For one day only…
1 April 2022
What a day it’s been so far for eco-friendly innovation and ingenuity!
Details of cutting-edge products and services kept flooding into my inbox this morning until midday. I could hardly believe it.
MHM distributed news of an autonomous generator delivery service. Based on a self-driving transport pod, MHM Deliver is designed, so the company says, to offer an automated AFI (artificial intelligence) system taking machines from its extended nationwide hub network to the customer’s location. Choosing a premium 20-minute delivery service (pictured above) earns free pizzas shipped at the same time, and a nice touch is the choice of 17 regional accents that the system can use to announce its arrival, it was claimed.
Niftylift tried to persuade industry professionals that its designers have solved the pressures caused by rising fuel costs by inventing a power system called April Fuel. The company said this removes hydrogen from water to drive a fuel cell fitted on its access booms.
An unusual addition in Trime UK’s eco product range, the X-Bike lighting tower is apparently driven by an operator pedalling to light up its four 160W lamps, combining illumination with fitness.
Genquip Groundhog gave details of guided Hog Tours available at its Neath factory. Giving visitors a glimpse of the welfare unit manufacturing process under the guidance of sales and marketing manager Peter Beach, participants could don virtual reality goggles to understand welding processes and meet the company’s design boffins.
Safety specialist Xwatch claimed to have developed a drone-based laser system that can fly around a machine to create a virtual wall that moves with the slew area as the boom extends and retracts. If the drone picks up a human presence or an object within the slew area, the company claims that a high-density laser beam will dramatically hit the target and "vaporise" it, pictured below, protecting the machine and operator, with video footage for subsequent Health & Safety analysis. I’m not sure that I would put my faith in such robotic technology.
Hirers have also been highlighting ingenuity and achievements this morning.
Hull-based GO Hire posted social media messages about a customer called Liz bearing an uncanny resemblance to The Queen. She had apparently popped in to buy some high-viz gear and opened a credit account.
Alide Hire Services highlighted the hard-to-believe capabilities of its heavier plant and machines being able to perform wheelies (below) as well as moving materials.
And specialist Green Power Hire would have us believe that it has developed the EV range extender, a tow-behind battery pack for charging an electric vehicle (see below) as you drive. The mind boggles.
More generally, however, today’s news is dominated by an amazing story of electricity and gas price hikes of up to a barely credible 54 per cent as the energy price cap is raised this morning in the wake of rising supply side costs. Even more astonishing, governments seem quite powerless (no pun intended) to do anything meaningful in response, and the challenges to home owners, businesses and industry in managing their budgets could be unprecedented. Indeed, businesses are not protected by the price cap.
Some commentators even suggested that the authorities should have foreseen such problems many years ago and taken action to manage our energy supply infrastructure as fossil fuel usage declines.
So that’s a selection of stories announced this morning - on April Fools’ Day. Sadly, only one of the above items is true, and it’s even sadder when you realise which one it is...
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