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Transportation Category Winner

Movito Electric Scooter Tai Chiem Melbourne, Australia Movito is a scooter based on an electric inwheel motor, a hubless front wheel, and a modular base system. It is designed for traveling short distances in and around the city. One of the key technologies used to reduce harmful emissions is an in-wheel motor developed by Australia’s CSIRO. The design boasts 98% efficiency, and is lightweight with direct drive that eliminates drive train loss. It has a component weight of 6 kgs. The use of an inwheel motor has allowed for an overhaul of the scooter’s architecture, freeing up space and weight to allow for a more dynamic shape and form factor. Powered by Li-ion batteries stored in the central body, it is charged via a charging mat. Another key technology is the use of a hubless front wheel, offering greater precision when riding. Based on technology developed by Osmos, the orbital wheel’s steering pin is designed around a second large bearing in the hollow section of the circular runner. Movito features an integrated CPU and organic LED touchscreen, allowing the rider to customize the scooter to their personal preference, including connecting wirelessly to the Internet, accessing GPS, and an iPod dock. A modular base system allows multiple “bodies” to be attached to a common base. Alternate bodies can be attached to a single base, or two bases can be placed parallel with a larger body positioned on top, turning the scooter into a two-seat mini-car. The drive-by-wire technology eliminates mechanical linkages between the steering; instead, it’s controlled by a tritium controller. Comprised of lightweight materials, the main body is composed of a carbon fiber reinforced composite. This material is carried down to the base, which is made of carbon fiber reinforced plastic over a steel frame chassis, offering added strength and load-bearing capabilities. For more information, contact the inventor at tchi6@hotmail.com. Honorable Mentions Ellipse Sf-X Bicycle Florin Sacuiu Peoria, IL The Ellipse® Sf-X is an all-terrain bicycle with a front section concept that separates the steering system from the damping system. The suspension system is interconnected with the bicycle frame structure, lowering the center of gravity during braking, and eliminating the ability for the bicycle to roll over. The rear wheel is loaded during the braking process, so overall braking performance is improved and the rider can stop the bicycle in a shorter distance. All of its components, except the frame and front and rear forks, are current production bicycle components. Mountain Goat Aircraft Bill Montagne Montagne Aircraft LLC Palmer, AK The Mountain Goat aircraft features a wing that uses a modified NASA airfoil to enhance attached airflow, stall, and cruise speeds. The roll cage structure exceeds FAA standards for frontal and rollover crash protection. More cockpit room and seat belts for 300 mph reduce the possibility for injury. It also features load capability and an extremely wide center of gravity envelope. There is no center of gravity change from full fuel to empty, and flaps and flaperons are fully interchangeable. Wing assemblies and controls were designed for a six-seat aircraft so that both aircraft have interchangeable parts. Airflow reattaches after stall abruptly with little altitude loss. All wing controls and accessories are accessible during preflight inspection by lowering the flaps.

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Sustainable Technologies Category Winner

Efficient Air Conditioner Lindsay Meek Perth, Australia This design improves the energy efficiency of a residential air conditioner by replacing the traditional reciprocating compressor (bore and stroke) with a higher efficiency permanent magnet motor coupled to a scroll compressor. Recent advances in permanent magnet motors used in modern hybrid car electric drives and wind turbine generation have seen the incorporation of strong NdFeB magnets into the rotor, which greatly improves the motor efficiency. The compressor motor is then driven by a compact IGBT inverter stage with a motor controller, so motor current consumption can be optimized at the different operating speeds. The other improvement that can be made is to replace the traditional refrigerant expansion valve with a similar scroll expander turbine coupled to a second permanent magnet generator. The decompression of the refrigerant gas through the turbine on its way to the condenser allows some of the work used to compress the gas to be recovered and converted back into electrical energy. The generator is connected to a second compact IGBT inverter stage with a motor controller, and can be controlled in conjunction with the compressor motor controller to regulate the pressure and flow rate of the gas through the system. The two inverters are connected together via a common, high-voltage DC bus, so the electrical energy recovered from the decompression state can be reused by the compression stage, improving the overall efficiency of the refrigeration cycle. Finally, an AC-DC rectifier power supply is needed to provide the main work energy for the DC bus to keep the cycle operating. The above improvements should lower the power consumption by at least 30%. For more information, contact the inventor at lindsaymeek@hotmailcom. Honorable Mentions Coupled Water Tower/Wind Turbine Controller Andras Tanczos Helsinki, Finland A coupled water tower/wind turbine controller stores wind energy in the water towers of the drinking water network. At strong winds, the extra electrical energy generated by the wind turbine can be used to pump water into the water tower. When there is no wind, this energy can be released with a hydro-turbine, and the water goes back to the wells. The pump of the water tower and the hydro-turbine are used to control the water level in the reservoir. The electricity from the wind turbine is used for pumping the water or for supplying the electrical grid. The controller can also be installed on existing water towers and water tanks placed on top of buildings. Electromagnetic Rail Motor Tim Cormier Beavercreek, OH The Electromagnetic Rail Motor (ERM) can power anything from aircraft and cars, to artificial human limbs. The ERM is based on the modern rail gun. By taking the two rails and forming a ring, a continuous rotational force is created that is easily managed and controlled. The speed of rotation can be directly controlled by adjusting the voltage, similar to a gas pedal. Once the ERM powers up, the motor rotation will accelerate to its terminal speed. The blades act as both rotational shafts and as propeller blades to help cool the motor during extremely high speeds. The rail housing holds the assembly together and keeps the rails in place to counter the immense separation force.

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Safety & Security Category Winner

Electronic Fog, Frost, and Ice Prevention Technology Don Skomsky Integrity Engineering, Inc. West Chester, PA This electronic device prevents condensation, frost, and ice from forming on any surface. It predicts when fog, frost, and/or ice is about to form on a surface (windows, mirrors, lenses, visors, etc.), and prevents it from ever forming by eliminating the conditions that support it. It works equally well in hot or cold temperatures, in arid to extremely humid conditions, and even in the rain and under water. Applications for the device include windshields; ski, swimming, and safety goggles; HAZMAT, SCUBA, firefighter, and pilot masks; and motorcycle, racing, and astronaut helmet visors. Since it is entirely electronic, the device requires no sprays, wipes, fans, or any other user intervention. Because it is predictive and not reactive, it requires an extremely small amount of energy. There are no moving parts and nothing to wear out. In a sports goggle application (trademarked Zoggles™), the device is built into the goggle itself, resulting in a goggle that is lightweight, sleek, and stylish. When activated by a touch of a switch, the Smart-System electronics maintains Zoggles in “sleep mode,” conserving energy until such time that fog, frost, or ice is about to form. Immediately, Zoggles awakens, performs its prevention task, and resumes sleeping, until needed again at a later time. All energy is supplied by small rechargeable NiMH batteries, which power Zoggles for at least 8 hours of extremely active use in very cold temperatures. The device has been tested in numerous applications, the most rigorous being during the ascent of Mount Everest in 2006, with a summit of 29,029 feet. In specially prepared units, Zoggles protected the mountain climbers’ vision in the -35ºF, 60-MPH weather conditions without fogging, frosting, or icing. For more information, contact the inventor at IntegEngg@erols.com. Honorable Mentions Ten-Second Advance Deceleration Warning Device Fritz Braunberger Vision Works IP Corp. Sequim, WA StrobeWise™ provides an additional 1 to 10 seconds of warning time (over and above brake lights) to following vehicles, warning them of a slowing or stopping event. The system monitors vehicle speed 1,000 times per second and flashes a center-high-mounted amber strobe rearward upon deceleration detection. It continually flashes when the vehicle is stationary, mitigating stationary-vehicle rear-end collisions. The system mounts on the inside rear window or externally on rear-windowless trucks. It retrofits on nearly all vehicles made later than 1993. Emergency Drop in Water Recovery Preparation Unit Anna Epelbaum Management Services Co. Champaign, IL This device functions from solar energy and/or portable fuels such as butane and propane. The unit may be transported to any emergency site where it then begins to process water once set up with any water source within 35 feet. The device loads water from rivers, ponds, lakes, streets, or sewers, and then filters the water. It uses advanced ozone bubbles and ultraviolet radiation, as well as activated carbon, to repatriate the water into drinkable form. The water is then distributed in RFID-coded one-gallon bottles. The empty bottle may be returned to the machine for re-filling and re-sealing an unlimited number of times.

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Medical Category Winner

Pediatric Vision Screener – Mark V Kristina Irsch Wilmer Ophthalmological Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Baltimore, MD Amblyopia, commonly known as “lazy eye,” is the leading cause of vision loss in childhood, caused by misalignment of the eyes (strabismus) or defocus. If treated early in life, especially during infancy, there is an excellent response to therapy. A reliable and effective screening technique that can easily be administered by lay personnel is needed. The Pediatric Vision Screener (PVS) can simultaneously detect proper alignment as well as proper focus of infants’ eyes. The latter is determined by measuring the size of the double- pass blur image produced from a point source of light. Eye alignment is assessed by means of binocular retinal birefringence scanning (RBS), in which polarized near-infrared light is directed in an annular scan on the retina, whose nerve fibers are birefringent, and the polarization-related changes in light retro-reflected from the ocular fundus are analyzed. Due to the radial arrangement of those fibers, a characteristic frequency appears when the scan is exactly centered on the fovea, indicating central fixation. Thus, by analyzing the generated frequencies in the obtained RBS signal binocularly, the precision of eye alignment can be measured. To bypass the deleterious effects of corneal birefringence in RBS, the screener incorporates a spinning half-wave plate (HWP) in combination with a fixed double-pass retarder. Both wave plates modulate the RBS signal such that a theoretical improvement of about 3.86 times in RBS signal strength is achieved for a representative data set of human eyes, using computer modeling. Combined with a technique for focus detection in a single handheld device, this computer-modeloptimized PVS design promises to provide effective and appropriate screening instrumentation to automatically identify infants at risk for amblyopia. For more information, contact the inventor at kirsch1@jhmi.edu. Honorable Mentions A Camera for Nuclear Radiation Inside a Magnetic Resonance System Dick Meier Gamma Medica – Ideas Oslo, Norway A new camera for spectroscopic imaging of nuclear radiation (gamma radiation) operates in very strong magnetic fields of more than 10 Tesla. The camera can be used inside a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system for the simultaneous acquisition of nuclear radiation and magnetic resonance images. The camera consists of identical radiation imaging modules and a multi-pinhole collimator. The system can be inserted into MRI systems and allows one to accurately co-register nuclear and radio images in space and time. The camera is based on the semiconductor material cadmium zinc telluride (CZT), which is almost insensitive to magnetic fields. Tomographic images can be acquired without moving the camera or the patient. Pedicle Screw Compressor Distractor Charles Griswold Trinity Orthopedics San Diego, CA This surgical instrument compresses or distracts the distance between two pedicle screws in order to get proper placement along the connecting rod, and thereby achieve ideal vertebra spacing. A small male collet at the end of the instrument snaps into a mating female feature on a connecting rod. A Nitinol wire is actuated through the internal diameter of the collet, preventing it from disengaging. This firmly affixes the instrument to the rod axially, while preventing rotation through use of keying features. With one end of the connecting rod held in place at the far-side pedicle screw, the near-side pedicle screw is adjusted forward or backward along the rod using a hook on the end of the instrument. The hook has a rounded end to push (compress) on a pedicle screw delivery tube. Alternatively, the hook can pull (distract) on the same tube.

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Machinery & Equipment Category Winner

Small-Area Thin-Film Heat Flux Sensor Mahmoud Assaad The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. Akron, OH This sensor is being used in tires of all types and sizes, and has also been applied to engineering products such as hoses, belts, and conveyor belts. The product can be used in components for process control, modeling validation, determination of cooling requirements, and general calorimetry in rocketry, aerospace, and automotive environments. The sensor allows transient, bidirectional heat flux measurements on curved and flexing surfaces over areas that are smaller than those allowed by other sensors. This makes it perfect for measuring the convective heat transfer coefficient on various parts of a rolling tire. Since temperature is one of the primary damage indicators of a tire under service conditions, accurate prediction of the temperature in a tire is vital. The sensor provides the engineers, designers, and material scientists with a means of verifying that the temperature will not reach a level where rubber reversion can occur. This state can only be predicted with accurate heat transfer analysis of the tire. With this information, tire designers and material scientists will be better able to design a tire structure that will not have critical zones of high temperature anywhere within the tire cross-section. This new sensor design consists of a Wheatstone resistor bridge fabricated onto a 1/4-mm (0.010") thick polyester film, with half the bridge on each side of the film. The temperaturesensitive element is sputter-deposited platinum, patterned and applied using a photolithography technique, with line width and line spacing approximately 60 microns. With no heat flux applied to the sensor, all of the resistor bridge elements are at the same ambient temperature, and have the same initial resistance. With the application of heat flux, the resistance of the two elements of the bridge on the hot side of the polyester film changes due to platinum’s temperature coefficient of resistance. The resistor elements of the bridge on the cold side of the polyester film also change resistance, but by a lesser amount. The change of the resistances unbalances the bridge, and a precise measure of the heat flux can be determined from the output based on the fractional change of the resistances and the excitation voltage. With the application of “negative” heat flux (that is, a reversed heat flow), the output of the bridge will change sign. Thus, the sensor determines the direction of heat flux as well as its magnitude. For more information, contact the inventor at mahmoud.assaad@goodyear.com. Honorable Mentions Automated 3-Axis Instant Printed Circuit Board Prototyping Machine Ryan Anderson Sandia National Laboratories Albuquerque, NM Today, printed circuit board (PCB) production involves cutting the board, printing the masking pattern, etching, rinsing, applying flux, drilling holes, and soldering components onto the board. This new method for creating a PCB involves cutting the board, drawing traces, drilling holes, and soldering the components. This machine has three axes of motion, each controlled by a small stepper motor. The three axes move a plate located on the front of the machine. Attached to this plate is a magnetic tool changer that allows the user to change between a silver-loaded pen and a drill. When the user is ready to create a PCB, a blank piece of C10 board is secured in the slot on the steel base of the machine, the silver loaded pen is attached to the tool changer, and the CNC is used to run the automated tool path. LumenFlow 360-Degree View Imaging System Harold Brunt LumenFlow Corp. Middleville, MI This imaging system is a photonic device capable of illuminating the interior surface of any near-cylindrical object and then focusing the reflected light on the detector of a CCD camera (or any device configured to accept an image from a camera lens). The configurable system has the ability to resolve features as small as 20 microns along the interior of a cylindrical object within a range of diameters. Vertical walls, under-cut diameters, deep bores, or gaps beneath inserted components can be viewed and inspected. The system is inserted within the cylindrical surface, the image is captured, and areas of interest are identified and then analyzed. The device can be used in machine vision applications where automating bore inspection is not currently taking place.

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Consumer Products Category Winner

Universal Proprietary Water Purifying/ Conditioning Multimedia Jim Jablonsky J&M Associates Hatfield, PA This inexpensive and easily operated filter system removes heavy metals, arsenic, mercury, bad tastes, and offensive odors. It consists of a composite mixture of metal oxide, carbon, and zeolite multimedia that has been processed into a nano material suitable for incorporation into inexpensive filter paper. The filter paper has a pore size between 1 and 5 microns. The filter element is inserted in the drinking cap of a bottle of water. The water can be poured through the center of a filter, and the impurities are chemically bound to the nano multimedia material, which produces a pleasant water taste of consistent nature. The materials also remove bacteria and reduce viral contamination. Flavor tapes can be added after the filter, enhancing the bottled water experience. This will help attract kids to a healthy alternative to soda. The multimedia materials have a great affinity for heavy metals, arsenic, mercury, and odor and taste removal and pass current “TCLP” tests to produce a stabilized matrix suitable for local disposal without the fear of recontamination from this concentrated filter source. These tests have also shown great resistance to fouling and need no prior pH adjustment, which makes this process suitable for bottled water as well as for point-of-use tap water purification. The product has great potential in the third-world market, since it can purify many different water streams from almost all sources. The filter elements can be manufactured on a very large scale. A disposable system for purifying home tap water would open new untapped markets for the first bottled water manufacturer to embrace this product. For more information, contact the inventor at jmassoc@erols.com. Honorable Mentions Adaptive Kayaking Fixtures for the Highly Disabled Mark Theobald High Seas Productions Camarillo, CA This series of adaptive kayak paddling aids is designed for people with incomplete quadriplegia, who are often able to use certain muscles in their arms, wrists, and hands. The device holds the paddle up for the kayaker and keeps the paddle blades oriented in the vertical position. The paddle is duct-taped to the fixture, and paddlers need only be able to push or pull to successfully use them. Those lacking gripping ability are assisted with gloves. The device can be attached to an unmodified rental kayak in one minute. An adjustable, forward-mounted boom can be tipped forward during boarding or exiting. Moveable Braille Timepiece David Chavez Costa Mesa, CA Current Braille timepieces only help the user orient the watch hands in relation to the watch face, but can lead to an inaccurate time assessment. Digital devices use sound to communicate the time, thus inhibiting the user from checking their watch unnoticed. Haptica is a moveable Braille timepiece that provides a quick and accurate time reading by displaying a real-time readout in Braille using a military-time format. The wearer scans along the Braille channel with their finger to check the time.

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2008 Create the Future Design Contest Grand Winner

This year’s seventh annual NASA Tech Briefs “Create the Future Design Contest,” presented by Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corp., recognized innovation in product design in six categories: Consumer Products, Machinery & Equipment, Medical, Safety & Security, Sustainable Technologies, and Transportation. On the following pages, you’ll meet the Grand Winner, as well as the winners and honorable mentions in all six categories. Congratulations to this year’s winners, and thanks to all of the engineers who submitted their creative design ideas. To view the contest entries online, visit www.createthefuturecontest.com.

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