Top 10 Inventions Of 'Garage Inventors' Win 2009 Popular Science Awards
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.
9. Vegawatt: Greasy Spoon Recycling System
From the frying pan into the electricity generator, James Peret has found a way to serve fish and chips at his Dedham, Massachusetts restaurant and heat the place with the used cooking oil. His invention, the Vegawatt is contained in the box Peret is standing in, above. Though Peret doesn't disclose his proprietary secrets, he does share the fact that the 10 to 12 gallons per day of used frying oil does go through extensive filtration before it is poured into the combustion unit.
The Vegawatt processes about 80 gallons of grease a week before it is poured into Peret's modified 15 horsepower diesel generator. The grease fulfills 10 percent of the restaurant's energy needs, translated into a $1,000 a month savings. Peret's new company, Owl Power Company, is now selling the machine to other greasy food restaurants. Ah, fish and chips, sooo good.
10. IronClads: Toxin-Free Strong Hold Fish Lures
Did you know that 25 million pounds of plastic fishing lures are left in U.S. lakes and rivers every year? What that does to the waters is just horrible to think about. The plastic lures that detach from their hooks when they are cast or bitten, disintegrate very slowly in the water releasing harmful phthalates and other petrochemicals.
Inventor Ben Hobbins was also tired of baiting hooks repeatedly in freezing weather when he went fishing, so he set about creating an artificial bait that actually stays on a hook, instead of falling off every time it gets a brush from a passing stick or even just hits the water. Hobbins' biotech background led him to consider using an expandable mesh employed in skin grafting to ensure that the graft stays firmly in place. The result was IronClads number one, strong enough to withstand a 93 pound catch or a fish with serrated teeth.
Inspired by the response he received for the positive environmental impact of his lure, Hobbins then solved the problem of toxicity in his material by developing an equally strong silicone-based version of IronClads that, if torn from the hook, would biodegrade without releasing harmful toxins. Hobbins expects his new IronClads to be available this year.
Awesome inventions! Totally inspiring....