizza Cutter by DOIY is undoubtedly the perfect gift idea for cycling fanatics and pizza lovers alike. Its playful bike design has rotating wheels with razor sharp edges which slice your pizza as you roll them over it in a similar way to a traditional disc pizza slicer.

The incorporation of two separate cutting wheels might seem somewhat superfluous but they actually make it more effortless to use than single disc pizza slicers by providing more stability. It’s like riding a bike versus riding a unicycle (which few have mastered).

Humorously, the bicycle analogy has been continued by including stands into which the rear wheels can slot into to keep the Fixie Pizza Cutter standing upright while not in use. You can therefor keep it on prominent display in your kitchen and big up your hipster credentials.

Don’t be fooled into thinking the Fixie Pizza Cutter is just an artists concept or even a hoax product like the absurd £350 Gear Grinder coffee mill, it’s a real product that will soon be available to order through DOIY. It’s been reasonably priced at €18 (£15 / $25) making it a great gift idea which is sure to amuse the recipient while also actually being quite useful.

Lotus C-01 Superbike

The Lotus C-01 motorcycle is a new design from Daniel Simon, the man responsible for unique automotive designs for companies from Seat, to Lamborghini, to Bugatti. He’s also a renowned futurist designer and is single handedly responsible for the Tron Lightcycle from the 2010 film and the Bubbleship piloted by Tom Cruise in the 2013 film Oblivion. This background in both digital and real world design is exactly what Lotus Motorcycles were looking for, and so a partnership was stuck between Kodewa, Daniel Simon and the Holzer Group.

A 200hp V-Twin from the KTM RC8 was chosen as the C-01′s powerplant, it’s coupled to an advanced 6-gear jaw-type shift transmission and has a traditional chain drive to the rear wheel. Twin adjustable shock absorbers are fitted at the rear and inverted carbon forks are fitted in front. Stopping power is provided by twin-discs on the front wheel and a single disc at the rear, both are hydraulically operated and ABS hasn’t been included to keep weight down.

The materials used in the C-01′s construction read like the parts list of a Formula 1 car, it’s largely made from carbon fibre with titanium and aerospace grade steel elements throughout, meaning the bike almost certainly has a slightly lower kerb weight than either the RC8 or the Panigale.

The relatively long wheelbase of the Lotus C-01 makes it hard to know how it’s going to handle, at 1,645mm it’s 220mm longer than the KTM RC8 (1,425mm) and 208mm longer than the Ducati Panigale (1,437mm). The decision to use twin shocks at the rear is also interesting, almost all high performance motorcycles currently in production utilize a monoshock so it’ll be interesting to see how Lotus tunes the bike’s handling and whether they set it up for track or road riding.

There’s currently no listed top speed, although with 200hp and an estimated weight of under 180 kilograms (396lbs) it’s likely to be capable of speeds well in excess of 160mph (depending on aero-drag of course). Lotus Motorcycles haven’t yet released any official pricing information, although they have officially announced that they’ll be limiting production at 100 units globally – this would tend to indicate that the price tag will make your eyes water – unless of course you’re that guy who just sold What’sApp to Facebook for the GDP of Iceland.

Berlin Boombox Provides Real Sound Out Of The DIY Cardboard Kit

Back in May, Berlin designer Alex Pfaender took his crazy idea of making a do-it-yourself cardboard boombox and put it on the crowd funding site Kick starter to see if people would really want one for themselves.  It turned out that 338 backers pledged $20,071 in one month, surpassing his set goal of $14,000, and now the Berlin Boombox has arrived at early adopter’s doors.

Just about anyone can put together this piece of hardware as the cardboard casing comes in one piece and the internal electric parts go together without the use of glue or tools.  The popular tech site The Verge got their hands on one of these unique sets and after 15 minutes the cardboard boombox was complete.

How does this $86 (65€) piece of cardboard sound?  According to The Verge, it “gets fairly loud, certainly enough to fill a room as long as it’s a bedroom and not a concert hall, and offers a level of clarity and range your laptop can’t hope to match, but it’s a long way behind what I’d expect even from normal $86 speakers.”

While you can find better sounding speakers for the same price, there is something about this retro looking player that also acts as a piece of art that makes it almost worth it.  Feel free to check out the full review by The Verge and head on over to the official Berlin Boombox website to order yours today.

Philips' Urban Beehive Concept Lets Apartment-Dwellers Harvest Honey

The urban beehive is a concept for keeping bees at home. The beehive is designed to allow us a glimpse into the fascinating world of these industrious creatures and to harvest the honey that they produce.
The design of the beehive is unconventional, appealing, and respects the natural behavior of the bees. It consists of two parts: entry passage and flower pot outside, and glass vessel containing an array of honeycomb frames, inside. The glass shell filters light to let through the orange wavelength which bees use for sight. The frames are provided with a honeycomb texture for bees to build their wax cells on. Smoke can be released into the hive to calm the bees before it is opened, in keeping with established practice.

This is a sustainable, environmentally friendly product concept that has direct educational effects. The city benefits from the pollination, and humans benefit from the honey and the therapeutic value of observing these fascinating creatures in action. As global bee colonies are in decline, this design contributes to the preservation of the species and encourages the return of the urban bee.
Urban beehive

To make their hives, bees produce wax and propolis, a resinous mixture that varies with the bees’ environment and diet. Propolis has a structural function but is also believed to inhibit harmful pathogens in the hive and is sold as an alternative medicine. Once the health benefits of honey and propolis are better understood, the urban beehive could also have a role in the home apothecary.

Far-future design concepts

The urban beehive is part of the Microbial Home Probe, a far-future design concept. It is not intended as a production prototype nor will it be sold as a Philips product. Like past Probe Design Concepts that have stimulated discussion around a range of issues, this concept is testing a possible future – not prescribing one.

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