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Airtrax Cobra uses revolutionary omni-directional wheel movement

As you can see above, the Airtax Cobra uses a unique wheel system to enable sideways and fore-aft movement. I think this will be very useful for applications such as the ‘Cherry picker’ one shown in the video where space is often at a premium.

Airtrax CobraAirtrax make a wide range of warehouse vehicles with this system already. They describe their special wheel as “omni directional” meaning multi-directions can be achieved. Control of the Airtrax Cobra is via a joystick rather than the usual steering wheel, although many cherry pickers use this type of control already. One particular plus is the ability to completely rotate through 360 degrees within their own length.

Impressive stuff and I’m sure we’ll see more from this type of technology in both controlled and remote-controlled vehicles.

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How to restore faded plastic panels, motorcycle or car

This article details how to restore faded plastic panels on your motorcycle or car back to their former glory. I had this issue some time back with a dirtbike and all of the bright red sidepanels and mudguards (fenders) had gone to a very feminine pink! Sun exposure usually does this and fades the panels over time.

Please note, this method requires the careful use of a sharp blade. It’s a technique that will work but requires a bit of dexterity. Practice on old panels first if you really want the best results.

OK, so let’s see what we need for this:

  • A Stanley knife blade, brand new, also known as a box cutter.
  • (OPTIONAL) Some 1200 grit ‘Wet or Dry’ sandpaper with water.
  • A clean rag, lint free.
  • A tin of alcohol.
  • A hot air gun.

The basic method is to remove the top layer to get down to the fresh plastic below by scraping over the whole area until the colour is uniform and as original. Hold the blade at 45 degrees to avoid ‘digging in’. Once finished, you’ll find a few lines created by your scraping, so you’ll need to scrape in the opposite direction and at 90 degrees to make smooth.

Optionally, we can now use some fine grade ‘Wet or Dry’ paper with some water to go over the whole panel. Use a minimum of 1200 grit as this will not leave scratch marks. This stage is not always required but may improve the final finish. Dry off the panel before moving to the next stage.

Using a clean rag, add some alcohol to it and wipe over the panel. What we are doing here is removing the impurities before we melt the top layer of plastic. Impurities can cause lumps, cracks or blisters and this stage avoids that.

Now we move on to the hot air gun. These are very common in hardware stores or online and can be picked up very cheaply, there are some links below.  Use the hot air gun and heat the panel until you start to see some reflections appearing. Don’t overdo this as you might deform the panel. Keep the hot air gun moving so you don’t concentrate the heat in any particular area.

As you can see from the video below, we now have a new-looking shine on our panel. By practising this method, you can save lots of money and restore even the most worn-looking panels.



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The maddest intersection on earth?


We have all seen those Russian and Asian videos where there are some simply lunatic drivers whizzing through crossroads at breakneck speeds. This one really takes the prize though, as pedestrians, riders and drivers all compete to get as close as humanly possible to each other.

Well OK, it’s a heavily modified mix of video clips run through the ubiquitous Adobe After Effects, but this is one creative video truly worthy of a watch!


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21st century car parking

Well, it has been hinted at in film-making and it makes absolute sense (if you see a future for wheeled personal transport that is). This radical car parking and valeting solution is as automated as it gets for now and is available in Liechtenstein. Pez dispensing aficionados get ready for a treat.

Well it’s a damn site more impressive on an engineering level than this early 20th century solution to parking but is it really a step in the right direction? My question has to be do we need to queue for the robotic arm now? Do you think that this is the future or merely something that solves the wrong problem? Let us know below.

If you are just after some modern parking ideas, then you may want to check out this luxury apartment car storage idea too: