Skiers Get d3o-Based 'Impact Suits'
In their 1971 novel The Flying Sorcerors, science fiction writers David Gerrold and Larry Niven wrote about an impossible idea - a suit that was both flexible all over and hard as armor all over:
It was my impact suit," Purple said. He took a step forward and thumped himself hard in the belly with this fist. His belly was big and soft, so the blow should have made him wince. It did not. I thought for a moment that Purple had become rigid as stone.
"My impact suit," he repeated. "Normally it flows like cloth, but under a sharp blow it becomes a single rigid unit.
(Read more about Gerrold and Niven's impact suit)
Thirty-five years later, US and Canadian skiers get to wear one! Spyder, a skiwear company based in Colorado, is working with d3o labs to incorporate a special material that hardens in "extreme" circumstances (like in a fall, for example).
The material is one of a class of similar materials that have been used for applications as diverse as body armor and rehabilitative exoskeletons. The material that d3o uses is a mixture of a viscous liquid and a polymer; once the d3o material has been synthesized, it is poured into a mold according to the application. When at rest (or when gently flexed), the molecules within the material can flow past one another. When a sudden deformation is applied, the molecules lock, forming a shield.
(d3o-based ski suits)
Although the material is available only to Olympic atheletes at the present time, Spyder will offer ski racing apparel with d3o technology starting in September of this year.
Find out about other uses for similar materials: take a look at Liquid Armor In Two Flavors: Shear Thickening and Magnetorheological and AKROD v2 - Active Knee Rehabilitation Device. Read more about ski suits at the d3o Lab website; thanks to Ruth Gough of d3o Lab for writing with this story.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 2/14/2006)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 11 )
Related News Stories -
Fabric Automatically Cools Or Insulates Based On Environment
'...a high-efficiency filter and heat-exchange system.' - Frank Herbert, 1965.
Foldimate Folds Your Clothes Perfectly
Look ma, my room is clean! I can hear you now.
'Power Clothing' - The Seismic 'Super Suit'
'The real genius in the design is that you don't have to control the suit; you just wear it...' - Robert Heinlein, 1959.
Shiftwear Display Shoes
'He unlaced her shoe and glanced at its readout.' Bruce Sterling, 1988.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
BrainEx Restores Some Activity To Severed Pig Head
'... they placed the brain in a special solution, having all the properties of Nursing the brain cells.'
Yes, But Do Astrobees Have Lasers For Lightsaber Training?
'... Ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.'
'Young Razorbacks Before Their Katanas Grow In'
'Twin robotic arms with gleaming three-foot sword blades unfolded from the forward hydraulic assemblies...'
A New Way To Run Into Things
'He made an adjustment, pointed the tube at the wall beside Etzwane, and projected a cone of light.'
'Metallic Wood' Strong Like Titanium, Floats In Water
'A metal... light as cork and stronger than steel...'
Seabreacher, H.G. Winter's 1939 Torpoon
'Ken lay full-length in the padded body compartment, his feet resting on the controlling bars of the directional planes, hands on the torpoon's engine levers.'
Abundant Robotics Autonomous Apple Harvester Robot
'... little machines, that went from plant to plant... cutting off the ripe fruit.'
Charging An Electric Car In 2019 (Video), 1912 (Photo) And 1894 (Fiction)
'Recharge the batteries... in almost every town and village...'
Japan Uses Explosives On Asteroid
'...a tiny, rocket-powered projectile, drove towards the mysterious bulk. It hit, exploding into a cloud of incandescent vapour.'
Get Your Speeder Flying Motorcycle From Jetpack Aviation
'The flycycles were miracles of compact design.'
FLIR Black Hornet 3 Palm-sized Drone
These drones can provide situational awareness beyond visual line-of-sight capability.
Dockworkers Protest Driverless Trucks
'It resembled conventional human-operated transportation vehicles, but with one exception -- there was no driver's cabin.'
Flying Car Concept By Kash Sirinanda
'Each one consists of a hub with many tiny spokes... On the end is a squat foot, rubber tread on the bottom...'
Unfurl The Future! Huawei Mate X versus Galaxy Fold
'A paper thin polycarbon screen unfurled silently from the top of the unit and immediately grew rigid.'
Amazon Echo And Google Home Should Have Morality Software
'The Dwoskin Morality Rating-Computer could 'spot the slightest tendency to deviation' from the social norm...'
China Building Robot Wives
'Want a life-companion, a pleasant one?'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories