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Tag: conveyor belt

Speed up the passenger-pickup phase of a Lyft or Uber ride with this new conveyor belt system for ride-sharing cars!

The issue:

One transportation model used by ride-sharing cars (formerly called “taxis”) is the “carpool”-style trip, where multiple passengers are picked up and dropped off at various points along a mostly-shared route.

(Lyft Line and Uber Pool are currently the most well-known of these.)

This “carpool”-style trip is cheaper than a normal ride for each individual passenger, but the route may be slightly longer due to detours to pick up and drop off each person.

The issue:

Sometimes, a car will be partially full when it picks up a new passenger. If there is someone sitting in the curb-side rear seat, the new passenger will generally attempt to enter through that door first, then realize that someone is there and walk around the car to the other side (Figure 1). For maximum comedy, the passenger already inside the car may misunderstand and slide themselves over to the other seat, thus accidentally blocking the incoming passenger yet again.

1-rider-in-seat

Fig. 1: If someone is already occupying the back right seat, then a new passenger who attempts to enter through that door (see arrow “A”) will be stymied. They will have to either walk around the car or else wait for the current passenger to slide over to the opposite seat.

This inefficient entry method wastes time and increases the chances that the stopped ride-share car will be hit by an inattentive motorist.

Proposal:

The fix to this situation is simple: the back seat can be replaced by a pair of conveyor belts (Figure 2). These conveyor belts will be controlled by a switch on the dashboard, and will allow the driver to slide any current passengers out of the way of new incoming passengers.

2-conveyor-belt

Fig. 2: The back seat is replaced by a pair of conveyor belts. Note that this new configuration still seats three, so we haven’t lost any functionality.

 

3-conveyor-arrows

Fig. 3: The conveyor belts are synchronized, so any passengers on them will hardly notice as they are gently scooted over.

Conclusion:

Although this feature is not currently standard in any production automobiles, it would make sense for it to be an add-on, like heated seats or a sunroof.

PROS: Increases ride-sharing efficiency by reducing the new-passenger pickup time. This is especially important since ride-share company profits are currently in the “negative numbers” range.

CONS: It is unclear whether seat belts could be installed in this conveyor-belt seat system without strangling back-seat passengers. Possibly this system should be prototyped in countries with non-existent safety regulations.

Shield your mind from the horrors found in a shared breakroom fridge with a futuristic conveyor-belt-based refrigerator! What has been seen cannot be unseen.

Background:

Have you ever had to deal with a shared refrigerator? If so, you may be familiar with the issue of old food items piling up in nooks and crannies of the fridge and never being removed.

Periodically cleaning the fridge will fix this, but it’s a hassle to figure out which food is old and which is new, especially when opaque containers are involved.

fridge-to-trash-just-trash-can

Fig. 1: Philosophers theorize that rotting food should ideally go into the trash, rather than the shared fridge.

The issue:

So how can we AUTOMATICALLY clean out a fridge without any effort?

The old-fashioned solution is to have people label food with a date (e.g. “Oct 14 leftovers”). But unless every single item is clearly labeled, we have only slightly reduced the fridge-cleaning problem.

fridge-overview

Fig. 2: A fridge with three shelves (from top to bottom: orange, purple, blue).

Proposal:

We can use a conveyor-belt-like system to automatically clear old items out of the fridge.

The way it works is quite simple: each shelf is attached to a track, which can move the shelves up and down. Every day (or other interval of time), the shelves move up one shelf-height, and all the food on the top shelf is thrown into the trash. That top shelf now becomes the bottom shelf, and the cycle continues.

fridge-to-trash-4x

Fig. 3: A) The default state of the fridge; casual examination reveals nothing unusual about this setup. However, the orange (top) shelf is about to be automatically cleared of rotten food and expired leftovers.

B) First, the top of the fridge pivots open (#1), then all the shelves travel along a track (not shown) that elevates them by one shelf-height. The orange shelf is now outside of the fridge entirely.

C) In step #3, the orange “to be cleared of trash” shelf is pivoted up and shaken violently, causing the old food items (#4) to fall into the trash can.

D) In step #5, the top of the fridge closes, and the now-clear-of-trash shelf (#6, in orange) is placed on the top of the fridge. Someone will have to manually put this shelf back into the fridge (where it will become the new bottom shelf). The purple shelf is the next to-be-trashed shelf.

Summary:

If each shelf moves up one shelf-sized slot per week, and there are three shelves, then it means that the food on the very bottom shelf would be safe for 3 weeks before being automatically trashed.

Therefore, as long as a motivated fridge-using individual can be bothered to check in on their food at least a couple of times a month, it will be preserved.

But any food item that isn’t shepherded to a lower shelf at least once during the course of the food-deletion period will be mercilessly thrown away.

PROS: Prevents strife from blaming your coworkers for throwing out your “no you guys, it’s totally still fine!” two-week-old leftovers.

CONS: May be slightly on the Rube-Goldberg-esque side of mechanical over-complication.

AN IDEA TO MAKE THIS PROPOSAL MORE PRACTICAL system could be reformulated as a no-moving-parts system with color-coded shelves (e.g. “the red light has turned on in shelf 2b, that means all the food in there is “condemned”) or even something as simple as a piece of paper labeled “everything on THIS shelf will be thrown out on Friday afternoon.

fridge-to-trash-outline

Supplementary Fig. A: Original concept for the conveyor-belt-auto-trash fridge.

 

With this amazing new conveyor belt diet, YOU TOO can lose weight without any pain! Don’t listen to all those other fad diets—this one is here to stay.

TITLE: With this amazing new conveyor belt diet, YOU TOO can lose weight without any pain! Don’t listen to all those other fad diets—this one is here to stay.

Background:

Losing weight is difficult, due to the amazing variety of instantly-accessible food options in the modern world.

But the same technology that creates a surplus of food can also be harnessed to keep you on a healthy diet!

The issue:

Most diets require a significant commitment from the dieter in order to succeed.

And many fad diets are actively harmful due to their bizarre combination of food sources, which may lack essential nutrients.

But with the following conveyor belt diet plan, anyone can maintain the perfect balanced diet with no effort whatsoever!

Proposal:

The diet plan works as follows:

Your main food sources at home and at work (for example, a refrigerator at home, perhaps a deli or vending machine at work) are replaced by a large industrial conveyor belt and a hopper, in which a balanced diet of food is loaded.

Every week, the hopper is refilled with a healthy mix of food for the individual(s) in question. This food is slowly dispensed onto the slow-moving conveyor belt. Any food on the conveyor belt is fair game for the dieter to eat. If the dieter isn’t hungry, they can just let food accumulate on the long conveyor belt until they are hungry enough to devour it all.

conveyor-food

Fig 1: Top: transparent (green glass, in this diagram) hopper with food loaded in it. Bottom: the conveyor belt. Food is dropped onto it from the hopper at specific predefined intervals. In the full production model, the conveyor belt would be dramatically longer, to allow more food to accumulate on it. The belt would move very slowly—perhaps only one food per hour, or less (just enough to keep dispensed food items from overlapping).

Conclusion:

This is a way for anyone to maintain their ideal diet with no effort whatsoever!

PROS: Will improve health and well-being of all individuals.

CONS: Hungry dieters might try to claw ineffectually at the reinforced glass of the food dispenser, leading to potential finger injuries.