Kayak Morphing Paddles for Optimum Efficiency – New Future Sports Concept

Have you ever paddled a kayak in the ocean? Well, if you have you know it is hard work and your stomach muscles, pecks, and arms hurt like hell afterwards. Oh and if you are not doing it right, your butt is sore, your legs ache, and your back hurts – basically you are toast, not to mention the sunburn you’ll have to deal with if you try this on a sunny day.

Once you are out there battling the waves, and once you get out a ways, there is no quitting, you still have to get back in, or allow the current and tide to take you where it will, and usually that is not where you want to go. Yes, let’s talk, because it would be nice if we could make this grueling sport just a little easier.

First, I’d like to tell you about a new technology I read about online, and then I’d like to see if we could enhance these features to help us in the sport of kayaking even more because what these researchers have come up with is pretty decent, and I think there are even more applications than once thought – I want to explore this new sporting concept with you for a few moments.

In Gizmag there was an interesting article titled; “World’s first Kayak Power Meter brings bike-like metering to paddlers,” by C.C. Weiss posted on July 19, 2013. These kayak paddles help the rower understand when the peak output of force is and allows the rower to adjust to help them conserve energy and remain efficient. Okay, now that is really cool, but I have another idea;

Let’s make these kayak paddles morphable, and get them to turn slightly to help them ease into the water and then out of the water on each stroke using haptic sensors and simple algorithms. Now then, when the paddle enters the water we want the absolute least amount of resistance, cutting into butter at a sharp angle, then once in the water the paddle gets ready for the power stroke, where the rower is producing the most power based on the rowers geometry, ergonomics, strength, and water resistance.

Then as that power slows and start to taper off, the paddle morphs into the perfect shape to shoot it out of the water with the least resistance, helping the rower pull it back into position quickly for the next stroke in the most efficient manner possible. The reality is we already have all the math to get this done, we already have sophisticated CADCAM fluid dynamic software, morphing materials, and this company listed above seems to have everything else we need to make this happen. So, please consider all this and think on it.

MAV Flapping Wings Using Repelling Magnets Concept

One of the holy grails of designing micro air vehicles or MAVs is to build a prototype that mimics a flying bird or insect. Why? Simply because evolution is the best designer of all, those designs that work flourish, those that don’t, well those species perish. Yes, that is the harsh reality of nature, but we can learn from its incredible time-tested research and development as each iteration serves a specific niche allowing for growth of the species.

Okay so, an MAV is a very small robotic airplane or flying device, yes, also built to serve a specific niche. In most cases built by robotics teams trying to prove concept, or their ability to use biomimicry to copy some sort of insect or bird. The ultimate goal would be to use these devices to do surveillance as the proverbial ‘fly on the wall’ or camouflages as a biological equivalent such as a bird.

This turns out to be a little harder than it looks, but not impossible at all, in fact a few robotics teams have conquered the challenge and a few small defense contractors have pulled it off. Today you can buy small remote control bird-like models and fly them around to entertain yourself for kicks. Now then, often I myself consider things such as muscle memory materials and other strategies that might assist in the flapping of wings. Thus, came up with yet another concept, using repelling magnets on the wing tips of a small MAV.

How would this concept actually work? Well, using repelling magnets on the wing-tips of a flapping-wing micro-air vehicle would cause the wings to fly apart at a good rate of speed. How this would work is somewhat a unique concept. You’d hold the wings together between your thumb and fingers then let go and the wings would repel down until they hit again at the bottom of the stroke, once again repelling until the wings hit on the up-stroke and so on, flapping along. The mathematics for the best Reynold’s Number and use the Navier-Stokes equation would be employed to ensure the best possible efficiency.

In looking at other flapping wing designs, they often use little motors and gears, perhaps such strategies too could be employed to see that the system continued to operate and never reaches equilibrium, as is the problem with magnetic ‘free energy’ concepts which look great on paper but never actually come to fruition.

Recommended reading:

(1) Research Paper: “Numerical Simulation of Flapping Wings using a Panel Method and a High-Order Navier-Stokes Solver” by P. O. Persson, D. J. Willis, and J. Peraire. (Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng 2011; 01:1-20).

(2) Research Paper: “The Numerical Simulation of Flapping Wings at Low Reynolds Numbers,” by Per-Olof Persson, David J. Willis, and Jaime Peraire. (48th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting, New Horizons Forum and Aerospace Exposition, January 4 – 7, 2010), AIAA 2010-724.