— Motivated by the desire to determine the simplest 3-D structure that could take advantage of mechanical instability to collapse reversibly, a group of engineers at MIT and Harvard University were stymied — until one of them happened across a collapsible, spherical toy that resembled the structures they’d been exploring, but with a complex layout of 26 solid moving elements and 48 rotating hinges.
The Falkirk Wheel was completed in 2002 as part of the Millennium Link project. The project cost £84.5 million and had the objective of restoring the ability to navigate across Scotland on the Forth & Clyde and the Union Canal. The Falkirk Wheel is the world’s first and only rotating boat lift. How it functions? … Read more
(From Technology Review, as published on January 11,2012 by Kevin Bullis)