A great new Popular Science/InnoCentive Challenge was recently posted. The "Seeker," by InnoCentive's terms, is looking to create a new process for reflective, mirrored glass. The idea seems to be for high-end sodas--the packaging would be a very shiny, metallic-looking finish, which is apparently only doable now in "low throughput," meaning, you know, it's hard. Might you be the savior of "premium"-feeling soda bottles? The award for a workable written proposal is $15,000, with a deadline of September 17th. Read about it at InnoCentive.
By Yvon MasynPosted 07.20.2012 at 10:18 am 4 Comments
I'm a materials-science engineer at an agency that allocates funding to research projects. It's theoretical work, so in my spare time I like to do practical, hands-on things. I've been building R/C models for 33 years and have always preferred uncommon vehicles--amphibious cars, submarines, hovercrafts--so indoor R/C airships are a good fit for me.
Camera design is getting more and more interesting as its components get smaller, but there's one major limitation: cameras are always made out of cameras. I know! Ridiculous! Our friends over at Pop Photo put together a list of cameras made out of things that are not cameras--turtle shells, garbage cans, an egg, and more. Take a note, camera makers. Read the full story over at Pop Photo.
The project that ended up winning the software design category of the Microsoft Imagine Cup worldwide finals in Sydney, Australia, and, consequently, the honor of taking home the shiny silver Cup itself, started innocently enough. A group of students from Ukraine noticed that several athletes at their school were hearing impaired, and they wanted to help them be able to communicate better. That desire turned into a pair of gloves, absolutely loaded with sensors, that can understand sign language gestures and translate them into text-based and audio speech with 90 percent accuracy.
By Andrew RosenblumPosted 07.11.2012 at 10:25 am 2 Comments
Miroslaw Sowa, an electronics hobbyist in Montreal who grew up playing the accordion, liked the guitar but found fingering chords on the fret board too difficult. So he teamed up with Toronto software developer Vsevolod Zagainov to develop the Tabstrummer, an electronic instrument that allows the user to play different guitar chords simply by pressing one of up to 12 preset memory buttons.
Isn't it a pain when you forget to stir your soup and it scorches? Or when you're trying to play Madden whilst hungry, but you need both hands on the controller? Ben Heckendorn, game device modder extraordinaire, came up with some solutions. Watch the videos past the jump.
By Ian ChantPosted 06.26.2012 at 5:29 pm 8 Comments
It took Hubert Pissavin two weeks in his garage to build a machine that would do his least favorite chore for him: mowing the lawn. The retired electrical engineer started with a simple, boxy chassis made of wood. With four motorized wheels and a spinning blade, the battery-powered device moves in a straight line until it bumps into an obstacle, which activates a relay switch that backs the mower up about three feet.
Internships more often than not are mindless, coffee-fetching black holes of boredom. But not at Syyn Labs, a Los Angeles collective that creates unusual interactive art and science projects for commercials and music videos. Last summer, student interns Hoon Oh, Robb Godshaw and Jisu Choi took it upon themselves to reinvent the sport of table tennis. Their project could pass for an extra in Transformers: It’s part ping-pong table, part machine, and so difficult to play that it reduces pros to the level of rank amateurs.
By Peter Diamandis and Steven KotlerPosted 06.20.2012 at 10:14 am 5 Comments
The barriers to individual invention are falling away. Amateur scientists and inventors now have access to tools exponentially more powerful and affordable than those a generation ago. They can transform ideas into physical products in a matter of days. And they can directly distribute those innovations—whether a new engine or an entirely new form of life—to a market of billions. The days of dreaming big are over and the era of doing big has just begun.
We've had dozens of Invention Award winners over the years, and we found ourselves wondering: what's going on with some of those past winners? We tracked down five of our favorites to find out their current statuses.