BEAM Inflatable Module to Be Launched into Space

BEAM inflatable space moduleThe Bigelow Expandable Activity Module is an inflatable habitat made of advanced materials that can withstand impacts in space. It has a thick outer layer that is tough enough to protect the craft and crew from space radiation.

The BEAM will be transported into space as an 8-foot bundle. After it is inflated, it will be large enough to hold a car. When it expands to its full size, the BEAM will measure 12 feet long and 10 feet wide.

When it arrives at the International Space Station, the space station’s robotic arm will remove the BEAM from an unpressurized compartment. The BEAM will be the first of Bigelow’s space habitats that astronauts on the ISS will be able to enter. The hatch will be closed when astronauts are not using the BEAM. The crew of the ISS will not live in the BEAM because it will be too experimental and risky.

The module will function like an additional room added to the rest of the International Space Station. It will have a slightly cooler temperature. When it expands, there will be some slight condensation.

This will be Bigelow’s fifth berthing with the International Space Station. It will be the fourth with NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services contract. Similar operations are planned for the future.

The environment in the BEAM will generally work in the same way as the environment on the ISS. If the BEAM is successful, it will prove that inflatable habitats can work in space.

Bigelow licensed inflatable space habitat technology from NASA after Congress canceled TransHub, an expandable habitat project, in 2000. It is easier to transport inflatable habitats into space than other parts of the ISS, which need to be transported one piece at a time.

A SpaceX Dragon capsule will transport fungi specimens to the International Space Station. The capsule is scheduled to be launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on April 8.

Grips Win Oscar for Inflatable Green Screen

Aircover inflatable green screenA green screen is a backdrop that is all green or sometimes blue that is mounted in the background as a scene for a movie or television show is filmed. In post-production, the single color is replaced with video footage of computer-generated special effects.

Green screens are an important component of many Hollywood films, allowing actors to be placed in any setting with monsters and special effects. Most big budget films use a green screen to generate special effects.

Four grips from Canada received a Technical Achievement Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for an inflatable green screen. David McIntosh, Steve Smith, Mike Branham, and Mike Kirilenko won an Oscar for engineering for their Aircover Inflatables Airwall. They received the award at a ceremony hosted by Jason Segel and Olivia Munn.

The Airwall consists of large vinyl air mattresses in sections 20 feet wide and 24 feet tall. They can be placed on the ground or stacked on cargo containers if a taller height is needed. Several air mattresses can be attached if necessary. The mattresses are covered with green or blue material.

The walls can be lowered if the director needs more light on the set or if it is necessary to eliminate green or blue spill, which is caused when the sun hits the green or blue material and is reflected onto the actors. If there is too much green or blue spill, air can be let out of the wall to reduce it. The screen can be lowered to allow more sunlight but still block the background.

Older versions of green screens used metal scaffolding, stacked cargo containers, or telephone poles. The new design is more versatile since it is not a solid structure. The inflatable green screens are easier and faster to set up than ones traditionally used.

The team first came up with the idea eight years ago, but they got their big break in 2013 when the technology was used on the set of “Godzilla” in a Golden Gate Bridge destruction scene recorded in South Vancouver. Aircover has provided green screens for many other movies since then.

The developers of the new inflatable green screen were honored to receive the award for their work. They said grips are often not recognized for their contributions to Hollywood films.

Hammock Has Inflatable Air Mattress and Lights

DoubleNest hammockSome people enjoy sleeping in a hammock under the stars while out camping in the woods, while others find spending the night in a hammock suspended between two trees uncomfortable. A company called Eagles Nest Outfitters has come up with a new design to make the traditional hammock more comfortable and luxurious.

The DoubleNest LED hammock is an upgraded version of the two-person DoubleNest hammock that Eagles Nest Outfitters already offered. When properly anchored between two sturdy trees, the hammock can support up to 400 pounds.

The hammock has a string of glowing lights that can be turned on at night to allow a person to read, adjust a sleeping bag, walk back to the hammock after using the bathroom, or do anything else necessary to be comfortable on a night out camping. The lights get their power from three AAA batteries. The brightness of the lights is adjustable. A user can even turn on a flashing strobe light to attract attention in the event of an emergency.

Eagles Nest Outfitters has also introduced the AirLoft, a self-inflating air mattress that can be put inside the hammock to make sleeping more comfortable. The inflatable mattress has wings to act as a barrier between the camper and the walls of the hammock that can provide insulation to help the person stay warm on a cold night out camping. According to Eagles Nest Outfitters, the AirLoft is the first self-inflating mattress that was designed specifically to be used with a hammock for camping.

Hypnos Hoodie Inflates So Travelers Can Rest

Hypnos hoodie inflatable pillowTravelers often find it difficult to sleep comfortably on a plane or train or in a car or airport. The Hypnos hoodie, a sweatshirt with an inflatable pillow built into the hood, might be the solution for weary travelers. The Hypnos hoodie is designed to help the wearer sleep in an ergonomically correct and comfortable position.

Cofounder Josh Woodle, who works in film production, got the idea for the Hypnos hoodie while traveling to the airport. He says his brother Ryne had the initial idea for the inflatable garment. Both of the brothers grew up wearing hoodies often, and Josh Woodle wanted to combine a hoodie with a neck pillow for traveling.

The makers spent months designing the right fabric, fit, and function. They chose the hood size and shape and the ratio of fabric in the hood to the size of the inflatable cushion so that the pillow would be comfortable but would also be invisible when not inflated. Woodle worked with designers Elaine Yue and Leah Hulon.

The inflatable pillow inserts are made by a leading U.S. inflatable manufacturer. The inflatable pillow measures 15 inches by 9.5 inches. It can be inflated in three seconds by blowing into a valve on the inside of the hood. It is deflated by gently pressing down on the hood. The pillow is removed before the hoodie is washed and is designed to last a lifetime.

The hoodies have long sleeves and come in black, charcoal gray, and speckled gray. They are available in four styles: fitted pullover, fitted zip-up, relaxed pullover, and relaxed zip-up. A nylon jacket is available in black and matte black. The hoodies are available in sizes for adults and children.

The company conducted a two-year wear-test process on many flights across the United States. The Hypnos hoodie is meant to appeal to millennials and people who travel for work, to visit family and friends, or on vacation.

The company behind the inflatable hoodie has raised over $33,000 on Kickstarter to fund the project. The company surpassed its goal of raising $30,000 by January 11. The team has begun pre-selling the inflatable hoodies on Kickstarter so they can start to manufacture them cost-effectively. The hoodies are expected to be delivered in March 2016.

Inflatable Ferryboat Can Transport Vehicles over Water

inflatable FerryboatPeople who enjoy traveling by water may soon be able to have their own personal ferries. A Slovenian company has created a huge inflatable platform that is capable of transporting dozens of people or even vehicles across bodies of water.

Hovercraft created the inflatable plastic Ferryboat. The platform weighs about 660 pounds when deflated. The deflated Ferryboat can be folded up and transported in the trunk of a car when not in use.

The Ferryboat can be inflated with an electric pump in about five minutes. Once it is inflated, the platform is strong enough to be used as a ferry to transport both people and cars. The craft can support people or vehicles weighing up to a total of 11,000 pounds. In a demonstration, it easily transported a Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen across a body of water.

The inflatable craft is not designed to be used as a boat and cannot be used in waterways with strong currents. Some of the models are being marketed as rescue decks that can be used to save people who are stranded in bodies of water. The Ferryboat can also be used by people who want to spend a relaxing afternoon or evening on the water enjoying the beauty and serenity of nature.

The Ferryboat is available in a range of models with varying price points. All of the models are crafted with the same strong and durable materials. The first models of the inflatable watercraft will be available for purchase from Hovercraft sometime in 2016.

Inflatable Robots Could Be Coming to Hospitals

inflatable robots hospitalsThe film “Big Hero 6,” which was released in 2014, featured an inflatable robot called Baymax that worked in a healthcare setting. In the future, robots like Baymax could be a reality.

Most robots are solid machines used in factories to grip and hold objects and to carry out tasks such as assembling, painting, and welding. Manufacturers often choose to use robots since they are accurate, reliable, and can work around the clock.

Robots have been used in surgery for over a decade, but they occupy a niche. Robots may be used in other aspects of medical care in the future, such as lifting patients on beds and helping them get to the bathroom. They are looking attractive to some hospital managers who are under pressure to provide essential services but have limited funds to pay staff.

Technical issues still need to be worked out before robots can be used for more roles in hospitals. Safety is a primary concern. In factories, robots are often kept separate from humans to prevent accidents.

One possible solution is to use inflatable robots. The forces generated by inflating devices with air can be strong enough to lift objects or people. Since inflatable robots are soft and lightweight, the potential for accidents and injuries is low.

Inflatable robots can change shape as they inflate. By controlling the inflation rates of different parts of the robot, a finger can grip an object without the need for hinges, grippers, rotational cuffs, or a control system. A research group at Harvard has designed soft gripper arms that can pick up fruit and eggs without any mechanical moving parts.

Inflatable robots require a pump to fill them with air. One way to get around this requirement could be to use a chemical reaction similar to the one used to inflate air bags in vehicles. The reaction is not reversible. Until the problem is solved, soft robots in hospitals will probably be used on stationary patients and inflated with pumps.

Researchers are working on inflatable suits for rehabilitation that can fit around injured limbs and joints and help patients develop muscle strength and flexibility by inflating and deflating. These technologies could also help with bed sores and assist patients in sitting up.

Inflatable Accommodations for Rugby World Cup

inflatable hotel Rugby World CupWith the Rugby World Cup coming up soon, fans from around the world will be flocking to the UK to attend matches. Comfortable accommodations can be hard to find for the thousands of fans who want to attend. Many people are finding hotels booked or out of their price range. Pop-up facilities are another attractive option that will be available for this year’s World Cup.

The Snoozebox Rugby Hotel will be available from September 19 to October 19 to provide accommodations for rugby fans. The pop-up hotel offers guests two options: an en-suite Snoozebox room or an inflatable Snoozy sleeping pod.

The Snoozebox rooms come with a double or single bed, toilet, shower, free wi-fi, a flat-screen TV, linens, bedding, towels, toiletries, and electricity. Snoozy inflatable sleeping pods allow guests to stand up, which is not possible in a traditional tent. They also come with showers and toilets. The hotel will feature a Snoozebox Social Hub, which will show live screenings of Rugby World Cup matches, and a bar and guest lounge.

The portable rooms are often used at events such as festivals. The pop-up hotel has also been used at Silverstone, the Ryder Cup, and Glastonbury.

The pop-up rooms won a Good Design Award Trophy earlier this year. Snoozebox was one of seven projects that were nominated to receive the award. Other contenders included Uber and Tesla Motors.

Players themselves have also been taking advantage of inflatable accommodations. Players with the Swansea FC recently received 30 inflatable pods to encourage them to take breaks to rest between their training sessions.

University of Maine Researchers Work with NASA on HIAD

hypersonic inflatable aerodynamic decelerator HIADA group of researchers at the Advanced Structures and Composites Center at the University of Maine are working with NASA on inflatable technology that might one day be used to land humans on Mars.

The Hypersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator (HIAD) consists of a series of large inflatable rings called tori that are similar to inner tubes. They are arranged in decreasing diameter and are connected with fabric in a cone shape.

As a spaceship passed through a planet’s atmosphere, it could deploy the HIAD to slow it down and keep it from crashing into the surface. It would also shield the vehicle from the heat of reentry. A system of parachutes or boosters would help the spacecraft set down safely.

The HIAD was designed largely by engineers at NASA, but the space agency looked to researchers at the University of Maine for their help and expertise. They had experience working with inflatable fabric structures, including the Bridge-in-a-Backpack.

The university is currently in the third year of a four-year, $750,000 grant from NASA. The university pledged another $250,000. The team is studying a variety of inflatable braided fabrics and using a machine that NASA provided to test how much stress they can withstand. NASA issued the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research grant through the Maine Space Grant Consortium.

NASA also awarded University of Maine civil engineering doctoral student Andrew Young a 2015 NASA Space Technology Research Fellowship. The fellowship will provide up to $148,000 in funding over two years. Fellowships were awarded to about 50 students across the United States to study technologies related to space travel.

NASA asked Young to find methods to predict how HIADs of different sizes, orientations, and materials would perform and respond to stress. NASA needs models because testing a HIAD on a full-scale basis would be cost-prohibitive.

The researchers at the university hope the project will lead to future collaborations with NASA and increase NASA’s interest in the university’s institutions and companies.

Live Comfy Jacket Inflates So Travelers Can Rest

Live Comfy inflatable jacketLive Comfy has created a smart jacket with an inflatable hood that provides the wearer with a comfortable pillow to take a nap while traveling.

The jacket has an air system and smart pump that inflates ergonomic air chambers located in the jacket’s hood. A smart phone app controls the pump and enables the wearer to adjust the pressure. The hood can also be inflated manually.

The Live Comfy jacket has other features for travelers. The pump can also function as a portable battery pack that can charge any device that plugs into a USB port. It has an audio jack to listen to music from a phone without the need for wires.

Live Comfy recently launched a Kickstarter fundraising campaign. The company’s goal is to raise $30,000.

Live Comfy is currently applying and paying for registrations that are necessary to market the inflatable jacket. They are applying to have the product licensed by Bluetooth. The company also needs to be sure that the jacket complies with all regulations set by the Transportation Security Administration.

Live Comfy hopes to begin to ship jackets in the 2015-2016 winter season. Their intention is to ship them by the end of the year, but they realize that goal is optimistic. Manufacturers they are working with will be filling other orders during the busy holiday season. Depending on the size of the order Live Comfy places, the manufacturers may or may not make the company a top priority. They did not want to promise that orders would be ready by the holidays and be unable to deliver, so they set their goal as sometime during the winter of 2015-2016.

Sticky Monsters’ Sports Meet Features Inflatable Runway

Sticky Monster Lab inflatable runwayThe 7th Annual National Fitness Day on August 8, 2015 was marked by setting up a 140-meter-long inflatable runway in the center of Chengdu, a city in southwestern China. The pop-up runway will remain and will be open to the public until September 6.

The event is known as the Sticky Monsters’ Sports Meet. It is a collaboration between Chengdu International Finance Square, Sticky Monster Lab of South Korea, and AllRightsReserved, which serves as the curator. The inflatable runway is the highlight of the event, which also includes the Sticky Monster Wave Pool, the Vertical Marathon, and the “Happy Burst of Energy” Athletic Party.

Monsters from Sticky Monster Lab are located at various points along the track. The runway also includes obstacles, such as slides and climbing walls, where people can test their strength and skills to cross the finish line. Anyone who completes the runway challenge will receive a limited edition IFS X Sticky Monster Lab Sports Bracelet.

The Sticky Monsters initially appear to be cute monsters, but when spectators look closer, they can see that the monsters are all imperfect in some way. Kibon, for example, has no hands. They are meant to show that everyone is imperfect in some way but that we can all overcome obstacles. The theme of the event is “Challenge Yourself and Overcome the Obstacles.”

Several prominent Chinese athletes attended the Sticky Monsters’ Sports Meet. Residents of Chengdu were also celebrating Beijing’s successful bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympics.

The event is also intended to draw attention to the “Warm Current” Public Welfare Project. Chengdu IFS will donate the sports equipment used in the event to underprivileged children who live in mountainous areas in China.