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Dutch Train to be Equipped With Lasers

You know that we’ve truly reached the future when we’re solving problems by strapping lasers to things. In this instance the problem is leaves. Leaves can be a hassle during the fall when they blanket your yard, but most people handle them with a simple one-two punch of a rake and a trash bag. Not the Dutch, however. The Dutch are using lasers to get rid of leaves.

To be fair, the leaves aren’t in their yards, but on their railway tracks, which is a considerably greaterhassle. Foliage on the tracks makes to harder for the train to stop and can mess with anti-collision signals, so it’s a bigger problem than one might initially think. Trains have used water jets and sand gels to blast the tracks clean, but these materies can damage the rails, not to mention the limited quantities can run out. Plus, the water jets get the track wet, which causes the leaves to stick and makes the problem even worse. So, naturally, it’s time for lasers. The lasers zap the tracks clean of foreign material before the wheels reach it and even dry the track while doing so, lessening the chance of more gunk sticking to it.

The system isn’t one-hundred percent yet. There are problems with vibrations that throw the laser off. The system has a feature that prevents the laser from firing if it’s not going to hit the track. It also doesn’t work at over 50MPH either, but even with that limitation it’s still plenty useful.

We’re closer than ever to sharks with frickin’ laser beams attached to their heads!


via Engadget

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