Friday, May 29, 2009

Kool inventions

I though these were some cool inventions. See all of them here

3. ReWalk: A Robotic Exoskeleton

Radi Kaiof tests the ReWalk.Radi Kaiof tests the ReWalk. The inventor of ReWalk, Israeli engineer Amit Goffer, learned the hard way that wheelchair mobility is terribly outdated. In 1997, he broke his neck as the result of a fall, and the wheelchair's limitations were experienced by Goffer first hand. He set to work on a design for a wearable exoskeleten, kind of like a battery powered suit of armor for the lower body.

When he discovered that a whole body device would need too many batteries and be too heavy to be efficient, he decided to build instead a lower body exoskeleten that depended on the use of crutches as well as motors and batteries. Because Goffer can not use his arms to use the crutches, he will not be able to make use of the ReWalk himself.

The ReWalk is more complicated than it looks. Its 44 pounds of off-the-shelf components are controlled by hundreds of algorithms and codes and sensors that all enable standing, sitting, walking, and even climbing stairs. Radi Kaiof, a ReWalk tester had not walked in 20 years, but when he's strapped into the ReWalk, he's a different man.

"I speak eye-to-eye with people, not from the bottom up," he says. "There is one life in a wheelchair, and this is a new life."

4. Rescue Reel: Emergency Escape From Tall Buildings

Kevin Stone an inventor and orthopedic surgeon began working on the Rescue Reel after 9/11 when he vowed to come up with better escape equipment from skyscrapers. Modelled after a fishing reel, the Rescue Reel requires no special knowledge and can take less than a minute from deploying to safety.

"As the cord unwinds, a self-adjusting braking system ensures that the wearer descends at a constant rate.""As the cord unwinds, a self-adjusting braking system ensures that the wearer descends at a constant rate." A Kevlar cord must be hooked to a secure object or connection point, like between a door and its door frame. Then, after sliding into the one size harness, the escapee would climb out of an open window, and rappel himself down the side of a building. Stone's Rescue Reel has a centrifugal braking system that controls the rate of descent, ensuring a smooth ride down to safety. The Rescue Reel is expected to be available in 2010 for about $1500 and will be able to lower a person to the ground from up to 100 floors.

5. GenShock: Shock Absorbers As A Source Of Vehicle Power

Zack Andersen and Shakeel Avadhany, 2 of the 5 inventors of GenShockZack Andersen and Shakeel Avadhany, 2 of the 5 inventors of GenShock

Five guys BS'ing late at night in their dorm room tossed around the idea of a shock absorber that produces power for a vehicle. Next thing you know, the five MIT students -- Shakeel Avadhany, Zack Anderson, Zack Jackowski, Ryan Bavetta and Vladimir Tarasov — had accomplished it, creating an electric motor generator out of a shock absorber by using a hydraulic system.

The diagram on the right shows the basic construct of GenShock: "As the vehicle moves, the shock compresses and its piston pumps fluid to drive a hydraulic motor and an electric-motor generator. The power that's produced lets the engine-driven alternator do less work, saving fuel." (Bland Designs)

Now the GenShock group, having graduated MIT are working with Humvee® on creating its version of the GenShock and they're exploring possibilities with the Office of Naval Research; the Army's Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center; and truck builders such as Navistar® and Mack® Trucks.

6. Audeo: Speech And Voice Synthesizer For Neurological Impairments

Invented by Michael Callahan, who at 17 lost his ability to speak as the result of a skateboarding accident, the Audeo is for others who lose that same very valuable ability. Though fortunately Callahan's voice returned within a few weeks, he will probably never forget the experience of losing control of his speech mechanism.

The Audeo is a speech synthesizer to help those who's neurological pathways from the brain to the lungs and speech muscles are impaired, though the pathways from the brain to the vocal cords are undamaged. The device lifts electrical signals from the cords with three electrodes at the neck, which send the signals to a computer that translates them into audible speech sounding through the computer's speakers.

There is still a bit of time before the Audeo is perfected for sale. Callahan hopes, for example, to be able to use a cell phone as a replacement for the computer to synthesize and amplify the speech.

7. Vascular Pathways: An Easier, Safer Method To Insert IV Catheters

Anyone who's been poked by a medical technician trying to find your veins will appreciate this invention: a no-fail IV! Designed by Israeli physician Amir Belson, the new catheter IV was inspired by a patient of Dr. Belson's, an infant in the pediatric ward with whom he spent an entire work shift while he tried to insert a catheter into the poor child.

In the Vascular Pathways system, once the needle has entered the vein, a guide wire is advanced from the device and a catheter slides over its curlicue shape. Then the catheter slides directly into the vein without hitting the side walls. The needle and guide can then be retracted leaving the catheter in place. The advantages of the Vascular Pathways system are time saving, cost saving, and patient saving -- as the amount of bruising to a patient by misdirected catheters can leave patients bruised, in pain, and without a fresh vein to poke a hole in....

8. Greensulate: Absolutely 100 Percent Green Insulation

An invention we at InventorSpot have covered no fewer that three times, Greensulate is the natural equivalent of plastics used in insulation and Styrofoam used in plastics. Created by Eben Bayer and Gavin McIntyre, two Rensselaer Polytech grads. this invention is already being produced and is being trialed in a school.

Greensulate is a mix of mostly mushroom roots which grows fast and clean in agricultural by-products instead of soil. The mix is pressed into the desired form and left to stand 10 to 14 days. Once dried in a 100° oven to stop its growth, Greensulate is ready to install. The whole process takes about two weeks without expensive equipment and no specific growing environment.

Bayer and McIntyre have won a $16,000 award from the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance, as well as a $700,000 prize at the PICNIC Green Challenge in Amsterdam for Greensulate.

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