Japan testing giant airbags to protect houses during earthquakes

Last year's massive quake in Japan reminded us all just how destructive an earthquake can be. To prepare for the next one, Japanese engineers are coming up with all kinds of new ways to protect vulnerable buildings.

One idea is to build houses on a giant airbag, which can lift the entire house off its foundation the moment a quake is detected. The system only lifts the house just over an inch, but this is enough to isolate the structure from the destructive shaking.

Currently the airbags are being tested on 88 houses across Japan, but it's hard to say how they can give it a real world test without waiting for the next huge quake.

All we need now is a better way to keep those massive tsunami at bay.

Air Danshin (Japanese), via Gizmodo

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