The problem with having 'side projects' when you work for yourself is that they aren't in fact on the side, they're just a project. It also means that these projects take a back seat to client work and therefore end up simmering away loudly in the background. I've got a lot of these. The future for me is just as much about getting these ideas completed and out in the open as it is about generating new ones.
Here I'll always have an aspirational, work-in-progress project on display.
DESIGNING the race and the car
The Compressed Air Racer.
When I was young a friend of mine had a little compressed-air race car. The body was primarily a tank, and once fully pumped up it would take off like a rocket. (He also had a complete Voltron set which I coveted, but the way the car worked stuck with me more). Compressed air motors aren't a new thing and there's still many hurdles before they become viable. But unlike EVs they don't require batteries. Batteries in and of themselves have their own level of negative environmental impact, and are a massive looming waste stream. As Nikola Tesla once said, "whatever our resources of primary energy may be in the future, we must, to be rational, obtain it without consumption of any material."
I don't believe there's a silver bullet solution to energy and mobility, but as sure as fossil fuels are dead in the water and EVs are part of an evolution, I think there's opportunities for other ways. When it comes to cars and mobility, racing has always been a way to force innovation as energy efficiency and safety are paramount.
What if the racetrack, the means of generating power, the prototyping and fabrication of the vehicle itself, were all part of a continuous, sustainable cycle? This is a study in materials, design, propulsion, energy generation, and a literal closed-loop system.
And, hey, I like drawing cars, so that's fun too.
© copyright 2018 Leon Fitzpatrick