Author Topic: List of Dodgy Crowd Source Funded Projects  (Read 202241 times)

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Offline ruffy91

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Offline Rasz

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Re: List of Dodgy Crowd Source Funded Projects
« Reply #276 on: May 08, 2015, 08:52:05 pm »
Not everyone is falling for them: http://hackaday.com/2015/05/05/techcrunch-disrupt-charging-a-phone-with-its-own-transmitter/

this might have something to do with HaD previously endorsing Soap scam, they learned their lesson
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Offline valley_nomad

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Re: List of Dodgy Crowd Source Funded Projects
« Reply #277 on: May 09, 2015, 12:49:50 am »
.....

They'll probably reach their goal and confirmation bias will be enough to convince people that they're getting 30% extra power  :palm:

Remember that iFind campaign? I think that the same thing will happen to this campaign as well ;)
 

Offline MadModder

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Re: List of Dodgy Crowd Source Funded Projects
« Reply #278 on: May 25, 2015, 02:52:14 pm »
If that antenna really is harvesting  RF emitted from the phone itself, isn't that going to reduce the phone's connectivity to some degree?
 

Offline Richard Crowley

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Re: List of Dodgy Crowd Source Funded Projects
« Reply #279 on: May 25, 2015, 04:12:47 pm »
If that antenna really is harvesting  RF emitted from the phone itself, isn't that going to reduce the phone's connectivity to some degree?
Spoil-sport!  Never let technical facts get in the way of a good scam!
 

Offline Twonius

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Re: List of Dodgy Crowd Source Funded Projects
« Reply #280 on: May 26, 2015, 07:02:07 pm »
Energy harvesting from footsteps. Looks a bit dodgy compared to other forms of green energy Maybe they should put a solar panel on top   :bullshit: and boost the efficiency of your solar-freaking-roadway.

http://techcrunch.com/2015/05/25/pavegen-kicks-off-crowdcube-campaign-to-power-up-its-kinetic-flooring-business/

Then again they have crowdfunded $0.5M from investors at a $25M valuation so what do I know.
https://www.crowdcube.com/company-details/pavegen-19189

Looks like their market is people who want publicity for being green, not actually improving energy generation / consumption. Sort of like an art installation.

Here's a TED talk by the founder. At least from his presentation it seems like a solution in search of a problem
« Last Edit: May 26, 2015, 07:42:00 pm by Twonius »
 

Offline janoc

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Re: List of Dodgy Crowd Source Funded Projects
« Reply #281 on: May 26, 2015, 09:02:28 pm »
If that antenna really is harvesting  RF emitted from the phone itself, isn't that going to reduce the phone's connectivity to some degree?
Spoil-sport!  Never let technical facts get in the way of a good scam!

Unfortunately, web sites like Gizmag don't have issues with it neither:
https://www.gizmag.com/smartphone-radio-wave-scavenging/37702/

If you want a reliable news about the latest Kickstarter scams and physically impossible gizmos, Gizmag is the place to go - they will reliably present it as a done deal, ready to go tomorrow ...  |O
 

Offline Richard Crowley

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Re: List of Dodgy Crowd Source Funded Projects
« Reply #282 on: May 26, 2015, 09:39:14 pm »
Yeah, while "Gizmag" is just another dodgy internet source, and the USPTO have long ago shown that they are unable to detect a "Perpetual Motion Machine" when they see one.

What I am most surprised at is Ohio State University where you would think that there are knowledgeable professors who know better.

By that method, I can connect some alternators to the wheels of my car and generate "free" electricity, right?
 

Offline janoc

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Re: List of Dodgy Crowd Source Funded Projects
« Reply #283 on: May 26, 2015, 10:05:43 pm »
Yeah, while "Gizmag" is just another dodgy internet source, and the USPTO have long ago shown that they are unable to detect a "Perpetual Motion Machine" when they see one.

What I am most surprised at is Ohio State University where you would think that there are knowledgeable professors who know better.

By that method, I can connect some alternators to the wheels of my car and generate "free" electricity, right?

Well, it wouldn't be the first time that a university researcher got roped into supporting a dodgy project. The "cold fusion" stories involved some professors from a reputable Italian university supposedly verifying the claims of one of the "inventors". And sometimes they are just mislead and exploited to lend the project more credence than it would otherwise have. Researchers are only humans, they aren't infallible.

I did dig a little and this perhaps explains the link to Ohio State U:
http://fisher.osu.edu/centers/tec/ohio-state-business-plan-competition

Nikola Labs has won a "business plan" competition (Fisher College is business school). I guess their marketing and business plan were better than their engineering. And I am quite sure that the actual viability of the gizmo was never a criteria of the competition  :palm:

The researcher involved is I think this fellow: https://electroscience.osu.edu/people/chen.118 (He appeared in a radio interview with the cofounder of the Nikola Labs)

The interview is here: http://radio.wosu.org/post/tech-tuesday-steady-income-app-radio-wave-energy-and-reviews (starts around 15:20)

He has a lot of work in UWB antennas, RFID and such. My guess is that they took an idea of his (perhaps the design of the harvesting antenna?) and invented this "save up to 30% of your battery power by harvesting the radio signal" as a way to commercialize it. Strictly speaking, they could get some energy out of it, but nowhere near the "up to 30%" claim.

The way it often works is that an Uni licenses (or even gives away) a technology/invention to a company and they then try to do something with it. However, the Uni has little to do with it anymore beyond that point. Whether the company is building a square wheel or a perpetuum mobile with it is not really their problem.


« Last Edit: May 26, 2015, 10:21:52 pm by janoc »
 

Offline Howardlong

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Re: List of Dodgy Crowd Source Funded Projects
« Reply #284 on: May 27, 2015, 05:46:22 am »
Energy harvesting from footsteps. Looks a bit dodgy compared to other forms of green energy Maybe they should put a solar panel on top   :bullshit: and boost the efficiency of your solar-freaking-roadway.

http://techcrunch.com/2015/05/25/pavegen-kicks-off-crowdcube-campaign-to-power-up-its-kinetic-flooring-business/

Then again they have crowdfunded $0.5M from investors at a $25M valuation so what do I know.
https://www.crowdcube.com/company-details/pavegen-19189

Looks like their market is people who want publicity for being green, not actually improving energy generation / consumption. Sort of like an art installation.

Here's a TED talk by the founder. At least from his presentation it seems like a solution in search of a problem


Thankfully El Reg has well and truly seen through it http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/05/26/pavegen_the_company_that_cant_make_energy_out_of_crowds_tries_to_make_money_out_of_them/ but not before a bunch of other news outlets that should know better fell for it.

That Ted talk was probably the worst one I've ever seen, very amateurish.
 

Offline Delta

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Re: List of Dodgy Crowd Source Funded Projects
« Reply #285 on: May 27, 2015, 12:45:20 pm »
He claims 7 watts per pedestrian, does that sound reasonable?
 

Offline Twonius

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Re: List of Dodgy Crowd Source Funded Projects
« Reply #286 on: May 27, 2015, 02:30:23 pm »
Intuitively it feels right. 7 watts on my bike trainer is impreceptable.

But since whatever energy caputure device they're using probably has a short stroke, the amount of energy captured is a more reasonable measure. It seems like a somewhat stiff system, so perhaps 7watts for a fraction of a second, and a very low duty cycle.

He mentions that the one at the festival loaded 1000 phones. At about 2000mAh per phone battery (full charge) that means 2000 AH @ 5V. It looks like at least 6 blocks there so let's say 0.33AH x 5V per block = 1.65kWH or about 0.55 kWH per day. And that's with people being recruited to dance on it. So lets say it's active 12 hours per day, 550wH/12 hours = 45 watts. 

My guess is the difference between this and the 7 watts quoted is that they didn't chage all these battiers 100%. So they counted every time someone plugged a phone in and got > 1% charge. Having used a pedal  charger in the Brussels airport I doubt someone would wait around for a full charge either. Also I over estimated the battery capacity by a lot (iphone 5 is about 1440 mAH).

BTW they've almost raised 500k GBP now.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2015, 02:37:04 pm by Twonius »
 

Offline Mechanical Menace

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Re: List of Dodgy Crowd Source Funded Projects
« Reply #287 on: May 27, 2015, 05:01:42 pm »
Intuitively it feels right. 7 watts on my bike trainer is impreceptable.

But none of that energy is actually moving you, most of it will be going to the trainer. And bikes are like 5 times more efficient than walking, so these floors only have one fifth of the power available to them. Without making walking on them much harder (in which case most will walk around them) I can't see this claim panning out at all.
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Offline gildasd

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Re: List of Dodgy Crowd Source Funded Projects
« Reply #288 on: May 27, 2015, 05:11:06 pm »
Innovation would be a system that treats a solar panel as a square matrix LCD.
Analysing each pixel continuously and taking panels that are resistive (ie in shadow) offline...
This would boost panel efficiency if the processing can be done in the very low energy domain.
Furthermore, panels could be installed in places not normally worthwhile etc.

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Online dunkemhigh

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Re: List of Dodgy Crowd Source Funded Projects
« Reply #289 on: May 27, 2015, 05:43:02 pm »
Quote
bikes are like 5 times more efficient than walking

For going somewhere, but you don't actually want that efficiency here, do you? I mean, you don't want to roll across this floor imparting zero energy because it's all retained as horizontal kinetic energy; instead you want it to be really inefficient, so you take many up/down steps and impart lots of otherwise wasted energy to be soaked up by the floor.
 

Offline Mechanical Menace

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Re: List of Dodgy Crowd Source Funded Projects
« Reply #290 on: May 27, 2015, 05:50:18 pm »
Quote
bikes are like 5 times more efficient than walking

For going somewhere, but you don't actually want that efficiency here, do you?

For getting from A to B I don't want to decrease the efficiency of walking, like I won't walk through mud when there's a perfectly good pavement available. I can't see this generating a reasonable amount of energy without making walking across it much harder than a normal floor.
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Offline electr_peter

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Re: List of Dodgy Crowd Source Funded Projects
« Reply #291 on: May 27, 2015, 05:58:57 pm »
Everyone who likes to drive bicycle with brakes partialy on all the way (or flat tires) raise hands. Anyone?
 

Offline Twonius

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Re: List of Dodgy Crowd Source Funded Projects
« Reply #292 on: May 27, 2015, 07:46:09 pm »
I think we're getting off track a bit here.

Whether it's 1 watt or 10 my point was that even at basically walking intensity on a bike I'm measuring 70 watts a the wheel. So if they think they can grab a few watts out of that it seems like we're in the real of possibility. You can imagine these things sort of like very small stroke stair machines, they're robbing you of gravitational potential energy.

Considering the weight of a person it seems plausible you could generate 7 watts of power for a very short period of time. let's assume the stroke is 0.01m and a 60kg person steps on it. The potential energy lost is 60*0.01*9.81 = 5.89 J. If that displacement happens in 1 second that's 5.89 watts. So we seem to be in the range of possibility, for very short periods of time. Of course if you add in friction the time has to get shorter, so less total energy.     


Even if this is possible though the thing is still a hideously inefficient way of generating power. On average the system will spend a fraction of it's life in the downstroke phase. Most of it will be rebounding or waiting for the next footfall so even in a high traffic area, at a choke point like a subway turnstile, you're probably talking 1/3 to 1/4th of the time. And that's if you just line people up and have them march over it. In reality the effective steady state power you could get from it would be a small fraction of that peak 7 watts even under ideal conditions
« Last Edit: May 27, 2015, 07:58:34 pm by Twonius »
 

Offline gildasd

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Re: List of Dodgy Crowd Source Funded Projects
« Reply #293 on: May 27, 2015, 08:15:57 pm »
I think we're getting off track a bit here.

Whether it's 1 watt or 10 my point was that even at basically walking intensity on a bike I'm measuring 70 watts a the wheel. So if they think they can grab a few watts out of that it seems like we're in the real of possibility. You can imagine these things sort of like very small stroke stair machines, they're robbing you of gravitational potential energy.

Considering the weight of a person it seems plausible you could generate 7 watts of power for a very short period of time. let's assume the stroke is 0.01m and a 60kg person steps on it. The potential energy lost is 60*0.01*9.81 = 5.89 J. If that displacement happens in 1 second that's 5.89 watts. So we seem to be in the range of possibility, for very short periods of time. Of course if you add in friction the time has to get shorter, so less total energy.     


Even if this is possible though the thing is still a hideously inefficient way of generating power. On average the system will spend a fraction of it's life in the downstroke phase. Most of it will be rebounding or waiting for the next footfall so even in a high traffic area, at a choke point like a subway turnstile, you're probably talking 1/3 to 1/4th of the time. And that's if you just line people up and have them march over it. In reality the effective steady state power you could get from it would be a small fraction of that peak 7 watts even under ideal conditions
It was done by MAVIC for their electric shift system.
But it might be an idea to do a brake regen system, as many city bikes already have a magneto in the front hub for the lights...
Just a potentiometer on the front brake lever that's active on the 1 to 2cm of slack on needs to pull to overcome cable stickage.
This would be great, because 90% o braking is light, so the brake pads would last for ever.

In any case, the walking charging thing is basically putting wires, a few caps and a charging circuit on the funky led shoes that small children have.
I don't see any innovation there...
I think I saw a hight school science project that did just that a few years back on Youtube.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2015, 08:19:46 pm by gildasd »
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Online dunkemhigh

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Re: List of Dodgy Crowd Source Funded Projects
« Reply #294 on: May 27, 2015, 08:59:39 pm »
Quote
hideously inefficient way of generating power. On average the system will spend a fraction of it's life in the downstroke phase.

Does that matter? I mean, if the choice is generate no power or generate some power now and then, surely some power is infinitely better :)

Quote
rebounding or waiting for the next footfall so even in a high traffic area

That could be bad news: you might get footfalls faster than the time needed for the actuators to recover, so instead of getting more energy you end up with little to none. If the actuating panel is larger than about half a foot, you could imagine someone's foot landing just as the previous person is leaving, thus holding the panel down.
 

Offline matseng

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Re: List of Dodgy Crowd Source Funded Projects
« Reply #295 on: May 28, 2015, 03:14:14 am »
Does that matter? I mean, if the choice is generate no power or generate some power now and then, surely some power is infinitely better :)

Yes, it does matter. I'd guess that the all the power required to mine & refine the minerals, ship, manufacture parts, ship, manufacture devices, ship, install & maintain would be vastly dwarf the power output of the device  during its lifetime if it only produced a few millijoules for every proper footstep on it.

So if all gained energy is less than the energy required for the entire production cycle from raw material sourcing all the way to disposal of the end-of-lifed units then it would just be silly to install such devices.
 

Online dunkemhigh

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Re: List of Dodgy Crowd Source Funded Projects
« Reply #296 on: May 28, 2015, 10:10:50 am »
That's a good argument. Just a teeny weeny thing you left out, though:

How do you propose to store and ship the energy, otherwise used to make these things, all the way from China? And then distribute it to wherever the output from these would be used, at the time they would be used?
 

Offline Twonius

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Re: List of Dodgy Crowd Source Funded Projects
« Reply #297 on: May 28, 2015, 10:26:35 am »
Quote
Does that matter? I mean, if the choice is generate no power or generate some power now and then, surely some power is infinitely better :)

Well this also falls into the placebo fallacy.

If there's already an existing drug on the market and you want to run a trial and to see how good your new drug is, you shouldn't compare it to a placebo, you should compare it to the existing standard treatment. Otherwise even though your drug has some effect compared to placebo, it may still be worse than the existing treatment.

In this case we already have solar panels and turbines, so unless this is somehow potentially cheaper at scale or better in some other way it's not worth investing the money in it compered to the alternatives.
 

Offline matseng

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Re: List of Dodgy Crowd Source Funded Projects
« Reply #298 on: May 28, 2015, 11:01:28 am »
That's a good argument. Just a teeny weeny thing you left out, though:

How do you propose to store and ship the energy, otherwise used to make these things, all the way from China? And then distribute it to wherever the output from these would be used, at the time they would be used?

No need to ship the energy itself.  But that energy could be used to produce some devices that actually generates significant amount of power instead, and then ship those devices to the destination.

Put another way -  if it costs (money and energy wise) as much to produce a boatload of Tesla batteries and a boatload of very shiny and polished cubes of granite (very pretty and nice to look at) I think that the Tesla batteries would be of better use (for the world economy and environment)  than the stones. :-)

Or.... don't spend money to produce shite products, make something real that have a real impact.
 

Online dunkemhigh

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Re: List of Dodgy Crowd Source Funded Projects
« Reply #299 on: May 28, 2015, 11:09:29 am »
Quote
or better in some other way

Ever gone tap-dancing on your roof panels? I think the 'some better way' is just tapping (sorry!) into a currently unused resource that is basically there for the taking. The fallacy is in thinking this is instead of all the existing or other things, but it is as well so not displacing anything, not competing, etc.
 


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