4. Rescue Reel: Emergency Escape From Tall Buildings
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." 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 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.
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."
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
Development and Engineering Center; and truck builders such as Navistar®
and Mack® Trucks.
6. Audeo: Speech And Voice Synthesizer For Neurological Impairments
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.
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.
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.