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.
The Audeo captures electronic signals between the brain and vocal cords and synthesizes clear, spoken words
By Lisa KatayamaPosted 05.20.2009 at 10:53 am 8 Comments
Today's featured Invention Awards winner is the Audeo, a voice synthesizer that gives back the ability to speak to those with vocal cord or neurological damage. Be sure to check out the rest of 2009's Invention Award winners here.
When Michael Callahan was 17, he lost his short-term memory when he hit his head in a skateboarding accident. "The neural pathways were all wrong," he recalls. Within weeks, he was back to normal, but the incident left him thinking, how could he help people who had permanently lost abilities that most of us take for granted? Five years later, he came up with the Audeo, a tiny device that detects electrical activity between the brain and vocal cords and turns it into audible speech.
Right now, somewhere in America, there's an inventor in a garage on the verge of something big. It might not be a cure for leukemia or a rocket to Mars, but some unexpected innovations can be almost as profound. Like the fisherman who made a lure that doesn't damage the environment. Or the college kids who built a shock absorber that saves fuel by turning potholes into power. Here in our third annual Invention Awards, we present these and eight other standout inventors whose creativity and hard work are making our lives better, as well as the secrets for getting your own great idea out of the garage and into the world.
A shock absorber that generates energy and increases fuel efficiency
By Lawrence UlrichPosted 05.19.2009 at 11:58 am 23 Comments
Inventor: Shakeel Avadhany, Zack Anderson, Zack Jackowski, Ryan Bavetta and Vladimir Tarasov
Time: 2 years
Is It Ready Yet? 1 2 3 4 5
The idea for an energy-producing shock absorber started humbly enough, just another wild invention tossed out during a late-night dorm-room bull session. Only, the students involved were among MIT's best, and they actually went ahead and built it. Two years later, they've got a shiny Hummer H1, loaned by the manufacturer to use as a rolling testbed, and their GenShock may soon find its way into the military's fleet of Humvees.
You're halfway through listening to "Layla" when it happens: Your MP3 player's battery dies. Normally you'd have to wait until you were at your computer to finish rocking out, but there is an easy and eco-friendly way to do it on the go. First, slip a piezoelectric transducer -- a device that generates a tiny charge when touched -- into your shoe. A connected module collects the voltage created every time you take a step and continuously powers up a rechargeable AA battery. (It takes a lot of walking to get a full charge, but it's perfect for reviving or topping off a gadget.) Once the battery is charged, put it into a DIY five-volt converter, and plug in your dead MP3 player. Now you can listen to the guitar solo while you walk some more juice into another battery.
By Brian AshcraftPosted 05.14.2009 at 10:13 am 2 Comments
No, it's not a robot uprising. This is the Tokyo Fire Department's Rescue Robot, also known as RoboCue, taking a mock patient to safety as part of a training exercise for dirty-bomb containment and casualty rescue, held late last year in Tokyo.
Invention: Vascular Pathways
Inventor: Amir Belson
Time: 6 years
Is It Ready Yet? 1 2 3 4 5
When Amir Belson flew from Israel for a pediatric fellowship at Stanford University in 1998, he carried a list of 64 ideas for medical inventions. Many of the concepts were influenced by the years he served as a flight surgeon in the Israeli air force, while others came from time spent in a neonatal intensive-care unit. One of them was an idea for a better intravenous catheter, one that wouldn't damage veins or kink inside of them. By 2005, he had made his first prototype.
When light bulbs go on, questions come up. Here are some guidelines for those new to the inventor's bench
By Sarah Z. WexlerPosted 05.13.2009 at 12:31 pm 1 Comment
"Should I patent my invention?"
Getting a patent is expensive and time-consuming, so don't just start filling out an application as soon as you come up with a bright idea. John Calvert, the administrator for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's Inventor Assistance Program, offers advice on whether it's truly worth it.