TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire -10/20/11)- Editors Note: There is a photo and a video associated with this press release.
A Canadian-invented prosthetic arm that's controlled by brain signals is being recognized by the James Dyson Award.
AMO Arm and its two Canadian inventors - Michal Prywata and Thiago Caires - have officially moved on to the final Top 15 round of finalists in the prestigious, international engineering award.
On November 8, 2011, inventor and innovator James Dyson will select the top scoring design. The winner will receive receive GBP 10,000 (for the student or the team) and GBP 10,000 for the winner's university department.
Prywata and Caires' invention was selected from a competitive field of 550 inventions from 18 countries.
"AMO Arm is a prosthetic limb that is controlled using brain signals," explains the team. "AMO Arm replaces an invasive, costly and lengthy surgical procedure, dramatically improving the quality of life for amputees."
Prywata and Caires have already turned AMO Arm into a successful business venture which includes development of assistance devices for paraplegics, various types of amputations, and non-invasive blood glucose meters for diabetes patients. The Ryerson Biomedical Engineering students have built a company, Toronto-based Bionik Laboratories Inc., and are currently securing their first round of investor funding.
See below for the full list of the Top 15 inventors:
AMO Arm (Canada)
Problem: The loss of an arm can often demand invasive muscle re-innervation
surgery for full arm prosthetics.
Solution: AMO Arm bypasses the medical procedure. It can be strapped on and
is controlled using brain signals, avoiding major surgery and the long
rehabilitation period after.
Dyson engineers said: "It is quite incredible that so many complex movements
can be achieved by thought alone. Very slick, very hi tech and very
Air Massage (UK)
Problem: Arthritis sufferers experience stiff joints which can effectively
"seize up" and are difficult and painful to get moving again.
Solution: The device uses PVC air bags which fill to create a wave of
pressure across the hand. This provides a massage and compression, both of
which are beneficial to the sufferer.
Dyson engineers said: "This is a good product idea which is demonstrated by
Airdrop Irrigation (Australia)
Problem: Drought has devastating consequences, but there is an abundant
source of water in the air around us.
Solution: Airdrop Irrigation feeds air though a network of subterranean
piping, cooling the air and allowing condensation. It then pumps this water
directly to the crops above.
Dyson engineers said: "We like how the designer engineered a very simple low
cost product to help drought stricken areas. The clever idea here is how
he's used cool subterranean ground to condense water out of the air."
Problem: The internet is highly visual and can be difficult for the blind
and partially sighted to navigate. Existing products simply read the page
content and can be confusing.
Solution: AudioWeb uses multiple voices to reflect text formatting, and
music provides the context of where you are on the screen - making web use
faster and easier.
Dyson engineers said: "A satisfactory program that helps blind people to use
the internet seems long overdue - this is an improvement on the existing
Problem: The white cane is an invaluable tool in guiding the visually
impaired away from hazards, but it's not intelligent enough to guide them
towards things, like a nearby friend.
Solution: Blindspot augments the existing white cane with technology to
direct the user towards a chosen destination using an optical track button.
Dyson engineers said: "Designers should always consider how new technology
can improve existing products."
Problem: The deaf and blind can suffer from a lack of access, communication
Solution: This interactive glove helps not only the deaf but also the deaf
and blind by using a range of stimulations and buttons to allow computer
Dyson engineers said: "DbGLOVE allows the deaf and blind to communicate at
the 'tips of their fingers.'"
Problem: Using a conventional mop and bucket means you're always returning
dirty water to your clean floor. On top of which, most buckets require
between 5 and 7 litres of water.
Solution: Ecoclean uses two receptacles in the bucket separate the clean
water from the dirty water, so the two are never mixed. Instead of 7 litres
of water, Ecoclean requires only 1 litre to work effectively. This cuts back
on water consumption and contamination.
Dyson engineers said: "A simple, yet revolutionary re-invention of the
traditional mop and bucket. This hygienic and eco-conscious design works
with basic principles to solve two problems at once."
Problem: Hospital wards do not afford patients privacy and can be a breeding
ground for hospital acquired infections.
Solution: KwickScreen is a portable, retractable room divider. Using
Rolatube technology it increases the privacy, dignity and protection
afforded to patients. It allows healthcare professionals to make the best
use of available space and can be wiped clean to improve hygiene.
Dyson engineers said: "KwickScreen exploits the benefits Rolatube technology
and is an hygienic alternative to dusty curtains. A slick project,
Problem: Devices to manoeuvre patients in hospitals are often flimsy and
impractical. This can contribute to back problems for porters.
Solution: MediMover is an aid to transfer patients from one hospital bed to
another bed. The process uses minimal effort and eliminates the need to roll
or lift the patient.
Dyson engineers said: "This is a good example of how good design can reduce
the strain caused by an everyday task."
Open Socket (USA)
Problem: The current cost (approx. $5,000) and complexity of assembly of
prosthetic arms is a huge barrier to helping amputees in developing
Solution: The Open Socket prosthetic arm is mechanically controlled by
simple body movements which allow the hook to be opened and closed and
replace the function of a human hand. It can be fitted onto an amputee in
under 10 minutes and costs only $100.
Dyson engineers said: "Open Socket is an ingenious answer to a longstanding
need for a low cost, easy-fit prosthetics for use in developing countries."
R2B2: Mechanised Kitchen Utensils (Germany)
Problem: We use vast amounts of energy in food production; every stage from
growing, harvesting, packaging, purchasing and cooking can place a strain on
Solution: R2B2 uses a fly wheel, driven by a pedal, to generate and store
electricity. This eliminates the need for electricity in food preparation.
Dyson engineers said: "We loved this how this technology engages the user
with the whole cooking process; from the creation and storing of energy, to
the preparation of food."
Rabbit Ray (Singapore)
Problem: Children often associate hospital procedures with punishment,
ultimately leading to an unhealthy mindset in later years.
Solution: Rabbit Ray is communication tool for hospital staff and children
to explain blood taking and intravenous drips. Using a rabbit to demonstrate
the child is shown how and why the simple procedures are taking place,
allaying their fears.
Dyson engineers said: "Everyone remembers being terrified of injections as a
child. Rabbit Ray is about prevention rather than cure - explaining
something to a child through a medium they understand."
Problem: About 95% of people who suffer from a spinal cord injury require at
least one intervention to initiate defecation. This is often aided by an
insertion of a gloved finger into the anus which can be frustrating and
embarrassing for patients.
Solution: The Suppostin suppository inserter removes the need for the
insertion of fingers. In this way, it allows users to be more independent
and dignified in their bowel care.
Dyson engineers said: "A challenging problem and a brilliant solution."
You'd Better Drink Tea (Germany)
Problem: Millions of cups of tea are brewed around the world and each one
uses a myriad of materials which negatively affect our environment.
Solution: You'd Better Drink Tea cuts the materials down to just one - a
biodegradable plastic pocket which protects, brews and then stirs your tea.
Dyson engineers said: "A teabag and teaspoon in one. You'd Better Drink Tea
enables the drinker to make a cup of tea with just one material, eliminating
a lot of the waste from your daily brew."
Mobile Furniture (Japan)
Problem: Finding adaptable furniture for a small narrow room is difficult.
Solution: Mobile Furniture uses link mechanics to create adaptable furniture
- creating a dining table, cupboard, bed space, shelving unit and high
Dyson engineers said: "Amazing furniture design - fantastically prototyped.
It is incredible that something so small can incorporate so much engineering
NOTES TO EDITORS:
The James Dyson Award
-- James Dyson will announce the global winner on November 8th, 2011.
-- The International James Dyson Award winner will receive: GBP 10,000 (for
the student or the team) and GBP 10,000 for the winner's university
department. Runners up for the overall James Dyson award will receive
GBP 2000 each.
-- The award was open to any student of product design, industrial design
or design engineering (or graduate within four years of graduation) who
is studying or studied in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, France,
Germany, Holland, Italy, Ireland, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Russia,
Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, UK and USA.
-- The James Dyson Award is run by the James Dyson Foundation, a registered
charity with the aim of supporting design, technology and engineering
education, medical research charities and local community projects. The
James Dyson Foundation works with schools and universities around the UK
-- Dyson is in the process of doubling the number of engineers at its UK
research and development centre. Several previous award winners and
runners-up have gone on to be employed by Dyson.
-- For more information and news visit
www.facebook.com/JamesDysonFoundation or www.twitter.com/JDF_Tweets
(i)or local currency equivalent
To view the photo associated with this press release, please visit the following link: http://www.marketwire.com/library/20111020-bionik800.jpg.
To view the video associated with this press release, please visit the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7kJQs3KwI4Q.
For interviews or further information on
the James Dyson Award, please contact:
(416) 366-7735 or Toll-Free 1-866-366-7733
(416) 366-7735 or Toll-Free 1-866-366-7733
(416) 366-7735 or Toll-Free 1-866-366-7733