Thursday, January 13, 2011

Brainstorming for Toyota...continued

Last week we continued talked about the Toyota "Ideas for Good" competition and began brainstorming some ideas.  I also pulled some ideas from the gallery of existing ideas Toyota has put together...not to steal someone else's idea but to help you get your mind moving.  This week I want to continue driving down that road for just a little while longer to enssure we have a wide range of ideas to choose from.

In no special order, here are some ideas for you to consider:
  • Solar Powered Ventilation System - We talked last week about using this technology to keep animals comfortable in barns or circus trains, but livestock trains and horse carriers could also be good ideas.  Alternatively, the technology could also be adapted to greenhouses, especially in extreme climates that aren't normally hospitable to planting but could be moderated with the technology and used to grow food.
  • Hybrid Synergy Drive - Many different vehicles have been proposed for the hybrid motor so we need to think of a non-obvious vehicle that puts on large number of miles and can take full advantage of the engine: regenerative braking, lulls and spurts in energy usage, and downhill energy regeneration.  So one thought is interstate busses that put on high miles and can be easily adapted, as well as trolley cars that climb/descend many hills and frequently brake, all with the high mileage public transportation covers.
  • Advanced Parking Guidance System - People have talked about adapting this tehnology for truck or airplane parking, but looking a bit more obscure, what about boats?  In high seas or for novice boaters pulling into a dock can be very difficult.  Canals are also places where tankers can barely fit and parking/docking assistance could be of great help...especially with multi-million dollar tankers having to fit in tight places with their cargo.  We can also consider bikes -- using the technology as a training device for kids on their first two-wheeler or for adults learning to drive a brand-new Harley.
  • Touch Tracer Display - A number of people have proposed incorporating Touch Tracer technology to help people communicate.  But what about animals?  Gorilla's and other higher primates have shown an ability to use sign language to communicate with humans, so we could use this technology to accelarate their learning and better understand the process animal brains go through in learning human communication.
  • THUMS (Total HUman Model for Safety) - Previous ideas have talked about concussions in football, but it's also a huge problem in the military and the technology can be used to prevent and treat soldiers with head injuries.
Hopefully this gives you a few (more) good ideas.  Next week I'll talk about winnowing down our ideas and some additional criteria we should use to judge our ideas.  Until then...keep the ideas flowing!

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