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The James Dyson Award

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Meet the 2021 James Dyson Award National Winners.

The James Dyson Award is an international design award that celebrates, encourages and inspires the next generation of design engineers. Open to current students and recent design and engineering graduates, the Award is a chance for budding inventors to make a name for themselves. As well as winning prize money, they can generate media exposure to kick-start their career, earn the esteem of their peers – and perhaps gain the confidence to launch their own business.

Today, we announce the National finalists across the 28 markets the Award operates in. See which ingenious inventions from the list below progress to the International stages of the competition on Wednesday 13 October

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    The James Dyson Award for Australia, Project Flock

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  • Problem: Having grown up with two relatives with Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia (HSP), Aaron Nguyen quickly realised the poor consideration current orthoses provide to growing users, such as children. The rigid thermoplastic forms used are intentionally tight fitting to give the user optimal support. However, for those still growing, it often leads to bruising, blistering, cuts and sizing issues.

    Solution: The LUNA Modular AFO is a new approach to Ankle Foot Orthosis design, targeted at young and growing individuals with Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia. The unique design allows the device to adapt and grow with the wearer through a toolless modular system.

    Runner-up - Rinse Repeat.

    Runner-upSASS (Stand Alone Sun-flow System)

  • Problem: Preterm babies are often deprived of precious skin-to-skin contact with parents, affecting their health and development. Currently there lacks options to bond preterm babies with parents, other than by direct touch via portholes or kangaroo care. These only work if the child’s conditions allow, and parents are close to the incubator. There is no solution for when a mother cannot be near her own child. 

    Solution: Bo.by is a set of two wirelessly connected devices: a portable parent device and a baby mattress placed inside an incubator. Each of the devices contains sensors which collect and send data to the other device when placed on the skin, such as touch, breast movement and vibration, heartbeat, body heat or smell. Both parents and premature infants can experience indirect touch and bonding where otherwise it would not be possible. 

    Runner-up - AJUDA.

    Runner-up - SeedCup.

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    The James Dyson Award winner for Austria, the Lune.

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  • The James Dyson Award for Belgium, the Eye Robot.

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  • Problem: Hypertonia in the upper limb of children with cerebral palsy causes serious physical damage. Traditional orthoses that counteract hypertonia have many set backs due to the materials used. 

    Solution: Maniflex offers a new functional and integrated solution to traditional braces, using the unique properties of Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU).

    Runner-up - Bizu.

    Runner-up - Nader.

  • Problem: Millions of people live with a  medical condition/injury experiencing limited hand mobility, impacting daily activities. Many who live with Cerebral Palsy experience uncontrollable curling of the fingers when using their hands, for drawing and writing for example. 

    Solution: Guided Hands is a mechanical assistive device that enables anyone living with limited hand mobility to write, paint, draw and use a touch-screen device. The innovation helps to regain their confidence, independence, self-expression and cognitive skills.

    Runner-up - Zerosion.

    Runner-up - Algobio.

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    The James Dyson Award for Canada, the Attentiv Catheter for Safer IVs

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    The James Dyson Award for China, Start Now.

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  • Problem: High-power energy generated by fossil fuels and transmitted by power distribution systems impacts our environment. At the same time, electronics are becoming lighter, more wearable and mobile. Yet, due to charging needs and the weight of power sources, there haven't been significant breakthroughs. Can “electricity” be designed to be greener, lighter and more flexible to meet the growing demand for wearables?

    Solution: Power Mutualism is a flexible, lightweight and wearable power-generation material. It generates electricity through cyanobacteria’s photosynthesis and respiration, while also extracting energy from human sweat, sunlight and air. 

    Runner-up - Oplay.

    Runner-up - Ningxin.

  • Problem: Many people with autism have sensory disorders. Noise, light or physical contact can be a real challenge in everyday life, a source of discomfort, and a sensory overload. To overcome this, people with autism regularly feel the need to be held very tightly or hugged; deep pressure helps them become more aware of their environment.

    Solution: OTO is a hug chair with inner walls that apply deep pressure on the chest or on the legs. This allows users to feel the limits of their body and focus on sensory information, reducing tension to help people with autism feel better in their environment.

    Runner-up - Slive.

    Runner-up - Recap.

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    The James Dyson Award for France, Tuli

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    The James Dyson Award for France, Tuli

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  • Problem: There are only two established methods of contraception for men, the condom and the permanent vasectomy. For those who want more contraception options, there is a lack of choice for males in the market.

    Solution: COSO is an ultrasound-based, reversible and hormone-free male contraceptive device for home use that temporarily modifies spermatogenesis.

    Runner-up - HIIVE.

    Runner-up - Papilio.

  • Problem: Safety for the elderly in care homes has become an increasing concern over recent years. In Hong Kong, this issue is only escalating with the rapidly aging population and the lack of staff. 

    Solution: omnom. is a smart dining service and product system tailored to fit the future care home. It connects and improves the care of residents through data collection, enhancing interaction quality through design and increasing safety through performance monitoring.

    Runner-up - OCTAPS.

    Runner-up - UVify.

  • The James Dyson Award for Hong Kong, the ASIT.

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  • The James Dyson Award winner for India, the Earth Tatvia.

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  • Problem: The inability to move hearts from donor to recipient is the primary cause for very low heart transplant rates in India.

    Solution: LifeBox tackles this problem with a system that extends and preserves the heart to allow for increased travel time and distances.

    Runner-up - SAFAA.

    Runner-up - Diaraise.

  • Problem: Figure skating is a sport which combines both artistry and athleticism. In a competition the performance is scored technically and artistically. Jumps make up the largest bulk of the technical mark. However, in everyday training there is no way to measure the jump, it is left up to subjective assessment.

    Solution: EleSkate is a sports analysis device which assesses the figure skating jump based on its most important metrics. The device fits seamlessly underneath the boot. The data obtained is displayed on EleSkate’s user friendly app.

    Runner-up - Make Racers.

    Runner-up - Field of Vision.

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    The James Dyson Award for Ireland, the Econooc.

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    The James Dyson Award winner for Italty, the Cloud of Sea.

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  • Problem: In a 2020 report by Marsh, accidents from poor road maintenance were found to be one of the highest costs for towns. According to the Global Health Security Agenda data, in 2020 potholes were the major causes of accidents, especially amongst smaller vehicles.

    Solution: The Roadfix tool repairs small defects on the road’s surface. It also offers advertising space for companies by imprinting their logo on the pothole and sponsoring the repainting, supporting local communities. 

    Runner-up - ProFONDO.

    Runner-up - Ocean - Washing system.

  • Problem: Communication for and with deaf and hard of hearing people is challenging. When communicating using existing methods, such as written conversation or voice recognition apps, the facial expressions and gestures of the conversation partner cannot be properly attended to by the deaf and hard of hearing person.

    Solution: See-Through Captions is a system that displays real-time captions on a transparent display. It allows conversation partners to confirm the speech recognition results without interfering with nonverbal communication.

    Runner-up - Beautiful Posture Glasses.

    Runner-up - Behind the game.

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    The James Dyson Award for Japan, the Syrinx.

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    The James Dyson Award winner for Korea, the ANDY.

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  • Problem: Shared transport, such as bikes and scooters, are ever increasingly used around cities. With this popularity comes the risk of higher exposure to harmful bacteria. And researchers say the number of germs on handle bars can be 250 times as high as public toilets.

    Solution: UV is reported to be the most effective sterilisation system. However, direct contact with human bodies is hazardous. Infinite Circle uses an internal UV sterilisation unit, inserted via a pipe into handle bars. When users unlock the vehicle using a smartphone, the sterilised inner rubber cover engages. During the ride, the power generated to run the UV sterilises the inner cover ready for the next user.

    Runner-up - Rotate Scoop Stretcher.

    Runner-up - SafeSEA.

  • Problem: According to UNICEF and the WHO, 1 in 3 people globally do not have access to safe drinking water, including sea nomads.

    Solution: WaterPod works on solar distillation to convert seawater into drinkable water. By utilizing natural resources, WaterPod is designed to be placed on the sea for sea nomads to have access to drinking water easily.

    Runner-up - Citra, the bio leather.

    Runner-up - No Residue Bottle.

  • The James Dyson Award for Malaysia, the Kuno.

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  • The James Dyson Award winner for the Netherlands, the Ammos.

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  • Problem: About 1.3bn people worldwide are affected by visual impairments. Currently there lacks a solution to support the visually impaired in selecting cutlery safely at mealtimes, to avoid contamination or injury.

    Solution: Triada is a cutlery set using colour and texture to identify different utensils. 

    Runner-up - HandleBot.

    Runner-up - IF Brake.

  • Problem: People who are visually impaired often can’t see what they are cooking and rely heavily on their other senses, e.g. touch, to know what they are doing in the kitchen.

    Solution: Haptics of Cooking is a series of kitchen tools designed by the experience of touch. It’s an inventive approach to improve the independence of blind people carrying out daily tasks.

    Runner-up - Plastic Scanner.

    Runner-up - ZIEMI.

  • The James Dyson Award for New Zealand, Voronoi Runners.

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    The James Dyson Award winner of Philippines, the reBIRTH.

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  • Problem: Smaller hands find the inhaler awkward to hold and have more difficulty trying to trigger the device. If the inhaler is triggered wrong, the patient will not receive the full amount/benefits from their medicine. In New Zealand there are 7,466 hospitalizations a year due to asthma, 47% of them are children, and over 586,000 school days are missed. It’s also the 3rd leading cause of death in NZ. 

    Solution: HAE HAE is an inhaler designed for children - making it easier to trigger and hold, more engaging and simpler to understand. A homing nest has been designed to charge HAE HAE and hold the spacer.

    Runner-up - Trax.

    Runner-up - The Utilize Series.

  • Problem: Polysulfide-based sealant is the first aerospace sealant which has been used by the aircraft industry for over 50 years, particularly for sealing fuel tanks. However, based on the Hazard Statement, it’s described as including varying degrees of hazards, including its chemical composition.

    Solution: With commercial sealant deemed unsafe and having toxic effects on users, Pili Seal is a two-component sealant that serves as the base ingredient for aircraft fuel tank sealant production.

    Runner-up - ReCONNECT.

    Runner-up - NON-INVASIVE BACTERIA DETECTOR ON WOUNDS.

  • The James Dyson Award for Russia, the Health Care Toothbrush.

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  • The James Dyson Award winner for Singapore, the KIMIA.

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  • Problem: Since March 2020, we have been sending an estimated 30 billion face masks to landfill every month. Masks consist of several layers and each layer is a different type of plastic.

    Solution: Xtrude Zero is a machine that recycles face masks into reusable plastic pellets. Through a  separation and disinfection process within the machine, a used mask can be repurposed to reduce waste. 

    Runner-up NLC – The New Life Capsule.

    Runner-up - Lane Keeping System dynamic calibration device.

  • Problem: Visually impaired people struggle to read books in the same format as others. 

    Solution: Braille E-book downloads electronic formats of a book’s paper edition, transforming and projecting this onto the tactile surface of the E-book.

    Runner-up SENSORYA.

    Runner-up - The Dagon AUV.

  • The James Dyson Award for Spain, the DreamView.

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    The James Dyson Award winner for Sweden, the NEMO.

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  • Problem: Glaucoma patients frequently suffer from constant eye pain and headaches. It turns out that at-home intraocular pressure (IOP) is the clinician’s single metric to assess glaucoma. Regular monitoring of IOP fluctuation is critical to collect a comprehensive IOP profile to determine long-term treatment goals. Yet, at-home self-tonometry is inaccurate, while the more accurate standard Goldmann applanation tonometry remains a clinical practice. Therefore, the field of glaucoma has lagged far behind in developing a safe, accurate, low cost, at-home eye pressure sensor.

    Solution: HOPES is a wearable biomedical device for pain-free, low cost, at-home intraocular pressure (IOP) testing. Powered by patent pending sensor technology and artificial intelligence (AI), HOPES is a convenient platform for users to self-monitor IOP.

    Runner-up CurrentPlex.

    Runner-up - LOTA+.

  • Problem: Many people avoid and fear needles so miss important medical check-ups. And this year it’s affecting many more with the roll out of the Covid-19 vaccine. 

    Solution: Pinsoft stimulates the skin area near the needle puncture. It works using rounded-tip spikes, which contract thanks to springs, adapting to the patient’s skin surface. As the needle is inserted, it puts pressure on the proximal area and there is a feeling of relief from the prick.

    Runner-up - ATHOS.

    Runner-up - laino.

  • The James Dyson Award for Switzlerand - Whale air pontoon.

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    The James Dyson Award winner of Taiwan, the ConveX.

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  • Problem: In developing countries, it’s difficult to increase the survival rate of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest because of the low implementation rate of CPR training. The cost and amount of CPR training products far limit the number of participants who can join a CPR course.

    Solution: CANNE provides an ecosystem to motivate people to join self-led CPR training at a low cost. It saves time and medical resources. 

    Runner-up BEATHOVEN.

    Runner-up - All Seasons Protective Aid – ASPA.

  • Problem: Each year in sub-Saharan Africa, 1 million newborns die of hypothermia during their first month of life. 

    Solution: Robust Nest is an adapted incubator using a thermal battery, easing the transport of young babies. The thermal battery can provide heat for up to 4 hours during a blackout. Heated by an electrical resistance, paraffin pouches will liquefy. During a power cut, the paraffin solidifies and releases heat.

    Runner-up RUEI-01.

    Runner-up - S'WERVE.

  • The James Dyson Award winner for the UK, the Tyre Collective.

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    The James Dyson Award winner of the USA, Aerolyze.

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  • Problem: Most wheelchair users with paralyzed lower limbs face the difficulty of moving from the wheelchair and using the toilet. If there is no assistance, they usually cannot proceed smoothly. Some grab the armrest and throw their body onto the toilet, but this is very dangerous for people who are unable to exert force with their lower limbs.

    Solution: Zerogap helps people with paralyzed lower limbs shorten the distance between the wheelchair and the toilet. It provides a more secure and comfortable way of transferring themselves, making the high-risk process simple and safe.

    Runner-up LIGHTAID.

    Runner-up - WALK OXYGEN.

  • Problem: Child abuse has been reported up to 80,000 times a year. The motive behind this project is to protect children around the world from going through this traumatizing event with lifetime lasting effects.

    Solution: Shield is a smart system that detects abuse, takes a picture of the assaulter and sends parents the location of their child using a smartwatch.

    Runner-up Ultra SolarStill.

    Runner-up - AgriDrone.

  • The James Dyson Award winner for the UK, the Tyre Collective.

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    The James Dyson Award winner for the UK, the Tyre Collective.

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  • Problem: In the year ending March 2019, 259 people were killed using a sharp instrument in the UK. In most cases the recorded cause of death is blood loss. It takes 10 minutes for an ambulance to arrive in London, but it only takes 5 minutes to bleed to death.

    Solution: The REACT system uses a rapid, inflatable Tamponade device that is inserted into the stab wound. The automated inflation of this Tamponade provides internal pressure direct to the bleeding site, controlling bleeding faster than current methods.

    The implantable medical-grade silicon Balloon Tamponade is inserted into the wound tract by a first responder.

    Runner-up Enayball.

  • Problem: Right before college, Gabe became more attuned to environmental issues after living in an indigenous community in Ecuador. The people there told him about their worries over climate change and deforestation, and he saw how they had to burn plastic garbage in piles near their homes to avoid accumulation. His research led him to learn about biodesign, a field using living organisms to grow materials for products. 

    Solution: Pyrus is a petroleum-free wood-like material sustainably produced with repurposed bacterial cellulose waste from the kombucha industry.

    Runner-up Morpho.

    Runner-up - ArchGuard.

  • The James Dyson Award winner for the UK, the Tyre Collective.

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