Think that newly installed carpet is clean? Think again: potentially dangerous compounds are used in the production of carpet, paint, and upholstery -- and any ol' air purifier won't be able to catch 'em. The Andrea air purifier from Le Laboratoire does more than your run-of-the-mill number, which only grab allergens like dust and pollen, by using plants to remove chemicals like benzene and formaldehyde.
The creator of the Segway is one of the most successful and admired inventors in the world. He leads a team of 300 scientists and engineers devoted to making things that better mankind. But he's not done
By Rena Marie PacellaPosted 06.05.2009 at 10:18 am 20 Comments
"Let's run it through from the top. This is going downhill."
Dean Kamen is standing on a six-inch riser in an almost empty room in the basement of Westwind, his 32,000-square-foot house in Bedford, New Hampshire, trying to get this thing right. It's crunch time for FIRST, the high-school robotics competition Kamen founded two decades ago in an effort to get kids jazzed about engineering, to make science as sexy as sports. (FIRST = For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology.)
In less than a month, 42,000 students on 1,700 teams will gather at 43 regional championships to showcase the ball-throwing 'bots that each team has spent six weeks assembling in novel ways from nearly identical boxes of parts. At stake -- besides glory -- is $9 million in scholarships.
Trapped on a high floor? Reach for today's featured Invention Award winner.
As the 9/11 inferno unfolded on television, one question kept dogging Kevin Stone: Why weren't the people trapped in the World Trade Center able to make their way to safety? "I said to myself, This is crazy," recalls Stone, an orthopedic surgeon and seasoned inventor in San Francisco. "There should be a better way to exit a skyscraper when something like this happens."
To coincide with this year's Invention Awards, we've started the National School Inventors Challenge, a contest for students around the country to submit their world-changing ideas and inventions. Here, see engineering students at Miami Coral Park high school putting together plans for a solar-powered bike.
Today's featured Invention Award winner: ReWalk, the lightweight, affordable, powered smart exoskeleton.
After breaking his neck in a 1997 fall, Israeli engineer Amit Goffer learned that he would be confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life. He soon concluded that this mode of transportation was outdated and began work on the ReWalk, the only wearable exoskeleton that allows paraplegics to stand, amble, and even climb stairs.
Today's featured Invention Award winner kills two birds with one stone: providing a simple and cheap alternative energy source while widening the market for delicious fried foods. Everybody wins!
The nondescript six-foot-tall box behind Finz restaurant in Dedham, Massachusetts, looks like a tool shed, but actually it's a self-contained grease refinery and five-kilowatt generator. Engineer James Peret's Vegawatt is the first all-in-one device that processes grease to continuously provide a building with electricity and hot water, heralding a significant change in alternative-fuel applications. "It's a brilliant idea," says Josh Tickell, author of Biodiesel America. "A waste stream to an energy source, with no intermediary."
Remember that awesome scene in Minority Report when Tom Cruise just wiggles his hands in the air to sift through information? Today's featured Invention Award winner brings it to life.
When he's wearing the SixthSense, a combination miniature projector, webcam and notebook computer, Pranav Mistry can snap photos just by making the shape of a frame with his fingers.
Inventor: Eben Bayer and Gavin McIntyre
Time: 2 years
Is It Ready Yet?1 2 3 4 5
Eben Bayer and Gavin McIntyre want to line the walls of your home with mushrooms. The young entrepreneurs have created a strong, low-cost biomaterial that could replace the expensive, environmentally harmful Styrofoam and plastics used in wall insulation, as well as in packaging and a host of other products. Wind-turbine blades and auto-body panels aren't out of the realm of possibility, either.
A lure that uses a surgical trick to prevent getting torn from hooks, and doesn’t contaminate the water
By Christopher SteinerPosted 05.22.2009 at 12:50 pm 2 Comments
For all you holiday anglers, today's featured Invention Award winner is something to aspire to: a fishing lure that doesn't pollute once it ends up on the bottom of the lake.
Ben Hobbins didn't set out to clean up his local lakes, but his IronClads baits do exactly that. The Wisconsin inventor's idea — fishing lures that are extra-strong, eco-friendly and nontoxic — solves a serious, if little-known environmental problem.
See the Ripsaw in action: An unmanned beast that cruises over any terrain at speeds that leave an M1A Abrams in the dust
By Bjorn CareyPosted 05.21.2009 at 12:04 pm 30 Comments
Today's featured Invention Award winner really requires no justification--it's an unmanned, armed tank faster than anything the US Army has. Behold, the Ripsaw.
Cue up the Ripsaw's greatest hits on YouTube, and you can watch the unmanned tank tear across muddy fields at 60 mph, jump 50 feet, and crush birch trees. But right now, as its remote driver inches it back and forth for a photo shoot, it's like watching Babe Ruth forced to bunt with the bases loaded. The Ripsaw, lurching and belching black puffs of smoke, somehow seems restless.