Amy Smith: Simple designs that could save millions of childrens' lives
Fumes from indoor cooking fires kill more than 2 million children a year in the developing world. MIT engineer Amy Smith details an exciting but simple solution: a tool for turning farm waste into clean-burning charcoal.
Daniel Kraft invents a better way to harvest bone marrow
Daniel Kraft demos his Marrow Miner -- a new device that quickly harvests life-saving bone marrow with minimal pain to the donor. He emphasizes that the adult stem cells found in bone marrow can be used to treat many terminal conditions, from Parkinson's to heart disease.
Toby Cumberbatch founded the Center for Sustainable Engineering, Art and Architecture in 2005 to bring together students from the schools of Engineering, Art and Architecture to focus on problems that address the fundamental needs of energy, water and shelter in very poor communities in the less industrialized countries.
A Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam Each year, NCIIA welcomes a Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam to participate in Open Minds along with the exhibiting E-Teams. The Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam initiative is a national grants program designed to excite the next generation of inventors and problem solvers through hands-on learning, while encouraging an inventive culture in high schools and communities. Teams showcase their prototypes at EurekaFest, an annual celebration of the inventive spirit presented by the Lemelson-MIT Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) campus in Cambridge, Mass. Learn more about the Lemselson MIT program and InvenTeams at: http://web.mit.edu/invent/index.html.
This year's InvenTeam is the Harker Innovation Team. The team is developing an Aquatic Thermoelectric Generator to produce energy from heat, the “energy graveyard.” The device floats on water, and reflector panels focus sunlight onto a black surface that converts solar energy to heat. This heat is then passed through thermoelectric panels and passively dissipated into the surrounding water. Harnessing the thermal gradient between the hot surface and the cold water, the thermoelectric panels generate significant amounts of electricity that can be used for commercial or residential purposes. In this way, the team's floating thermoelectric generator passively generates electricity from solar heat, essentially a solar farm on water.
Former E-Team Ecovative Design LLC and Sealed Air Corporation have announced they will work together to accelerate the production, sales and distribution of Ecovative’s EcoCradle® Mushroom™ Packaging, an environmentally responsible packaging material made from agricultural byproducts and mycelium, or mushroom roots. The technology was developed in part with a 2007 E-Team grant.
Gall bladder removal (cholecystectomy) is the most common general surgical operation in the US, with more than one million cases each year. 600,000 of these are elective, laparoscopic cases performed with ports and a camera, a minimally invasive approach that leaves no visible scar. But these scar-free techniques are burdened by steep learning curves, safety issues and high costs.
Miret Surgical is developing a safe, fast and cost-effective solution for scar-free surgical removal of the gall bladder. Miret’s system uses a novel modular instrument design to wed the advantages of pediatric laparoscopic tools with standard laparoscopic tools. Surgeons assemble and use as many of these modular instruments as needed, and after surgery the patient is left with a hidden incision in the belly button and a few tiny punctures, which will heal quickly and without noticeable scars.
Open Minds is the acclaimed annual exhibition of cutting-edge innovation from NCIIA's best student teams. The exhibition takes place each year during NCIIA's annual conference, and is an opportunity for student teams to demonstrate their products/companies, and receive local and national media coverage.
The following fourteen teams were selected to participate in Open Minds 2012. These teams were showcased at two exhibitions in San Francisco and also entered videos into the Open Minds video competition.
A low cost, low maintenance opto-medical device that uses high intensity LEDs for the treatment of jaundice Learn more
GiraDora and Balde a Balde
Art Center College of Design
A portable faucet that provides running water from any container, and a human-powered washer and spin dryer to increase the efficiency and improve the experience of hand-washing clothes Learn more
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
After-market additions to off-the-shelf wheelchairs that decreases the effort it takes to propel them Learn more
GRIT Leveraged Freedom Chair
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
A lever-powered mobility aid designed for the use in developing countries Learn more
Medtric Biotech, LLC
Developing an innovative, environmentally friendly anti-infection technology Learn more
The Integrated Punch Biopsy
Johns Hopkins University
An all-in-one skin biopsy device that efficiently and safely transects and retrieves the skin sample Learn more
Strong Arm Ergonomic Lifting Safety System
Rochester Institute of Technology
A form-fitting garment that incorporates a unique system of load-bearing straps that allows workers to lift heavy objects more easily and with significantly less risk of injury Learn more
University of California, Davis
Developing SwiftVax, a plant-based production platform that produces animal and human vaccines efficiently and affordably Learn more
Oklahoma State University
Developing a Hybrid Composite Armor stand-alone insert that is capable of significantly reducing Behind Armor Blunt Trauma (BABT) Learn more
University of California, Berkeley
Leveraging the recent proliferation of mobile phones in India to provide households with accurate and timely information about when piped water will become available in their area Learn more
California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
Developing earthquake-resistant,inexpensive interlocking compressed earth block (ICEB) construction Learn more
A modular, minimally invasive surgical system Learn more
Developing a low cost, manually operated machine that enables de-cortication and de-husking of raw peanuts to deliver clean peanut kernels Learn more
The Harker Innovation Team
A Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam
A high school student team developing an Aquatic Thermoelectric Generator to produce energy from heat Learn more
About Open Minds
Interested in showcasing at Open Minds 2013? Check out the guidelines.
Open Minds is the acclaimed annual exhibition of cutting-edge innovation from NCIIA's best student teams. The exhibition takes place each year during NCIIA's annual conference, and is an opportunity for student teams to demonstrate their products and companies, and receive local and national media coverage. 10-15 teams are selected to participate in this high profile event, which involves an evening exhibition for NCIIA conference attendees as well as an exhibition open to the general public and an exciting video competition.
We are thrilled to once again partner with Inventors Digest for the 2012 Open Minds exhibition.
California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
The need for low cost housing in Southeast Asia is compelling for two reasons: the region’s seismic activity and its large, dense populations of low-income purchasers. In order to meet the need for earthquake-resistant, inexpensive housing, this team is partnering with a Thai NGO to promote interlocking compressed earth block (ICEB) construction in the area. ICEBs are made by compressing soil with the right combination of fines (silt and clay) and sand with a small amount of water and cement so that they are stable enough to be handled right after pressing and do not erode when they come into contact with water. ICEBs are environmentally friendly and can be made locally by lower-skilled laborers with minimal training.
To improve the survivability of troops in combat situations, the best gear, weapons, and training are required. One piece of equipment that can come between a soldier’s life and death is body armor. But while modern body armor has advanced enough to resist bullets, Behind Armor Blunt Trauma (BABT)--non-penetrating injuries resulting from high kinetic energy transfer--can still do serious damage to a soldier’s body. According to the United States Department of Defense, approximately 35,000 military personnel were injured in the Afghanistan and Iraq after 2001, with 20% of these due to gunshot-related injuries. A majority of the gunshot injuries were caused by BABT.
MetCel is developing a Hybrid Composite Armor (HCA), stand-alone insert that is capable of significantly reducing BABT. It is a combination of current top-of-the-line armor-grade materials and an advanced alloy honeycomb collapsible layer. Preliminary tests indicate the technology could reduce BABT by 25%. In addition, the HCA insert is lightweight and offers a multi-hit feature.
Lifting injuries affect hundreds of thousands of workers in the US each year. The injuries arise partly due to lack of training and partly from situations in which workers are required to lift heavy loads for extended periods of time. The effects of these injuries are costly, with $50 billion per year paid out in worker’s compensation.
This team is developing the Strong Arm, a form-fitting garment that incorporates a unique system of load-bearing straps that allows workers to lift heavy objects more easily and with significantly less risk of injury. Essentially, the system shifts the forces of lifting from the injury-prone hands, arms, neck, shoulders and lower back and distributes them evenly to stronger and more stable areas of the torso.