Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Ultrasonic Ice Cream
  [vote for,

I don't think I have to point out to anybody who's not vegan or lactose intolerant how difficult it is to scoop ice cream. Serving for multiple people can be quite tiring, and working in an ice-cream shop is a good way to get tendonitis.

Introducing the Vibroscoop. Inside the handle is a small electric motor, similar to that found inside some kinds of electric toothbrushes. When switched on, the scoop vibrates at an ultrasonic frequency, allowing it to easily slice through even the hardest ice cream. Recharging is a snap--just place the handle in the handy charger unit, and magnetically induced currents will recharge the internal battery without the need for any exposed electrical contacts.

Say goodbye to tired wrists--get Vibroscoop today!

5th Earth, Oct 08 2004

Never mind. http://www.halfbake...dea/Tooth_20Parfait
Seems like everything good (and bad, and frightening...) has already been halfbaked. [Worldgineer, Oct 08 2004]

Harmonic Scalpel http://www.sdheartb...armonicscalpel.html
It slices, it dices... [Cubical_View, Oct 10 2004]


       "When switched on, the scoop vibrates at an ultrasonic frequency, allowing it to easily slice through even the hardest ice cream."   

       Does that work anywhere outside your imagination? *Heating* a scoop that way I could see, but those vibrations seem a tad slow.   

       (I do, of course, own one of those "inspired by Ultrasonic dental cleaning" toothbrushes and would be happy to perform the experiment of jamming it into a pint of mint chocolate chip, if needed. For science.)
jutta, Oct 08 2004

       And on this day, ice cream toothpaste was born.
Worldgineer, Oct 08 2004

       Are you at all familiar with the concept of a vibroknife? It's a staple of scifi but the basic concept is more or less sound. The rapid vibration lets the blade slice through objects more easily, for the following reason: edges only really cut when they are "slicing", that is, being drawn lengthwise along the object to be cut. Only a really sharp edge against a soft material can effectively cut something by pressing straight on it--try cutting a vegetable with a knife by just pressing down, and then by slicing--it's a big difference (axes don't work this way, but you have to put a lot of force behind an ax to cut something). A vibroblade vibrates back and forth, slicing through an object without actually making a slicing motion on a macroscopic scale. Also, the friction between the surfaces generates heat to further soften the material being cut. No material actually exists to make a proper vibroknife (not the way scifi authors want anyway) but an icecream scoop should work, I think.   

       I own one of those toothbrushes too, but it's not charged right now. I'm seriously considering testing this myself, by taping a knife to the handle. I'll get back to you guys once I've actually tried it.
5th Earth, Oct 09 2004

       Yeah, I don't doubt that it works for slicing, but does that transfer to scooping? Hm. Maybe if you had a sideways rotary motion on the scoop.
jutta, Oct 09 2004

       Well, testing with the electric toothbrush didn't go very well. I tried rubberbanding a plastic knife firmly to the handle, but this produced very little vibration. There wasn't really any noticiable difference in penetration ability in the ice cream, but there wasn't really any noticable difference to the knife either.   

       Direct application of the bristles to the ice cream had no significant effect. They were vibrating much more dramatically, but they were also bsoft ristles, and not a firm edge as the ideal product would have.   

       I could find no reasonable way to attach a knife or a scoop to the head of the toothbursh without permanently rendering it useless as a toothbrush, which would be an expensive proposition. So, for now I think things remain inconclusive, if admittedly vaguely negative.
5th Earth, Oct 10 2004

       Clearly a more powerful toothbrush is in order. Funny how we've drifted from ice-cream scoops to dental hygiene.
vigilante, Oct 10 2004

       Maybe a scoop where the leading edge is constructed like the two oscillating, short-stroke (180 degree phase difference) blades of an electric knife? Like two very thin, concentric hole-saw blades. Or maybe just a hotwire edge. Either of these would provide a much greater risk of injury, therefore they must be more effective alternatives.
half, Oct 10 2004

       Ice cream hole saw! The opposite of a tooth brush in so many ways. But this just might work.
jutta, Oct 10 2004

       [+] Theory is sound I reckon, its not a new technology. I dunno if it would work better than simply heating the scoop, but it'd be way cooler anyway.
Cubical_View, Oct 10 2004

       One day I'd like to see a Vibroscoop. In the meantime - hot water in a jug, dip scoop into water prior to scooping.
Nontaigne, Oct 11 2004


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