I agree Beth - student engineering competitons can have some remarkable projects. I have seen some pretty innovative senior projects as a judge for our local colleges as well. Your comment on commercialization matches my experience in that mass-marketing is probably not practical for most projects but the real world experience it gives students is invaluable and you never know who might take an interest in a student design given the right exposure. The engineering requirements were very challenging on this one - Congrats to the BYU team!
Very cool invention and one that could have a range of utility--from rescue mission-type applications to the ultimate adventure zip line, I would think. It really is amazing how much killer stuff comes out of these student engineering competitions. While much of the work doesn't have the right stuff for commercialization, the germ of some pretty compelling innovations have been born from these events and with the right nurturing and financial backing, who knows where they can go.
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Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.