Product: Skates
Swarm Ski   (+2)  [vote for, against]
ski that actively stay parallel, brake and help steering

The advent of carving-ski brought too many skiers onto the slopes that do not have the skill required for safe skiing at the velocities possible with carving skies.

I propose ski that work like fish in a swarm, constantly monitoring the distance between the two blades, and using piezo-elements on the bottom of the ski to help the skier keep the ski parallel. At the same time, turning and braking are supported (sensors in the shoe determine what the user tries to do). - all this would, of course bring even less experienced drivers onto the slopes and make them even faster. So here is the fun part: the sensors determine how good the user is (the pattern of weight shifts) and adjust the maximum velocity accordingly. The mechanism is hardcoded, so the ski pose a big incentive for learning to ski. 'Slow' areas (e.g in front of lifts) could also be enforced with an override.

The necessary energy is produced by piezo elements harvesting the bending of the ski in use, and the active piezo elements on the bottom surface of the ski extend or retract on patches according to the desired effect, for instance braking on both inner frontal sides to bring the blades together or braking all along the left side to facilitate a turn left etc.
-- loonquawl, Apr 20 2009

-- loonquawl, Apr 22 2009

random, halfbakery