Computational creativity and the future of AI

James Dyson Award judges pick semi-finalists


August 26, 2010

The judges have announced the semi-finalists in the James Dyson Award competition

The judges have announced the semi-finalists in the James Dyson Award competition

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Can you feel the mounting tension? The judges for the James Dyson Award 2010 have now revealed the competition's semi-finalists. Entries from 18 countries have been whittled down to just 20 items, some of which we've seen before in Gizmag and others which may be new to you. Most of the remaining projects now benefit from a short video overview, so let's have a quick look at some we haven't yet featured.

The overall international winner of this year's James Dyson Award competition will walk away with GBP10,000 (US$15,530 at the time of writing), a trophy and a visit to a Dyson research and development center in either the UK or Malaysia. If the winner belongs to a university, then the department to which they belong will also receive GBP10,000 in prize money. A few short weeks ago, the competition's National winners were announced and now only 20 projects remain. From these, 15 will battle it out for the ultimate prize – there can be only one (a phrase that offers more drama when backed by a few riffs from Brian May, but I do what I can).

They are all winners

Well, maybe not. Sadly, some designs featured previously didn't make it through, including the 13th Man wireless speaker system, the bumpfree dynamic speedbump, the ceramic water cooler that fires up liquid into special glasses and the mobile toilet that responds to midnight emergencies.

Happily, reader favorites like the Sea Kettle, Copenhagen Wheel and the Move-It modular cardboard trolley managed to wow the judges. Other semi-finalists mentioned previously include the filtration and UV sterilization water bottle, the electrically-assisted cargo bike, the Wanderest post seat and the Minotaur fire nozzle.

Of the remaining semi-finalists, there are a few which have caught my eye. Let's have a quick look...

New oxygen delivery system from Ireland

Flo2w is a new oxygen delivery system where the device is secured to a patient via a re-usable headpiece instead of the mask that is currently used.

Flo2w is a new oxygen delivery system with a re-usable headpiece and disposable air tube

Although the delivery tubing can only be used once before being disposed of as clinical waste, the headpiece can be cleaned up and used again. Have a look at the following early proof of concept video and see what you think.

Canada's Saguaro Rain Collector

Gardens are often the pride and joy of their owners but keeping them in tip-top condition comes with a high watery price. Vast amounts of water are used to meet the needs of the average flower-filled domestic nirvana. A rain collector can help ease the burden, but requires gardeners to either repeatedly fill up the watering can or install some sort of electric pump to provide enough pressure to give thirsty plants a good soaking. Like existing collectors, the Saguaro Rain Collector channels water into a storage container, but it employs an ordinary bicycle pump to store up "550 Kpa of pressure in a 20 liter air tank." The following video demonstration shows how the system works.

The REAX CPR delivery system

The REAX re-animation system replaces manual cardiac massage with a more efficient and evenly distributed mechanical method. Delivering regular chest compressions at just the right amount of pressure, the system can be easily fitted to a patient by just one person and is adaptive to different upper body shapes. The designers have submitted a video animation but be warned, it's very short and doesn't really show how the concept works.

Fly like a Butterfly

I'm not sure if it's the theme track or the product, or maybe even the humorous video, that attracted me to the Butterfly from Switzerland, but I recommend you take a look. It's a collapsible, portable, lightweight, human-powered urban transport solution.

Butterfly is a collapsible, portable, lightweight, human-powered urban transport solution

Inspired by an umbrella, the designers say that when it's folded it'll fit into any backpack. At the push of a button, the micro-scooter pops out and is ready to ride – as you can see in the following video.

Man overboard!

Australia's LONGREACH Buoyancy Deployment System was designed "for the rapid conveyance of temporary, water-activated buoyancy devices to a drowning victim's location." A projectile is launched from the device towards the drowning victim. Upon contact with water, the missile expands to provide buoyancy assistance while emergency personnel prepare for the rescue proper. Exactly how the victim will react to being shot at by the authorities is another issue altogether. Anyway, here's the video.

More to see

As mentioned earlier, most of the semi-finalists have demonstration videos to watch. If you want to see more, choose "Dyson Engineers' semi-finalists" from the drop-down menu on the contest's project page and then either browse through all entries or select the projects you would like to view.

The 15 finalists will be announced on September 14, with the overall international winner being revealed on October 5.

About the Author
Paul Ridden While Paul is loath to reveal his age, he will admit to cutting his IT teeth on a TRS-80 (although he won't say which version). An obsessive fascination with computer technology blossomed from hobby into career before the desire for sunnier climes saw him wave a fond farewell to his native Blighty in favor of Bordeaux, France. He's now a dedicated newshound pursuing the latest bleeding edge tech for Gizmag.   All articles by Paul Ridden
1 Comment

I like the cistern pressurizer the best. But honestly I think rain collectors should be mandatory for new house construction along with a system for using the municipal water pressure to mix the rain water in with hose water. It would never catch on, but it would go a long way to increasing our sustainability as water increases in demand.

26th August, 2010 @ 06:05 pm PDT
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