The 13th annual “Create the Future” Design Contest for engineers, students, and entrepreneurs worldwide, sponsored by COMSOL, Inc., and Mouser Electronics, attracted a record number of entries—nearly 1,160 innovative product ideas from engineers and students in more than 60 countries. The Medical category itself received 87 outstanding entries from 18 countries. Analog Devices and Intel were supporting sponsors. The contest was established in 2002 to recognize and reward engineering innovations that benefit humanity, the environment, and the economy.
Winners were selected in late September from the seven categories: Medical Products, Consumer Products, Electronics, Machinery/Automation/Robotics, Sustainable Technologies, Automotive/Transportation, and Aerospace & Defense. In addition to product ideas at the concept or prototype stage, contestants could submit designs for commercial products introduced to the market within the last 12 months.
The grand prize winner receives $20,000, while the first-place winner in each category will receive a Hewlett-Packard workstation computer. The top 10 popular vote recipients will receive an Ollie robotic gaming device provided by Sphero.
In addition to the winners and honorable mentions listed here, there were a number of entries in other categories with medical applications. Here are just a few. In the Machinery/Automation/Robotics category, the Total Actuation and Force Feedback on Robot-Assisted Microsurgery presented a robot-assisted microsurgery system to allow surgeons performing surgical procedures to feel soft tissues with greater sensitivity and to manipulate surgical tools with greater exaggeration and precision. The Physiologically Adaptive Prosthetic Sockets for Optimized Function and Comfort, in the Consumer Products category, introduced a soft robotic, smart prosthetic socket that will adapt to the physiological state of the user employing an array of embedded hydraulic soft actuation elements and continuous distributed sensory feedback. An Intelligent Wheelchair in the Electronics category was designed to recognize different emotions in EEG through the use of a computer and signal processing.
This article introduces the Grand Prize winner, the Medical Category winner, and two Medical Category Honorable Mentions. The top prize winners will be honored at an awards reception in New York City this month. Congratulations to all who entered. All of the entries can be seen at http://contest.techbriefs.com/2015/entries/all .