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Davison Does Dearborn

Davison News, Innovation, Inventions

 

Henry Ford Museum

Henry Ford and the Model T (Image: media.ford.com)

Early Saturday morning, we’ll be boarding buses that are heading to Dearborn, Michigan! Why are we going there? Because its home to none other than the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village.

The Henry Ford Museum is home to all things inventing and, as their website says, its single-floor space, “with its soaring 40-foot ceilings, covers nine acres dedicated to showcasing the finest collection of its kind ever assembled.”

With that being said and with lots of great exhibits, it’s sure to be a very innovative day!

This fun-filled day of inventing history will begin bright and early. Once we arrive, we’ll spend the day touring the museum and soaking up all of its innovation!

Tune in to our Facebook and Twitter pages for live coverage of our tour at this iconic museum.

Copyright Davison, 2015

Sources:

http://www.thehenryford.org/museum/index.aspx

Media:

https://media.ford.com/content/fordmedia/fna/us/en/news/2013/08/05/model-t-facts.img.png/1375732275161.jpg

 

Ford’s “Bright” Idea

Innovation, Innovative Inventions, Inventions

 

Ford invention

Image: Autoblog.com

Driving at night can be dangerous, especially when unforeseen hazards blend in with the darkness.

Ford identified this problem and, in turn, is working on a better way to warn drivers of potential dangers.

The American car manufacturer is working on developing lighting technology that can automatically detect pedestrians on dark roads, thanks to widened headlight beams at low-visibility junctions.

The headlight system uses an infrared camera on the front of the vehicle to sense the heat that’s emitted from nearby animals, cyclists and pedestrians in areas of poor visibility.

When the system detects the heat, the car then shines a spotlight on the potential hazard, which is flagged up on the dashboard screen display.

Ford’s latest technology is working to help ensure that drivers are quickly alerted to animals or people that could present a possible danger.

 

Ford headlight technology

Diagram: Dezeen.com

The system can detect up to eight hazards at once from a distance of a little over 130 yards. From there, the two hazards that the system recognizes as the most likely to cause an accident are presented to the driver on the dashboard screen.

The hazards are color coded, yellow and red, to indicate the level of risk.

That’s not all that Ford’s camera system can do; in fact, it also can interpret traffic, which activates the vehicle’s onboard computer to recognize when roundabouts and junctions are ahead. In instances when the car is nearing low-visibility areas, the car’s headlight beam widens to provide the driver with a wider view of the road.

Furthermore, information from a global positioning system (GPS) is used to recognize winding roads with unseen dips and other factors to adjust the headlights in advance.

But, when GPS isn’t available, the technology uses a forward-facing camera that’s installed to the base of the rear-view mirror to recognize lane markings and to also predict curves in the road.

Though Ford’s latest technology is shedding light on road safety, according to US highway regulations, bright flashing lamps, both front or rear, are not allowed – yet.

Copyright Davison, 2015

Sources:

http://www.dezeen.com/2015/07/21/ford-night-vision-lighting-system-warns-car-drivers-unseen-pedestrians-cyclists-animals-infrared-gps-design/

http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/210472-ford-gps-aims-headlamps-around-dark-corners

Media:

http://o.aolcdn.com/dims-shared/dims3/GLOB/legacy_thumbnail/750×422/quality/95/http://www.blogcdn.com/slideshows/images/slides/355/431/2/S3554312/slug/l/ford-adaptive-headlights-02-1.jpg

http://static.dezeen.com/uploads/2015/07/New-Ford-headlights-threat-detection-see-roundabouts_dezeen_468_0_1000.jpg

 

The T-rex Takes on 3D Printing

Innovation, Innovative Inventions

 

3D printed T-rex

3D-printed T-rex skull from 3Dprint.com

With all of the excitement surrounding the release of Jurrasic World, it only makes sense to tie dinosaurs in with the latest and greatest technology.

What we mean by this is the innovation of 3D printing is now being mixed with a new study of the intelligence of the 66.4 million-year old Tyrannosaurus rex (T-rex).

To this day, many people still wonder why dinosaurs became extinct and obviously the answer to that question isn’t an easy one.

That’s why a German research team wanted to take their pre-historic research to a new level and study the qualities, characteristics and habits of these beasts.

So, the research team started off with one question, “How smart was a Tyrannosaurus rex, anyway?”

In order to even try to answer that question, the team turned their efforts to an actual T-rex skull fossil, which they then scanned and 3D printed for a Better Way to learn about the T-rex’s intelligence.

The skull fossil was scanned using a machine called an XXL tomograph. This machine is the largest in the world and is located at Germany’s Fraunhofer-Institut. Thanks to its 1,500 separate exposures, the machine has created what is thought to be “the highest resolution scan ever conducted on a T-rex skull.”

Though the researchers have the skull, they do not have the T-rex brain. However, the inside of the skull’s shape reveals the highly-developed brain areas.

By studying these areas, researchers will be able to uncover information like whether the T-rex had poor eyesight, among other qualities.

Furthermore, the scan also helps in the efforts to restore the skull.

Thanks to the ability to conduct a complete scan of the skull, the research team has been able to uncover fractures and reconstruct the missing parts of the jaw.

The technology of 3D printing has enabled the team to customize replacement jaw parts in order to complete the skull.

As of right now, the jury is still out regarding the overall qualities and intelligence of the T-rex.

Copyright Davison, 2015

Sources:

http://3dprint.com/75016/t-rex-3d-print/

Media:

http://3dprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/t11.png

Sweet News from QVC! Our Fill N Flip to Air Today!

Davison News, Product News

And… we’re bbbaaaccckkk!

It’s been a few months since the Miracle Meatloaf Pan was featured on QVC’s “In the Kitchen with David” in June. Now that the main course is over, it’s time we and QVC viewers everywhere turn our attention to dessert!

The Mrs. Fields Fill N Flip Locking Layer Pan that we designed for the Love Cooking Company is set to be featured on QVC this afternoon!

The innovative cake pan that makes it a cinch to add your favorite fillings to each and every cake you bake is slated to appear on QVC’s “Gifts for the Cook” show, which begins at 3 p.m. (EST) today.

We’re sure that QVC’s top bakers will have some incredible recipes for our Fill N Flip Locking Layer Pan that really “take the cake” today. While you’ll have to wait to see those, we can tell you that the pan allows for incredible fillings like pudding, fruit, compote or any other delicious flavors you’re craving.

Call home or set your DVR through your phone to make sure you don’t miss today’s “D-licious” appearance on QVC. But, don’t worry, we’ll have the video and many more details after the Fill N Flip Locking Layer Pan appears on QVC’s “Gifts for the Cook” show today at 3 p.m.

Copyright Davison 2014

Mommy Blogger Dana Vento Introduces Brookie-Bribery at Home!

Product News

We could talk all day and night about how innovative and ingenious the Brookie Pan is that we designed for Love Cooking Company. What could be tastier than combining the two of the world’s best sweets – a brownie and a cookie – into one tantalizing treat?

But, we know… we know… it is one thing for us to tell everyone just how good the Brookie is, but it is another thing altogether whenever someone actually tries it for themselves.

And, who better to try out the Brookie Pan than famed Pittsburgh mommy blogger Dana Vento?

Vento tested a Brookie Pan and not only raved about the results on her blog, “Dana Vento: Lavishly Living Life Out Loud;” but, she also uploaded a video of her Brookie-making process to YouTube!

What did she think about our brownie-cookie creation?

“The final product [is] nothing short of amazing and 5-star divine!” said Vento.

In fact, she called the products that have resulted from the union between Mrs. Fields and Love Cookie Company… “ultimate!”

“Together Mrs. Fields and the Love Cooking Company have blended innovation and recipes to create the ultimate wares for your kitchen needs,” said Vento.

Of course, we know that many of those products are the result of the union between ideas and innovation at Inventionland! But, back to Vento’s Brookie-making adventure!

On her blog, Vento describes how she institutes a dinner-time Clean Plate Club (CPC) at her home. To get into the club, her family, which includes her husband and three children, must try everything that is offered during dinner – even if it is only a small spoonful. To be granted CPC status, they must clean their plates of everything they try.

Why try to join the CPC? Well, it’s the only way to get dessert and in this particular case… a Brookie!

“The CPC in our home has never been in such demand as the kids can’t wait to get to their Brookie,” said Vento. “While I don’t believe in bribing, I sure do believe in great tasting, homemade treats that taunt, tease and delight the senses and the Brookie offers just that, a way to satisfy that sweet tooth pang!”

Of course, we couldn’t agree more!

Read more about Vento’s CPC here or watch below to see her Brooking-baking in action:

Copyright Davison 2014

The client has not realized a net profit on this product.


Whack-a-Mouse Tops 180,000 Views on YouTube!

Product News

Let the great Davison-designed pet product news keep coming!

Yesterday, we told you about Sticks Throwing Dog Treats and the Whack-a-Mouse Interactive Cat Toy, two pet innovations that were designed for Hugs Pet Products and recently had been featured on Coupaw.com, a pet-and-deal-lover’s best friend.

Today, we’re excited to tell you even more great news about the innovative Whack-a-Mouse that we designed at Davison.

You see, a little over a year ago, the people at ThinkGeek created a short, entertaining video that featured cats, dogs and even humans playing with the Whack-a-Mouse, aptly called the “Cat Whack a Mole.”

Now, that video has reached over 180,000 hits on YouTube, ranking it as one of the top five videos when you search for “Whack-a-Mole” or “Whack-a-Mouse” on the site!

What does that mean for the Davison-designed pet product? Well, we did a little more digging and found out that those 180,000+ views translated to the Whack-a-Mouse being out of stock on ThinkGeek.com!

What a lesson in the law of supply and demand!

But, don’t worry; if you would like to pick up a Whack-a-Mouse for your dog, cat or even for yourself, ThinkGeek expects to have more in stock in just 1-3 weeks.

See the Whack-a-Mouse on YouTube or at ThinkGeek today.

Copyright Davison, 2014

This Invention is Cruising Towards Innovation

Innovation, Innovative Inventions, Inventions

There is nothing like a relaxing Sunday drive with your windows down and the music on. But, what about a Sunday drive with your windows down, music on and your hands not on the wheel? Yes, you read that right; starting in 2015, hands-free driving will be coming to new cars!

A few weeks ago, we wrote a blog about Google’s latest invention of the self-driving car. So today, to keep in line with the invention idea of self-driving cars and innovation, we are going to talk about the Cruise RP-1, which is a system that is an autopilot tool for the road.

This invention works in a way that once the system is installed, a driver can simply press the Cruise button, which then allows the driver to travel on a highway without having to touch the steering wheel or foot pedals. This innovative invention ensures that the car stays in the lane and maintains a safe distance between itself and the car in front of it. Furthermore, the Cruise RP-1 also can stop and navigate a car through stop-and-go traffic.

This invention will be fitted to nearly any vehicle. Additionally, there is a roof-mounted “sensor pod” that will contain two cameras, a radar mechanism, GPS, inertial sensors and an on-board computer, as well as actuators that will control the car’s steering, acceleration and braking actions. The Cruise RP-1 will use all of these software/hardware combinations to constantly scan the road, in order to keep the car operating within a safe distance from other cars and the boundaries that are present in the driving environment.

In addition to the car system, the Cruise also will feature an iOS app that will allow the driver to see what the system can see in real-time. This will be done through Wi-Fi and the app will provide a graphic that will display the cars that are detected around the driver.

As of right now, this invention is scheduled to be released for a limited rollout in California sometime in 2015!

Copyright Davison 2014

Sources:

http://mashable.com/2014/06/23/cruise-hands-free-driving/

http://www.businessinsider.com/cruise-autopilot-startup-2014-6

Flying High with Innovative Ideas

Innovation, Innovative Inventions, Inventions

With summer break right around the corner, people everywhere will be heading to their vacation destinations. Sometimes, these getaways are just too far for a person to drive, so they have to take to the sky to reach their paradise.

Each year, there are new, innovative invention ideas that are geared toward the airline industry. Whether it’s new technology or designs, these ideas continue to fly high.

Today, we are going to take a look at a few of the latest innovative designs that are ready to take off! Let’s take a look!

Dual user armrest- Perhaps the bane of most travelers existence is the awkward encounters that ensue because of armrests. Who gets the armrest? How do you bargain with a stranger? These questions plus many more might be a thing of the past with this invention.  James S.H. Lee is the Director of Paperclip Design Limited, Hong Kong, received honors for his designs that work to find a solution to the battle for which flyer gets the armrest by giving one to both!

This invention design is inspired by the shape of a paperclip and provides two armrests in one single space; one above and one below which are both part of a single, smooth-curved unit. Although this invention design won the Crystal Cabin Award in 2009 for its innovation, it is still in the works and only time will tell if this is the end of one battle and the beginning of another.  Who will get the top or bottom tier of the armrest?

Take a seat- Whether it’s a short flight or a long flight, chances are, you would like some sort of comfort from your seat.  One innovation in particular, known as The Thompson Aero Cozy Suite is a new invention design for those who fly in the economy class. The rows of seats are staggered so that the passengers are slightly set back from one another. The “suite” style seats add an extra layer of privacy and personal space, however, it will use about the same space that is needed for traditional seating. Although this may sound like a solution to the woes of people invading your personal space while flying, this aviation invention may never actually see the inside of an airplane cabin. But, only time will tell!

Flying toward the future- Despite the fact that this airline invention may be decades away, Airbus’ invention idea of the Concept Cabin doesn’t align with the traditional cabin classes that we see today. In fact, the Business and Economy class are replaced by zones. These zones pinpoint more individual needs such as relaxing, playing games, interacting with others, or even holding business meetings with people on the ground. The bionic structure of the cabin, along with its responsive membrane, combines panoramic views with an integrated network that runs through it.  This network can identify and respond to the specific needs of each passenger.  Additionally, this invention design offers different levels of experience for the traveler within each zone. This would allow for airlines to achieve the price differential they need in order to operate a successful business. Although this seems like a cool idea, this innovative invention design is still decades away from coming to fruition!

Just like any invention, these aviation design ideas look to offer solutions to problems that have existed for quite some time in the airline industry. Problems such as who gets the armrest to maintaining your personal space on an airplane may soon become a thing of the past. Although it’s uncertain if any of these inventions will actually make it to mass production, one thing is for sure, these invention ideas are flying high with innovation!

Copyright Davison 2014

Sources:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/travelnews/10810628/Aircraft-interiors-the-armrest-that-could-defuse-an-elbow-war.html

http://skift.com/2014/04/24/the-airplane-seat-design-that-can-end-the-battle-of-the-armrests/

http://airchive.com/blog/2014/04/14/aircraft-interiors-expo-2014-wrap-up/

http://www.airbus.com/innovation/future-by-airbus/concept-planes/the-airbus-concept-cabin/

Images:

http://q8allinone.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Paperclip-Armrest-4.jpg

http://airchive.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/IMG_20140409_123721687.jpg

http://www.airbus.com/typo3temp/pics/d6fa2d5032.jpg

Learn How This Invention is Hiding in Plain Sight

Innovation, Innovative Inventions, Inventions

Although Memorial Day has come and gone, we can still honor those brave service men and women each and every day. With the military on our minds, we thought that this would be the perfect time to delve a little bit deeper into the invention of camouflage.

So, let’s take this invention story out of hiding and start with the basics! Using camouflage is a necessity for military personnel.  It’s used as protection to hide a soldier and their equipment from the enemy.

The initial idea for this invention spans back to the beginning of human civilization; in fact, camouflage predates humans entirely! It comes from the natural adaptions that allow animals to blend in with their environment.

However, in the past 100 years, camouflage has played a crucial role in military operations far and wide across the globe.

Military camouflage became mainstream when a hunting enthusiast by the name of Jim Crumley used a Magic Marker to draw vertical tree-trunk lines on a few pairs of tie-dyed coats and pants in the late 1970s. A few decades later, his patented “Trebark” design went from being featured in small ads in Bowhunter magazine to appearing in nearly every major outdoors catalog in the country.

To begin, the most basic camouflage is worn by soldiers while in action. This form of camouflage requires two components: color and pattern. These two factors play a role in helping to conceal the soldier.

Furthermore, there isn’t a set combination of color and patterns because they are dependent upon the surrounding environment. For instance, in jungle warfare, camouflage is usually green and brown in order to match the foliage and the dirt. While, on the other hand, soldiers wear an array of tan colors while on desert assignments.  For those soldiers in a snowy climate, white and grays are issued. In order to complete the hiding in plain sight look, soldiers will also paint their faces to match the camouflage material.

Although camouflage is predominately geared toward clothing, as early as World War II, military officials used netting, foliage and smoke in order to conceal airports, oil tankers and factories from aerial detection.

Now, high-tech vinyl-adhesive photographs can conceal entire bridges; not to mention, temporary camouflage can be painted on military tanks. A contractor by the name of AAE has patented a type of fabric that helps prevent infrared radar from detecting body heat and has called it the “stealth poncho.”

Camouflage comes in all shapes and sizes and this invention continues to grow and better conceal our armed forces.

Just as our soldiers protect and serve our country day in and day out, the invention of camouflage continues to help protect our soldiers in active duty.

Copyright Davison 2014

Sources:

http://science.howstuffworks.com/military-camouflage1.htm

http://content.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1906083,00.html

Images:

http://static1.businessinsider.com/image/4dff4095ccd1d5fb0b0e0000-480/marines-camoflage.jpg

Dr. John Gorrie’s Invention will have you Singing “Ice Ice Baby!”

Innovation, Innovative Inventions, Inventions

The frigid winter temperatures are now becoming a repressed memory as we slowly, but surely take baby steps toward warm weather.

With the summer months right around the corner, people will begin to crave something cold to cool them off in the hot temperatures. Sometimes, all that you need is an ice-cold drink to leave you feeling refreshed. You can credit the feeling of pure joy when that icy drink hits your lips to John Gorrie, who invented the ice machine.

As the story goes, it was July 14, 1847 and the weather in Apalachicola, Florida was muggy. The stores of ice from the north had run out and the French consul Monsieur Rosan was celebrating Bastille Day. The guests began to fear that a dreadfully uncomfortable afternoon was on the horizon.

A local doctor began to further complain about not wanting to drink warm wine. So, Monsieur Rosan announced that “France gave her citizens what they wanted; Rosan gives his guests what they want, cool wines! Even if it demands a miracle!” After a short period of time, the waiters entered the room with large silver trays filled with bottles of champagne on ice.

People began to wonder where on earth the ice could have come from. The fact of the matter was that the ice was created right in Florida. One of the guests declared, “Let us drink to the man who made the ice, Dr. Gorrie.”

Dr. John Gorrie, a local physician, had spent more than five years working with a mechanical refrigeration machine. This contraption had the ability to make both ice and cool air. For years, he used it in his infirmary to make his fever patients more comfortable.

Gorrie was an early pioneer of the invention of the artificial manufacturer of ice, refrigeration and air conditioning. Following in the footsteps of earlier experiments in refrigeration like those of William Culle in 1748, Oliver Evans in 1805 and Jacob Perkins in 1834, Gorrie successfully designed, patented and built a prototype of his ice making machine.

Now, Gorrie’s original invention design was more than twice the size of the refrigerator you may have in your kitchen; however, the characteristics of the invention itself were pretty much the same. Much like modern air conditioners, refrigerators and freezers, the production of ice relies on what‘s known as “vapor compressions refrigeration.”

The process can be explained as such; if the air were highly compressed, it would then heat up by the energy of compression. If this compressed air were run through metal pipes cooled with water, and if this air cooled to the water temperature was expanded down to atmospheric pressure again, very low temperatures could be attained, even low enough to freeze water in pans in a refrigeration box.

Today, ice makers do much of the same thing and use chemical refrigerants (Freon) as the gas that cycles through the four-part system, which is comprised of the evaporator, condenser, compressor and expansion or throttle valve.

Basically, the entire process relies on the natural properties of the refrigerant in order to extract or release heat as it changes between liquid and vapor states, which depend on the pressure that is exerted by the system.

Thanks to Dr. John Gorrie and his ice-making invention, we can now enjoy a refreshingly cold iced drink in those warm summer months!

Copyright Davison 2014

Sources:

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/chilly-reception-66099329/?no-ist

http://www.phys.ufl.edu/~ihas/gorrie/fridge.htm

http://www.newair.com/blog/in-celebration-of-the-ice-maker-john-gorries-1850-ice-machine/

Images:

http://www.phys.ufl.edu/~ihas/gorrie/fridge.htm

http://www.floridastateparks.org/johngorriemuseum/photogallery.cfm?pagenum=1&viewphoto=1605

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