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August 2, 2005

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August 3, 2005 Gizmag came across this invention a few months ago when we were part of a judging panel for an invention award. Funnily enough, it didn't jump out at us the first time we saw it, but as the judging wore on, and the finalists were chosen, and it got down to picking the final three most significant inventions, it kept hanging around and in the end, it won the contest on the basis that it has almost universal application.

Concrete footpaths and trees just don’t mix, because as the tree roots grow, they push upwards causing the footpath to deform, crack and misalign. Globally, it’s a massive problem and one with increasing public liability concerns for local government authorities. The TripStop system is a high-tech solution to concrete pavement displacement problems and helps to reduce random cracking and trip hazards by allowing concrete to articulate . The ingenious plastic join enables significant soil movement and tree root invasion without causing the footpath to crack or cause a raised lip in the surface which might trip unsuspecting pedestrians. The system has been university tested and has been proven to deliver substantial cost, environmental and safety benefits. Some inventions aren't exciting until you realise how much benefit they offer the community. This is a prime example.

International enquiries should be directed to TRIPSTOP.

About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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