A few years back there was a group of girl scouts from Iowa that came up with a prosthitic hand for a little girl as a part of the First Lego League. It was really neat to see what they accomplished. Here's a link to one of several articles.
Very cool. I am currently involved in the First Lego League which encourages young 4-Hers to think about problems and come up with solutions. This years' challenge is Nature's Fury. I can't wait to see what some of the teams come up with. I think this would be a great thing for design news to look into co-sponsoring.
I just read an article within the last 2 weeks about a boy who invented a sandbag out of a salt mixture that was lighter than sand. When the water hits the salt it increases the weight and make a great barrier for holding out water. Neat idea. Here's the link.
Many years ago, jmiller, Design News did exactly what you're suggesting. The winner was a boy who figured out a way to feed his goldfish remotely. He would call a phone, which would activate a shaker mechanism, which fed the fish. As I recall, he was only about 10-12 years old.
Jennifer, Several years ago I wanted to submit a design that has not been brought to the product level yet. I have not gone after a patent because the design and it's varients could be a benefit to the poorer counties in the world, a general benefit to humanity.
I still don't see a catagory for things not into production or commecialization.
We like the way you think, jmiller. We strongly encourage kids to submit to our Gadget Freak section (which is free and offers $500 for cool inventions). We are also looking to include a student Rising Engineering Star Award, to coincide with our (adult) Rising Engineering Star/Golden Mousetrap program.
If you know of any youngsters who are worthy of this award, please nominate them! You can send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
A thought to design news. It might be kind of cool to add a kids category or a way for kids to get recognized for some of their cool inventions. It would be a good way to encourage youngsters to start thinking about growing up to become engineers like us.
Here's a slideshow showing off last year's winners: http://www.designnews.com/document.asp?doc_id=258732 And here are the finalists in each category: http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1386&doc_id=257098 http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1386&doc_id=257097 http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1386&doc_id=257088 http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1386&doc_id=257084
Festo's BionicKangaroo combines pneumatic and electrical drive technology, plus very precise controls and condition monitoring. Like a real kangaroo, the BionicKangaroo robot harvests the kinetic energy of each takeoff and immediately uses it to power the next jump.
Design News and Digi-Key presents: Creating & Testing Your First RTOS Application Using MQX, a crash course that will look at defining a project, selecting a target processor, blocking code, defining tasks, completing code, and debugging.
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.