Pneumatics Blog

The Pneumatics Blog is the place for conversation and discussion about cylinders and actuators; valve manifolds; compressed air and vacuum systems; sensing & measurement; and air supply. Here, you'll find everything from application ideas, to news and industry trends, to hot topics and cutting edge innovations.

Can Air Power Help Reduce Deadly Police Chases?

Posted September 14, 2015 12:00 AM by Engineering360 eNewsletter

Fictional high-speed chases may be fun to watch on TV or in movies, but the real thing can be deadly for innocent people who happen to be in the way when speeding drivers are fleeing police. To reduce deaths and injuries caused by high-speed chases, the city of Milwaukee, WI, has restricted their use by police. To prevent criminals from getting away as a result, the city plans to equip police cars with pneumatically powered devices that track fleeing vehicles. A video produced by the manufacturer shows how the concept works.

13 comments; last comment on 09/16/2015
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Pneumatics Help SpaceX Pursue "Out-of-This-World" Goals

Posted November 15, 2014 12:00 AM by Engineering360 eNewsletter

Despite recent catastrophes, the call for space exploration will continue. California-based SpaceX, a space transport services company, is pursuing development of its Falcon 9 launch vehicle. Engineering360 looks into the current Falcon 9's construction and technology. One item discussed is the stage separation system's use of pneumatics instead of conventional pyrotechnics. The idea: allow reliable, low-shock separation that can be tested on the ground.

1 comments; last comment on 11/17/2014
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Energy Storage Solution in the Bag?

Posted September 13, 2014 12:00 AM by Engineering360 eNewsletter

Can air and water combine to meet the challenge of storing energy from renewable sources? A Canadian start-up company called Hydrostor thinks so. The company's idea is to use renewable energy to produce compressed air that will be stored in large underwater bags, which could be located near offshore wind farms. When the stored energy is needed, the weight of the water forces the air back up to the surface, where it will be used to drive a turbine. A video accompanying this IEEE Spectrum piece explains how the process works.

16 comments; last comment on 01/23/2015
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Getting a Lift from Vacuum

Posted June 20, 2014 12:00 AM by Engineering360 eNewsletter

Aging baby boomers who lose mobility can also lose access to the upper floors of their homes. A chair lift can get the elderly and disabled upstairs, but high costs and the difficulties involved in getting in and out of the chair make this a less-than-ideal option, notes the author of this Hydraulics & Pneumatics article. His preferred alternative: a pneumatic elevator featuring a passenger cabin that's lifted by vacuum. The story explains how the technology works, why it beats conventional elevators, and why vacuum was chosen over compressed air to give the disabled a lift.

8 comments; last comment on 06/23/2014
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Human or Geminoid?

Posted February 17, 2014 1:00 PM by Engineering360 eNewsletter

You'll be pardoned for getting a little confused while watching a video showing so-called "Geminoids" along with the people they were modeled after. Geminoids are electromechanical devices designed to look and act like specific humans, explains this Design News piece, which includes links to several Geminoid videos. The mechanism behind Geminoid movements includes pneumatic actuators and air-flow control valves.

2 comments; last comment on 02/17/2014
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