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The Create the Future Design Contest was launched in 2002 by the publishers of NASA Tech Briefs magazine to help stimulate and reward engineering innovation. The annual event has attracted more than 14,000 product design ideas from engineers, entrepreneurs, and students worldwide. The contest's principal sponsors are COMSOL and Mouser Electronics with Analog Devices and Intel as supporting sponsors.
Category sponsors include Maplesoft, Schneider Electric, and Zeus.
The contest is produced by Tech Briefs Media Group.
COMSOL is a global provider of simulation software for product design and research to technical enterprises, research labs, and universities. Its COMSOL Multiphysics® product is an integrated software environment for creating physics-based models and simulation apps. A particular strength is its ability to account for coupled or multiphysics phenomena. Add-on products expand the simulation platform for electrical, mechanical, fluid flow, and chemical applications. Interfacing tools enable the integration of COMSOL Multiphysics® simulations with all major technical computing and CAD tools on the CAE market. Simulation experts rely on the COMSOL Server™ product to deploy apps to their design teams, manufacturing departments, test laboratories, and customers throughout the world. Founded in 1986, COMSOL employs more than 480 people in 21 offices worldwide and extends its reach with a network of distributors.
Mouser Electronics, a Berkshire Hathaway company, is an award-winning, authorized semiconductor and electronic component distributor focused on rapid new product introductions from its manufacturing partners for electronic design engineers and buyers. The global distributor’s website, Mouser.com is available in multiple languages and currencies and features more than 4 million products from over 600 manufacturers. Mouser offers 22 support locations around the world to provide best-in-class customer service and ships globally to over 550,000 customers in 170 countries from its 750,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art facility south of Dallas, Texas. Visit www.mouser.com.
Innovation, performance, and excellence are the cultural pillars on which Analog Devices (ADI) has built one of the longest standing, highest growth companies within the technology sector. Acknowledged industry-wide as the world leader in data conversion and signal conditioning technology, Analog Devices serves over 60,000 customers, representing virtually all types of electronic equipment. Analog Devices is headquartered in Norwood, Massachusetts, with design and manufacturing facilities throughout the world. Analog Devices is included in the S&P 500 Index.
Intel is the world's largest manufacturer of semiconductors and has established a heritage of innovation that continues to expand the reach and promise of computing while advancing the ways people work and live worldwide. Intel's entire processor portfolio provides design engineers with direct access to the industry's most advanced processors. Intel's industry-leading technologies are created using the most advanced foundry process technologies in the industry, producing unprecedented levels of performance and efficiency.
Maplesoft provides engineers with the tools and expertise they need to enable a model-driven innovation process that helps manage design complexity. Offering experts in a variety of engineering fields, extensive experience in model-based design, and the superior system-level modeling and analysis tools MapleSim and Maple, Maplesoft helps companies reduce development risk and bring high-quality products to market faster. Through Maple, Maplesoft also provides a complete concept-to-deployment environment for advanced analysis and rapid development of technical applications and engineering calculation tools. Maplesoft products and services are used in machine design, robotics, aerospace, automotive, and many other fields where engineers face complex challenges. Customers include Boeing, FLSmidth, Ford, Google, Intel, NASA, and Samsung.
Maplesoft is a subsidiary of Cybernet Systems Group. For further details, please visit
Schneider Electric Motion USA is a manufacturer of motion control components for automation equipment. The company is a proven leader in innovative motion control solutions for stepper motors and electronic controls, and the world leader in integrated motor drives with the MDrive® product line. To learn more, please visit www.motion.schneider-electric.com
Aerospace & Defense
Zeus Industrial Products, Inc. is headquartered in Orangeburg, SC USA. Its core business is the development and precision extrusion of advanced polymeric materials. The company employs over 1,300 people worldwide with manufacturing facilities in Aiken, Gaston, and Orangeburg, South Carolina, Branchburg, New Jersey, and Letterkenny, Ireland. Zeus products and services serve companies in the aerospace, automotive, medical, fiber optics, energy, and fluid management markets. For more information, visit www.zeus.com
For more than two decades, NVIDIA has pioneered visual computing and the art and science of computer graphics. With a singular focus on this field, we offer specialized platforms for the gaming, professional visualization, data center and automotive markets. Our work is at the center of the most consequential mega-trends in technology — virtual reality, artificial intelligence and self-driving cars.
Nanodots Magnetic Constructors are precision crafted Rare-Earth magnets. Heralded as “Lego of the 21st Century”, Nanodots can be clicked, sculpted and combined into infinite ways.
Organized in 1974 and formally chartered by the Federal Technology Transfer Act of 1986, the FLC is a nationwide network of approximately 300 federal laboratories, centers, parent departments, and agencies that establishes strategies and opportunities for linking laboratory mission technologies and expertise with the marketplace. To accomplish its mission of assisting the movement of innovative federal research and development into the U.S. economy, the FLC provides various resources from training to regional and national meetings so its members can obtain the resources they need to achieve successful technology transfer. To learn more about the FLC and its mission, visit www.federallabs.org.
Tech Briefs Media Group
Tech Briefs Media Group, an SAE International Company, is publisher of NASA Tech Briefs, the largest-circulation design-engineering magazine worldwide and Aerospace & Defense Technology, the largest-circulation engineering magazine for the mil/aero market. The Tech Briefs Media Group product line has grown to include print/digital advertising, email/web products, virtual events, seminars & conferences, custom media and content related advertising. Additional publications include Automotive Engineering, Off-Highway Engineering, and Medical Design Briefs. Combined, these products reach over 1 million engineers and managers worldwide.
GRAND PRIZE WINNERS
Hyliion - Hybrid Technology for Semi-Trailers and the Trucking Industry
Thomas Healy, RF Culbertson, AJ Emanuele, Morgan Culbertson, Wilson Sa, Pam Culbertson, Chad Saylor, Len Kulbacki, Eric Weber, Adam Faris, Kim Kasee, Roger Richter, Jared King, Phil Aufdencamp, and Tim Gehring, Hyliion, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
We (Hyliion) - hybridize the trailer portion of the tractor-trailer combination – saving over 30% on fuel. Our system uses regenerative braking to capture power when the trailer is slowing down or going down hill, and reuses that power to help the truck-trailer up hills. Our system installs in 23 minutes.
Development Of A Non-surgical Circulatory Support Device For The Treatment Of Chronic Heart Failure
Omar Benavides, Benjamin Hertzog, Jace Heuring, Reynolds Delgado, and Will Clifton
Aortix™ augments heart function by accelerating a portion of native blood flow within the pump and pushing it downstream to entrain aortic flow. Strategic placement downstream of the heart allows for combined benefit to the heart, kidneys, and other vital organs while eliminating the common VAD risks of damage to the heart and thrombotic stroke.
Robotic Building Construction By Contour Crafting
Contour Crafting (CC) is a computerized construction method that 3D prints large-scale structures directly from architectural CAD models. Walls are built up by forming their outer surfaces via extrusion of a paste-like material such as concrete, and the use of a robotic trowel to provide a smooth, contoured surface. CC is a very flexible technique, capable of constructing aesthetically pleasing “organic” curvilinear shapes as easily as “boxy” rectilinear shapes; as such, it has attracted strong interest from leading architects.
Nikhil Mehandru, Aaron Perez, Brandon Sim; Loudonville, New York
Four Harvard University students of various disciplines have founded Theratech and have introduced the ChemoPatchTM, a low-cost, disposable, and electronic patch-based cancer chemotherapy device designed to be simple, automated, and easy-to-use by cancer patients outside of the hospital, yet cutting-edge in it's ability to deliver quality early-stage chemotherapy.
Sensordrone: a Practical, Tricorder Like Platform for Consumers and Mobile Device Developers
Mark Wagner, Sensorcon, Buffalo, NY
Sensordrone is a multi-purpose, configurable sensor that dramatically extends the sensing capability of smartphones & tablets. It is a key Fob sized platform for both consumers and developers.
?Screen Fast and Cheap Bacteria Detection
Monika Weber, New Haven, CT
?Screen is the needed MEMS rapid pathogen screener for food-borne illnesses. It has a potential to improve health standards at the consumer level by increasing sensitivity, keeping the cost down and testing time short.
Rowheel Wheelchair Propulsion System
Salim Nasser, Merritt Island, FL
The Rowheel offers a fundamental difference in the approach to manual wheelchair propulsion in that it operates by means of a pulling/rowing motion as opposed to pushing.
Thomas Lach, Deca-Medics, Columbus, OH
Device makes it easy and safe for anyone to perform high-quality CPR compressions for extended periods of time.
Litroenergy™, a New Light Source Material
Steve Stark, MPK Co., Champlin, MN
Can emit light continuously for more than 12 years without exposure to sunlight or other energy sources.
David A. Torrey, Advanced Energy Conversion LLC, Malta, NY
Fluid pump design reduces parasitic losses in trucks/other vehicles, improves thermal performance of the electric motor through direct liquid cooling of the windings, and shrinks size by combining the motor and pump in a single housing.
Low-Cost In-Vehicle Emergency Warning Device
Patrick Scholes, CPS Systems, Germantown, TN
A simple emergency beacon detector circuit interrupts a car’s audio system’s power when an emergency vehicle approaches, emitting a brief alarm signal to alert drivers and prevent collisions.
Unitary Orthopedic Appliance
Leonard Duffy, Chittenden Research and Development, Hinesburg, VT
A unique interlocking fastener design with advantages over hook-and-loop systems enables orthopedic devices that can be easily removed, cleaned, and reused.
OsteoSonic™ Noninvasive Bone and Joint Damage Detection Device
Michael Liebschner, Rice University, Houston, TX
This portable, battery-operated unit that fits in the palm of the hand can detect bony fractures and soft tissue damage, operating without radiation.
Rotary Pinion Face Gear Set
Fred Vreeman, Orlando, FL
Low-friction gear set operates with high efficiency over the entire range of power transmission capability.
Contest Winner Converts Carbon Emissions into a Clean Energy Resource
Global Design Competition Draws over 1,150 Innovative Product Ideas
New York, NY – Aiming to reduce global CO2 emissions, a research team from Cornell University and Dimensional Energy (Ithaca, NY) have invented a way to cost-efficiently convert waste carbon dioxide into valuable, clean liquid fuel. Their “HI-LIGHT” Solar Thermal Chemical Reactor, which uses proprietary nanotechnology in a process that mimics plant photosynthesis, has been awarded a grand prize of $20,000 in the 2017 "Create the Future" Design Contest.
HI-LIGHT was among 1,150 new product ideas submitted in the 15th annual design contest, which was established in 2002 to recognize and reward engineering innovations that benefit humanity, the environment, and the economy. This year’s contest was co-sponsored by COMSOL and Mouser Electronics. Analog Devices and Intel were supporting sponsors.
“I would like to express our greatest gratitude to the judges for choosing our team as the Grand Prize Winner,” said team leader Elvis Cao, a Ph.D. Student at Cornell University. “This recognition is not for our team alone, but for the general science community to fight against climate change and push forward renewable energy research.”
“Whether it's a start-up or Fortune 500 company, only bold design innovation can provide an atmosphere where individuals and businesses thrive,” said Bernt Nilsson, Senior VP of Marketing with COMSOL, Inc. “The Create the Future Design Contest is doing a tremendous job in promoting innovators and their ideas from around the world. COMSOL is delighted to sponsor the contest and continues to be inspired by the promising solutions to formidable challenges such as global environmental and health issues.”
“We would like to congratulate this year’s winners and thank all of the entrants for their participation,” said Kevin Hess, Mouser Electronics Senior Vice President of Marketing. “Part of our mission here at Mouser is fostering technical innovation so it’s a natural fit for us to support this global design contest that celebrates ingenuity. We are seeing exciting advancements in electronic design thanks to the creative engineers and innovators across the globe, including those who entered the Create the Future Design Contest.”
In addition to the grand prize of $20,000, first-place winners were named in seven categories and received Hewlett-Packard workstation computers:
Aerospace & Defense – sponsored by Zeus
Airfoil Performance Monitor (APM)
Patented technology provides real-time information to pilots regarding the state of the airflow over the aircraft’s wings and tail. This information is critical for the prevention of stalls and loss of control, especially during icing conditions.
John Maris (Team Lead), Marinvent Corporation, Quebec, Canada
Heavy Duty Aftermarket Super Truck
Advanced Under Hood Air System delivers a 10% fuel savings, while reducing heat and fan noise by 50%.
Joshua Medling (Team Lead), Enviro-Cool, Sullivan, MO, USA
Novel battery integrates into the product structure, reducing weight while improving performance. It allows product designs to be based on end use and function – not battery shape.
Megan Moore (Team Lead), Battelle, Columbus, OH, USA
Integrated Multi-Color Light Emitting Device Made with Hybrid Crystal Structure
Integrated hybrid crystal LED display device that – for the first time – emits red, green, and blue colors on one single wafer, offering applications to the next generation of LED displays and televisions.
Yeonjoon Park, National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), and Sang Choi, NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA, USA
Machinery/Automation/Robotics – sponsored by Maplesoft
EJBot: Versatile Climbing Robot for Industrial Vessel Inspection
A new propeller-type robot for climbing various types of structures and obstacles promises to improve safety and reduce the cost of inspecting industrial vessels.
Mohamed Gouda Alkalla and Mohamed Fanni, Mansoura University, Mansoura, Ad-daqahliyah, Egypt
Medical – sponsored by Schneider Electric
A novel tool replaces traditional suturing and enables rapid anastomosis of arteries, dramatically reducing operating time.
Jeffrey Plott (Team Lead), University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA
Energy Saving Filter for Removal of Heavy Metals from Water
Innovative water filtering technology uses a nanomaterial to attract heavy metal ions and is optimized for lowest cost, zero energy consumption, no water waste and high flow rate.
Volodymyr Khranovskyy (Team Lead), Talent Molecule LDA, Braga, Portugal
Finalists were selected by senior editors at Tech Briefs Media Group, producer of the contest, and judged by an independent panel of design engineers. For more information, visit here.
COMSOL is a global provider of simulation software for product design and research to technical enterprises, research labs, and universities. Its COMSOL Multiphysics® product is an integrated software environment for creating physics-based models and simulation apps. A particular strength is its ability to account for coupled or multiphysics phenomena. Add-on products expand the simulation platform for electrical, mechanical, fluid flow, and chemical applications. Interfacing tools enable the integration of COMSOL Multiphysics® simulations with all major technical computing and CAD tools on the CAE market. Simulation experts rely on the COMSOL Server™ product to deploy apps to their design teams, manufacturing departments, test laboratories, and customers throughout the world. Founded in 1986, COMSOL employs more than 480 people in 21 offices worldwide and extends its reach with a network of distributors. For more information, click here.
About Mouser Electronics
Mouser Electronics, a Berkshire Hathaway company, is an award-winning, authorized semiconductor and electronic component distributor focused on rapid new product introductions from its manufacturing partners for electronic design engineers and buyers. The global distributor’s website, Mouser.com, is available in multiple languages and currencies and features more than 4 million products from over 600 manufacturers. Mouser offers 22 support locations around the world to provide best-in-class customer service and ships globally to over 550,000 customers in 170 countries from its 750,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art facility south of Dallas, Texas. For more information, click here.