Bio-Friendly Designs Create the Future

Time is ticking….you only have until the end of June 2010 to submit your entry into this year’s “Create the Future” Design Contest. First started back in 2002 by the NASA Tech Briefs magazine publishers, the Create the Future Design Contest was an innovative way to inspire young minds to come up with some of the next engineering wonders. Your bio-friendly design could be amongst them.

There have been over 7000 products designs submitted to the contest since its inception. These designs have not only come from engineers, but from entrepreneurs, students and more. The contest is open to anyone and this year, for the first time, people are allowed to collaborate on an entry. So if you and a friend have come up with the next greatest engineering marvel, you should submit it!

You can check out the official contest rules and requirements here and view the complete list of entries here. Whether you decide you enter or not, please don’t forget to vote on your favorite entries. There are some really cool ones.

Here’s just a sampling of some innovative designs that could help create the future. (Note: almost all images come from the Create the Future Design Contest and are individual entries):

1) Try-brid vehicle: This design by Tom Miller combines human power, wind power and electric power all into one bicycle.

However this isn’t just any bicycle. It’s designed mainly for developing countries, but there is no reason it couldn’t be used anywhere.

You ride the bicycle to where you need to go, all the while storing up energy. When you reach your destination, the bicycle can be used to charge your phone, power a lamp, charge a laptop and more.

This is what Tom has to say about his design: “The power from this battery array can be used to power a wide variety of small electronic devices.

“This solution seeks to enable developing countries to propel themselves to a brighter, greener and more productive future.”

2) Subsea Blowout Mud Injector Choke: This design from Peter Walker is the kind of design we probably all wish was actually in existence before the Gulf Oil Spill happened. It’s this type of design that may have been able to prevent the disaster and clean up that is still ongoing and potentially will be for months to come.

Basically, you have a cylindrical frame that can be lowered over a subsea oil well pipe, then through a sequence of actions, the choke will allow mud to be injected into the pipe thus stopping the flow of oil.

Sounds so simple, doesn’t it!?

Well, as Peter states in his entry, “The proposed apparatus has applications is such areas as the Gulf of Mexico, and can prevent billions of dollars of environmental damage.

3) Grail Engine: This design by Matthew Riley takes the idea of the internal combustion engine and revolutionizes it into a two-stroke engine that can get: 100+ mpg, lower emissions while generating more power than a four-stroke engine, 50% lower production costs and one of its most versatile features is that it can use multiple fuel sources.

Yes, it can use gasoline, diesel, hydrogen, natural gas, etc. and you can electronically switch fuel sources without worry about cross contamination.

Animation courtesy of Grail Engine Technologies

As Matthew states, “Our engine is capable of exhibiting, multi-fuel, on-the-fly ‘true’ hybrid engine technology.”

Now, I don’t have any personal information as to how well any of these or any other already submitted designs will work, but there have definitely been some creative design entries.

So, get your thinking cap on and see what you can come up with for the Tech Briefs Create the Future Design Contest 2010. There is plenty of room for more bio-friendly design ideas….and remember if yours is chosen, you could win $20,000! Spread the word.


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