Friday, June 15, 2012

Now, A Two-wheeled, Self-balancing Car

Described as a "motorbike-car" hybrid, the Lit C-1 two wheeler uses a set of futuristic electronic gyroscopes to ensure it remains upright and balanced, similar to the technology used by Segway scooters and the recent Honda UNI-CUB.

A group of scientists have announced that within a few years it may be possible to sell a two-wheeled vehicle that can't tip over.

Described as a "motorbike-car" hybrid, the Lit C-1 two wheeler uses a set of futuristic electronic gyroscopes to ensure it remains upright and balanced, similar to the technology used by Segway scooters and the recent Honda UNI-CUB.

The technology allows drivers to sit and use a steering wheel, as in a car, but allows the C-1 to stay perfectly balanced, even at slow speeds or a standstill.

The secret to the balance are the gyroscopes under the floor, which spin rapidly in response to electronic sensors to keep the vehicle balanced at all times -- even, says Lit, if the vehicle is involved in a collision.

Gyroscopes, which harness the unique propensity of a spinning flywheel to stay upright, have been used for some time for stabilization, including on aircraft and on cruise ships to reduce roll caused by waves.

However, this will be one of the most unique applications to date, potentially enabling drivers to switch to smaller vehicles which offer the benefits of a bike with the comparative safety of a car.

The model can even cope with some luggage and an extra passenger, says Lit, although it's likely to involve some considerable acrobatics from the rear passenger given the small size of the device.

The C-1 uses electric drive and offers a battery pack capable of 200 miles (321 km/h) from a single charge, as well as reaching a top speed of over 120 mph (193 km/h) -- far faster than most electric cars available on the 

The manufacturer says that it could be available in showrooms by the end of 2014 -- it's already offering preorders on the website from $250, although the final price of the vehicle is unclear.

Gorgeous: Underground Resort In China

Sky-high hotels and resorts are invariably impressive – shooting up as if to kiss the clouds. But what if a resort was created inside a deep gorge - would it look equally spectacular? Here are some artist impressions of the Songjiang Shimao Hotel project by engineering and design consultancy, Atkins. Songjiang Shimao Hotel is a resort that includes extreme sports facilities, visitor centre and a five-star luxury hotel with some levels of the hotel situated under water.

The unique resort is being built into an abandoned, water-filled quarry.

A naturally-lit internal atrium incorporates the existing rock face, with its waterfalls and green vegetation.

The design solution for the resort includes the use of green roofing and exploiting the site's geothermal heat to generate electricity and heating.

Atkins is providing the architecture, structural and civil engineering services for this leisure resort in China.

The resort includes extreme sports facilities, visitor centre and a five-star luxury hotel with some levels of the hotel situated under water.

Record-breaking Bridges

At 1,102 feet up and 3,858 feet across, the ambitious suspension bridge in China's Hunan province has become the highest and longest in the world. The Anzhaite Long-span Suspension Bridge in Jishou was officially opened to motorists Tuesday, Daily Mail reported. The bridge, which is lit up at night with 1,888 lights, is the fourth suspension bridge to cross a valley so wide it seems to be connecting two mountain ranges, the Mail said. The bridge is a key part of the Jishou-Chadong Expressway, a 64-km road which has 18 different tunnels that cover about half of its length. Once on the bridge cars and lorries can motor along a two-way, four-lane motorway at about 50 mph. Pedestrians can also walk along it on a special walkway under the road. Here's a look at some record-breaking bridges from around the world. The Aizhai bridge, the world's highest tunnel to tunnel bridge, at 336 meter-high (1,102 feet) and spanning 1,176 meters (3,858 feet), officially opens to traffic in Jishou, central China's Hunan province on March 31, 2012.

Aizhai is also the fourth suspension bridge in China to cross a valley so wide it seems to be connecting two mountain ranges, and of the world's 400 or so highest bridges, none has a main span as long as Aizhai.

Qingdao Jiaozhou Bay Bridge The world's longest cross-sea bridge, spanning 36.48 kilometers across the mouth of the Jiaozhou Bay in China's eastern Shandong province, opened to traffic four years after construction started. Here's a peek into some of the world's longest bridges.

Lake Pontchartrain Causeway Located in Louisiana, United States, the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, consists of two parallel bridges that run parallel to each other. The bridges are supported by 9,500 concrete pilings and spans over 38.35 kilometres. The southern terminus of the Causeway is in Metairie, Louisiana, a suburb of New Orleans. The northern terminus is at Mandeville, Louisiana.

Donghai Bridge Completed on December 10, 2005, the Donghai Bridge has a total length of 32.5 kilometres and connects Shanghai to the Yangshan port in China. The 'Donghai Bridge' is popularly known as 'The stone'.

Chesapeake Bay Bridge The Chesapeake Bay Bridge is a four lane bridge that connects the Delmarva Peninsula's Eastern Shore of Virginia with Virginia Beach and the metropolitan area of Hampton Roads, Virginia. The bridge has a total length of 37 kilometres.

Vasco da Gama Bridge The Vasco da Gama Bridge is a cable bridge with a total length of 17.2 kilometres. The bridge was opened to traffic on 29 March, 1998. The bridge spans across the Tagus River near Lisbon, Portugal.

Penang Bridge The Penang Bridge opened to traffic on September 14, 1985 and connects Gelugor in Penang island and Seberang Prai to mainland Malaysia. The total length of the bridge is 13.5 kilometres.

Rio-Niteroi Bridge The Rio-Niteroi Bridge is a box girder bridge that connects the cities of Rio de Janeiro and Niteroi. The bridge opened on March 4, 1974 and the total length of the bridge is 13 kilometres.

Confederation Bridge The 12.9 kilometre long bridge opened on 31 May 1997, connecting the Prince Edward Island with New Brunswick, Canada. The Confederation bridge is a two-lane highway toll bridge.

San Mateo-Hayward Bridge Commonly known as the San Mateo Bridge, the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge connects San Francisco Peninsula with the East Bay. The total length of the bridge is 11.265408 kilometres.

Seven Mile Bridge The Seven Mile Bridge is is located between the Gulf of Mexico and the Florida Strait. Finished in 1982 at a cost of $45 million, the Seven Mile Bridge connects city of Marathon in the Middle Keys of Florida to Little Duck Key in the Lower Keys of Florida.

The World's Biggest Truck

This gargantuan of a truck is hard to describe, but put it this way, imagine standing on the terrace of your duplex house and driving the entire building down the road. As 'simple' as that! The biggest truck in the world is neither a Volvo nor a Ford, not even a Mack truck with a double trailer. The real monsters are mining trucks that stand more than 21 feet tall and 48 ft long.

This gargantuan of a truck is hard to describe, but put it this way, the driver needs to climb from his cab into an open window on the second floor of an average building. Imagine standing on the terrace of your duplex house and driving the entire building?

There are many manufacturers building these monsters and the trucks are relatively close in size, so it’s not easy to determine which one is truly the largest.

The images shown here are those of a Caterpillar 797F Mining Truck, which weighs more than one million pounds (453,592 kilograms) and can carry and dump more than 300 tons of material in the back.

These mining trucks produce about 4,000 horsepower to move all that mass and travel at a maximum speed of 67 kmph.

Asia's Beautiful Heritage Temples

Are you an architecture and culture enthusiast? Then you probably know that India is not the only place in the world that boasts beautiful temples. Enjoy this fascinating photo feature on temples around the world. Click on the links in each slide to enjoy more slideshows. A view of the impressive Sun Temple in Modhera, Gujarat. The eight Dikpalas are the Guardians of Direction, guarding specific directions of space. They are traditionally represented on the walls and ceilings of Hindu temples.

Built of soft bluish-grey soapstone, the Chennakeshava temple at Belur, Karnataka is a jewel of Hoysala architecture.

The Hoysaleshwara temple at Halebeedu in Hassan district, Karnataka, is a survivor of centuries. It has two shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva. Hoysaleshwara and Shanthaleshwara are the two deities.

The cave temple at Seeyamangalam, 80 km from Chennai, was constructed by the Pallava king Mahendravarman I in the 7th century. The temple is dedicated to Stambeshwara, a form of Shiva.

The Chausat Yogini Temple, or the temple of 64 yoginis, is located atop a hill in Bedaghat, some 20 km from Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh.

Thanjavur, 342 km from Chennai is where Tamil Nadu's cultural heart beats. Its monumental shrine to Brihadishwara called a Great Living Chola Temple. Built by Raja Raja Chola I in 1011 to commemorate the victory of the Chola dynasty, this architectural gem remains brings together religious fervor and architectural grandeur as it did centuries ago.

Built on the Betwa River in Madhya Pradesh, the ancient city of Orchha houses the citadels and cenotaphs of the Bundela rulers.

Tungnath, at 12,073 above mean sea level, is the highest Shiva temple in the world, discounting perhaps the Amarnath Cave shrine near Srinagar, Kashmir, which is situated at an altitude of 12,756 feet. Tungnath is second in importance among the five mountain shrines collectively known as the Panch Kedar and is situated in Uttarakhand's Garhwal Himalaya.

Hampi, on the banks of the Tungabhadra River, was the ancient capital of the glorious Vijayanagar Empire. The ruins of the Achyuta Raya temple here look so serene and beautiful that one can only wonder how grand the temple must have looked 500 years ago.

Nearly everybody has visited the spectacular Hoysala temples of Belur, Halebeedu and Somnathpur. Off the tourist map lie several others. Many are located deep inside forests and coffee plantations.

Thought Angkor Wat was synonymous with Siem Reap? Think again. Once you are done with the sunrise and sunset and the tour of Angkor Wat, do not head back to the next destination in Cambodia. Buy yourself a three-day Angkor pass and visit other marvelous temples and you will find a slice of ancient civilization waiting for you.

The Indonesian island of Bali is home to the majority of the country's Hindus. Balinese Hinduism is characterized by the worship of the supreme god Acintya, along with the trinity in Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. The art and ritual of the Balinese Hindus trace back to influences from the 4th century when Hinduism reached the island's shores. Balinese temples are ornate, beautiful and situated in visually stunning locales.

Bishnupur, a small town in the Bankura district of West Bengal, is famous for its terracotta temples and rich artistic tradition.

The rock-cut cave temples of Badami in northern Karnataka date back to the days of the Chalukya dynasty, which ruled the region from the 6th to 8th centuries. The architecture is a blend of the north Indian Nagara style and the south Indian Dravidian style.