Wednesday, July 23, 2008

New Heli-Claw transports mulch

The Missoula Technology and Development Center (MTDC) has invented a mechanical "claw" that when attached to the end of a 100' long line under a helicopter can transport 2,000 pounds of straw. Helicopters often haul straw in cargo nets to remote locations when doing rehab work on burned areas. It can be somewhat labor intensive to load the bales into the nets, disconnect an empty net and reconnect a full one. The "heliclaw" can be opened and closed by the pilot, making it possible to hover over a pile of loose straw, close the claw, fly to the area to be reahabed, then open the claw and unload the straw where it is needed.

The MTDC wrote all this up in a report, of course. You will need this to enter the site: Username: t-d, Password: t-d. The user name and password is wildely available on the Internet; don't ask me why they require it.

They also produced a video of the heli-claw in action. The first 5-6 minutes is quite boring, just showing a helicopter flying in circles with the heli-claw attached. Towards the end they show it picking up and transporting straw. The same username and password applies.

Thanks, Dick, for the tip.

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