Science Friday: Electric Supercars, Bionic Limbs, Super Solar Cells + NASAs New Moon Rover

Welcome back to another terrific week of science! In this edition, you can drive the world’s fastest electric car, replace your limbs with their bionic counterparts, save the Earth with more efficient solar cells, and get an exclusive presidential look at NASA’s LER. All this and more plus our gadget of the week: The Inflatable Gladiator Combat Set!

Shelby’s Ultimate Aero EV to be World’s Fastest Electric Car
Shelby Super Cars (SSC) says it’s newest product — the Ultimate Aero EV — will be the world’s fastest electric car. No mention of specifics yet, but this still has potential to leave other speedster electric cars in the proverbial dust. The Aero uses a lithium battery backed up by groundbreaking nanotech, giving the car a range of 150-200 miles and a charge time of only 10 minutes! The big thing still missing is the price. Unless Shelby can attempt to make this beauty at least a bit affordable, they may not have such a huge market for their new road rocket. More info…

Shelby’s Ultimate Aero EV

Introducing: i-LIMB Bionic Hand
Evan Reynolds, a 19-year-old college student in Bristol was the second person in England to be fitted with the new i-LIMB bionic hand after a car accident ripped off the one he was born with. Reynolds said it took him only seconds to adapt to the device which is controlled by electrical muscle signals from the remaining part of his arm. The innovation has five independently powered digits which operate like a human hand when closing around an object. All the time we are getting bionic technology closer and closer to the real thing.


Nanosolar Promises Cheaper, More Efficient Solar Cells
Nanosolar is a new California-based company which aims to mass produce solar cells which are cost effective and versatile, and they are doing it all through the economics of printing. Nanosolar has developed proprietary process technology that makes it possible to produce 100x thinner solar cells 100x faster by printing photovoltaic materials directly onto pliable thin film. Check out the video below to learn more about the process and see just what this new tech could do for the world of energy resources.


Picture of the Week: Presidential LER
During the inauguration, the new president and first lady got an exclusive look at NASA’s new LER or Lunar Electric Rover which will go to the moon. NASA tweeted about the event and shared some pictures. Check out this one of the LER with president and wife in the background.

President Obama and first lady seeing the LER

Gadget of the Week: Inflatable Gladiator Combat Set
Everybody has that coworker that gets on their nerves. And while you may just want to deal with it by sending passive-aggressive emails and complaining about them to other coworkers, there are healthier ways to deal with office conflicts. And that is by battling with inflatable gladiator gear. The Inflatable Gladiator Combat Set comes with 2 inflatable shields, 2 inflatable helmets, and 2 inflatable maces designed for squishy, squishy bludgeoning. It’s only $16 from Gadgetepoint.

Battle royale!


Science Quickies
Here’s a warp-speed look at science tid-bits that didn’t quite make the cut, but nonetheless merit mention.


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Will that LER be available to citizens as part of the auto bailout? I’ll take one!

My god. Inflatable Gladiator gear. My dream came true.

Well, the inflatible Gladiator wear is cool. I’d wear that mowing the lawn.

I need that Inflatable Gladiator Combat Set for my next Pon Farr Party!

We need to stop messing around with the moon & go straight to Mars. We did this in 1969.

What’s with these people? Give me the car!

why have a car when u can hit your friends with an inflatable mace?

Decloaking . . .

Looks like Bill Gates and the Wall Street CEO’s are the only ones left that can afford those flashy new electric wheels.

Now if only they’d invent bionic abdominals. Mine have surrendered to gravity.

The “new” LER looks alot like some artists conceptions from my old 1960’s “Goin’ to the Moon” books. I still wanna go for a spin on da Moon.

Love the Inflatable Gladiator set. Now I can beat myself up more comfortably.

Guess we need a chunk of that Super Neptune to refreeze Antarctica.

Realizing the Space Elevator will achieve Arthur C. Clarke’s single greatest vision.

Another great job Kayla, you cutie you. (I saw your Halloween pics.)

I hope all this net surfing doesn’t keep you from discovering the secret lava tube beneath my house.

Recloaking. }:-D>

Holy Sh*t!!! That car is BAD *SS!!! Me likee!! Thanks Kayla!

(must control sudden urge to buy Lincoln Town Car…) ;-)

LOVE the car. Like a slick mix of a Lambo Murcielago and a Ford GT.

…wonder how many hundreds of thousands of dollars they’ll want. I’ll stick with my gas-guzzling classic muscle car.

that bionic hand is way rad…losing a hand would really bum me out but he looks really happy to have a functioning hand again ^_^

Who needs Inflatable Gladiator Combat Gear™ when you can simply strap on the i-LIMB Bionic Hand© and crush your annoying co-worker’s head?

(sorry, that is pretty dark – and I don’t have annoying co-workers)

P.S.: I don’t need an LER, I already drive a Saturn.

Inflatable Gladiator Gear.

(Inflatable Gladiator sold separately.)

sorry…was i the only one who cringed at the term “de-gloving” when Evan Reynolds described how he lost his arm???!!!! Holy cow, that sounds gruesome and painful!

I think that working on regenerating limbs would be much cooler than bionic technology. :)

” 14. bmar – January 23, 2009

sorry…was i the only one who cringed at the term “de-gloving” when Evan Reynolds described how he lost his arm???!!!! Holy cow, that sounds gruesome and painful!

Quoted for truth, megacringe just thinking about it.

That said, the iLIMB kicks ass. *Rips off own arm*

14 “Holy cow, that sounds gruesome and painful!”

It certainly would be gruesome, and undoubtedly painful, but probably no more painful than a direct trauma to the upper forearm. Remember that, once the flesh is separated from the rest of the arm, there’s nothing more being transmitted up the arm about what’s happening at the outer end. (Unless there are pain nerves inside the bone – I’m not informed enough on that point to be certain.)

He probably does it just like the Terminator; slice around the edge and then pull the skin off, leaving the shiny CSM-101 endoskeleton dripping blood.

Point of order!

Arthur C Clarke correctly reasoned that we’d need lots of cheap diamonds to build a space elevator, so he blew up Jupiter in “2063” and rained down diamonds onto Europa where humans went to get them.

real scientists think we can build it with buckyballs, but that grayhaired old guy on the History Channel ( I cant remember anything, you know that ) says they’re too dangerous because they can come loose and destroy everything on the ground.

You’ll have to settle for the one in the Voyager episode.

Space planes are easier and more realistic

I say combine the electric car with the super solar cells.
Then, you’d constently recharge while driving during the day.


When we went to the moon from 1969-72, we only stayed a few days at most. That’s a long cry from what we’ll need to do for Mars.
Lessons learned from going back to the moon will better prepare us.

Hmm I heard somewhere that the President was going to cut funds from NASA. That means we wont be seeing the Enterprise for quite some time. I hope I’m wrong though.

During the campaign, Obama said he wanted to cut NASA’s budget to pay for his education plan. But just prior to the election, he reversed himself and said he’d increase NASA’s budget by $2 billion. This would reduce the gap after the retirement of the Space Shuttle until the new Orion spacecraft and Ares boosters are available. It also will presumably make America’s return to the moon that much sooner.

It’s interesting (and encouraging) that John McCain also promised to increase NASA’s budget along pretty much the same lines.

#22) I to was worried by O’bama and his cutting NASA’s money, then later hearing the funding increase, you just have to realize that today’s politicians come with forked tongues. They only say what they think you want to hear all in quest of the magic ratings score. My brother works at the Lockheed Martin plant in Denver. He started back when it was Martian Marietta. And I like the Nano Solar stuff, it shows new tech at work. But our real solution is Fusion and the Moon has all that Helium 3 on it’s surface. And that stuff is like placing Nitro in you fuel for Fusion. If brought back from the Moon the Laser Fusion and Magnetic Fusion reactors could become almost everywhere and anywhere power sources. And as we get use to making Fusion power it will become easier to create. The only other big energy tank to tap is Zero Point energy and it is still a theory and could become a Cold Fusion like topic.

Then there is Anti Mater but for now lets leave that subject for the Trek Universe. Anyways they use it as fuel not as a power source but it does make power to Warp space and allow faster than light travel, but only by expanding and contracting the dimensions aspect of space. Right now only Gravity can do that. But if Steven Hawkings creates his Understanding of Every thing concept gravity may be understood.

If these things happen then Roddenberry dreams can come true. This may only become so if we increase our IQ and Science develops beyond Books and Films. This can only happen if the Politicians let us get past the 2+2=5 feel good point. So to get us progressing we need to make Political people live in the real world not in their Hollyweed rating points world. (I use weed instead of the correct wood because it is drugs that makes many on that planet happy, and entertains us the public)

NOTE: this was not aimed left or right but at all Political people, if you think it was aimed in a direction it is only because your side either won or lost.