While covering the inventions of the year this week, we came across another project that may well deserve a gold star. Four seniors at Colorado State University have produced a shock-absorbent backpack, called the neonatal transport incubator, designed to reduce infant deaths by helping safely piggyback sick babies to medical facilities.
According to Phil Brox, a mechanical engineering student who worked on the incubator, the team started the project in response to the dire infant mortality rate in developing countries. Many regions not only lack the resources for timely infant care, but their rough terrain and poor roads make it difficult for medical responders to transport babies to safety.
The university's web site reports that the students have filed a provisional patent through the Colorado State University Research Foundation (CSURF), thus allowing them to publicly discuss the technology with outside investors. If all goes as planned, what began as a senior design project may become an indispensable piece of affordable medical technology.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.