July 12, 2011

World’s first hydrogen-based formula race car

Filed under: Automobiles,Dutch first,Science,Sustainability by Orangemaster @ 3:34 pm

The Forze IV, the first formula race car in the world that runs on hydrogen fuel cells was unveiled on 9 July by Delft University of Technology in The Hague for everyone to see.

The Forze IV is lightweight with two electric motors powered by hydrogen fuel cells and can do 0 to 100 km in 5 seconds. The one downside for the people who watched the unveiling is that the motor doesn’t go vroooooom.

Today the Forze team will be at the UK’s Silverstone race track for the Formula Student Championship where young engineers from around the world compete with their sustainable and innovative creations. On 16 August the Forze IV will attempt to break the world’s speed record for hydrogen fuel cell powered car on the Prinses Beatrixlaan in Delft.

(Link: formulazero.tudelft.nl, Photo of the roll-out of the Forze IV at the Spuiplein in The Hague by Richard van het Hof)

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May 22, 2011

Delft students aiming for space with amateur rocket

Filed under: Technology by Branko Collin @ 2:52 pm

In 2009 students of Delft University broke the European amateur altitude record with a rocket called Stratos. In 2012 they wish to get halfway the edge of space with a rocket called Stratos II.

The students, members of the Delft Aerospace Rocket Engineering association, successfully tested propellant at artillery range ‘t Harde during DARE Launch Day, two weeks ago. Stratos II will be a two stage rocket which will be launched in Norway in 2012.

DARE launched five rockets at its launch day, all of which contained an egg. Two of the eggs survived.

The first amateur rocket to reach space was the GoFast rocket (2004), built by the Civilian Space eXploration Team of the USA.

(See also: Youtube video by De Stentor. Image: DARE mission patch.)

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September 14, 2010

Delft University library desk

Filed under: Architecture,Design by Branko Collin @ 10:14 pm

This is the service desk of the architecture library at the University of Delft. Neat, eh?

(Photo by Flickr user IK’s World Trip, some rights reserved. Link, with more photos: Recyclart.)

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April 19, 2010

Delft students improve surgery for cross-eyed

Filed under: Health,Science by Branko Collin @ 1:48 pm

Team Daisy, made up of Elsbeth Geukers and Nicole de Bakker, has won the 2010 Philips Innovation Award with a diagnostic technique that should drastically reduce the amount of operations required to treat strabismus (aka “cross-eyed”) in young children.

One of the problems that apparently plague doctors when trying to measure the angle of ‘crossed’ eyes is that young children do not sit still enough for an accurate measurement. Sprout.nl claims that this can lead to a failure rate of the operations of up to 50%.

The technique developed by the TU Delft students will simply measure from different angles simultaneously.

Earlier this year Geukers and De Bakker proved not only to be successful inventors but also promising businesswomen, when they won first prize (1500 euro) in the Writing a Business Plan course at their university.

(Photo by Flickr user net_efekt, some rights reserved)

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April 11, 2010

Twitter-based architecture

Filed under: Architecture by Branko Collin @ 11:31 am

Last autumn a study project had eleven architecture students from the University of Delft create a house for a person based on their tweets and on other statements the ‘client’ made on-line. The eleven virtual clients were not told about the project, so the students could only go by these on-line statements.

Each student was given an area of 500 x 500 metres in Amsterdam in which to find a suitable location for a 130 square metre house.

A book made about project Twitterhouse can be viewed here, and a video about one of the cases, fashion designer Joline Jolink, is below:

Says Jolink:

@KimTextilia Kim moet je dit zien: http://www.bright.nl/ontwerp-een-huis-op-basis-van-tweets SCARY!!

(Links: Bright, The Mobile City. Source image: Twitter.)


March 27, 2010

Angel of Death, unemployed prosecuted, Superbus – updates

Filed under: Automobiles,Health by Branko Collin @ 12:29 pm

Here are some interesting updates of past 24 Oranges stories.

* Lucia de Berk, the serial killer seemingly convicted on the basis of flawed statistics, received some good news today. Now that her case has been re-opened, the public prosecutor has asked the court to free her and drop all charges against the former nurse.

In 2004 De Berk, nicknamed Angel of Death, received a life sentence for seven murders and three attempted murders of patients under her care. Rather than proving murders had taken place, the prosecution shopped for natural deaths that could pass for suspicious, and if it turned out that De Berk had been working when the alleged victims died, added them to its list. After statisticians brought their objections to this method to public attention, the supreme court decided to let a lower court re-open the case.

The verdict has been announced for April 14.

* Minister Donner of the department of Social Affairs has been told by parliament to re-open the cases of unemployed entrepreneurs who were accused of fraud and sometimes prosecuted for it by UWV, the same organisation that had been feeding them false information that led to this ‘fraud’ in the first place.

The accused were participating in a work re-integration programme that allowed them to set up their own companies while still receiving benefits during the incubation phase. They received benefits for the difference between hours worked and hours available for work, where UWV initially defined ‘hours worked’ as ‘hours billed.’ However, the law says that non-billable hours also count as ‘hours worked.’

UWV (formerly known as GAK) is a private institute that is tasked with distributing unemployment benefits under the supervision of Donner’s department. When the minister pointed out that opening dossiers of already convicted felons was ‘impossible,’ that only seemed to rub parliament the wrong way, according to NRC.

* The Delft students that designed the eco-friendly Superbus are currently building a working prototype. In 2009, after extensive testing on a track, the chassis was built (see image).

The Superbus is a 15-metre-long vehicle that fits 23 passengers. It drives over a dedicated, cheap, concrete lane and doesn’t use bus stops. Instead, prospective passengers indicate where and when they want to board, and presumably the driver caters to these wishes. The Superbus is electrically powered, using lithium polymer battery packs and regenerative braking. Its top speed is 250 kilometres per hour (155 mph). Top Gear, are you reading this?

(Source photo: Superbus)

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February 28, 2010

iPhone app can help you quit smoking

Filed under: Gadgets,Health,Online by Orangemaster @ 1:27 pm

Who said trying to quit smoking couldn’t be fun? On 1 March, Lianne Sleebos of the Delft University of Technology will be launching My Stop Buddy, an app to help people stop smoking. For a mere 2,99 euro, you can choose an English or Dutch app that will support you for 21 days. Fill in a personal profile and you will get activity suggestions to help you not reach for a ‘cancer stick’, lots of jokes about health and information on how much money you saved by not smoking. You can also push buttons according to you mood and you’ll be told why you’re going for a smoke according to it. It sounds like a nagging grandmother so far, but hey, I haven’t seen it yet and I do hope it works. I am curious about the English version, translations and all.

And although 2,99 euro is much cheaper than a pack of cigarettes, the iPhone isn’t, but OK you can get one for free with a certain telecom provider here in the Netherlands.

(Links: idealize.nl, zorginnovatieplatform.nl, Photo by William Hook, some rights reserved)

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February 4, 2010

Students design freight bicycle

Filed under: Bicycles,Dutch first,General by Orangemaster @ 12:45 pm


Here’s a fine Dutch example of necessity being the mother of invention. Two students from Delft University of Technology designed a delivery tricycle (‘bakfiets’) that acts as a moving van. It is powered by two people pedaling in front of the load carrying box as opposed to one person pedaling behind it. The idea is that it’s perfect to move students from one flat to another, couch and all, without having to use a car. “My parents had to drive 200 km to help me move a couch 2 km down the road,” explains Onno Sminia, one of the designers. In other words, very ineffective.

Onno Sminia and his friend Louis Pierre Geerinckx already found their first client: the City of Delft. The ‘vrachtfiets’ (‘freight bicycle’) was unveiled on 3 February and pedaled around town full of big furniture.

These lads are off to a good start when they finished their studies this summer.

(Link and image: idealize.nl)


July 20, 2009

Portable ice bath on Tour a Dutch thing

Filed under: Gadgets,Sports by Orangemaster @ 12:05 pm
IcyDip (assembly) 2

It’s a day of rest for the Tour de France and a good time for us to find a Dutch angle to it. Dutch cyclist Niki Terpstra of Team Milram tells us of a cool way to freshen up and feel better after a long day of cycling: sitting in a plastic dustbin with ice water, designed by Icysolutions, a Dutch company. The ‘Icydip’ was thought up by two former students of the Delft University of Technology, Hicham Shatou and Tarek Ghobar.

You can watch this promotional video to see it properly or a shaky video in Dutch with Niki Terpstra (scroll down a bit), or both.

(Explanation with English subtitles starts at 0:45, albeit with football players)

(Link: bizz.nl, Photo: icysolutions)

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July 13, 2009

Filter catches up to 66% of particulates

Filed under: Science by Branko Collin @ 11:43 am

A filter can remove up to two thirds of all particulates claims its developer (Dutch), Bob Ursem of the Technical University of Delft. Particulates are tiny particles of anything floating in the air, be it sand, salt, sulfuric acids, nitric acids, and so on, and are considered a health hazard.

Ursem’s invention works by electrically charging the particles. A negatively charged mesh, or anything that is grounded, will then attract the particles. Something as simple as a plant could act as the mesh.

Unfortunately, Ursem has patented his invention, so even if it works (two thirds of how much air?), it may not be deployed widely for the next 15 years or so.

(Photo of a particulate polluted Shanghai sky by Wikimedia Commons user Saperaud, some rights reserved)

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