8:00pm – Wednesday, August 26 on ABC1
Hosted by James O’Loghlin, The New Inventors is home to the brightest breakthroughs in technology, innovation and invention. Deciding the winner of these three inventions are: designer Alison Page, surgeon and inventor Fiona Wood, and futurist and author Mark Pesce.
Inventions featured on the program:
STEM CELLS FOR EYE REPAIR – by inventors Dr Stephanie Watson and Dr Nick Di Girolamo from NSW.
There are 10 million people around the world who are blind as a result of corneal disease. The cornea is the first part of the eye exposed to the environment and trauma, and is routinely replenished by a reservoir of stem cells that naturally recur within the eye. However, when these stem cells are damaged or depleted, the result is permanent blindness. Until now, the only way to cure this blindness is to hope for a donor eye and a successful transplant.
In a world-first breakthrough, Dr Stephanie Watson, ophthalmic surgeon, and Dr Nick Di Girolamo, Director of the Ocular Diseases Research Unit at UNSW, have pioneered a technique to cure corneal disease-related blindness. In a pilot clinical trial, the inventors harvested stem cells from a healthy region of the eye. The cells were placed on a therapeutic contact lens and immersed in a serum for 10 days. The stem cells grow inside the contact lens, which is then placed onto the patient’s diseased eye for a further two weeks. The stem cells transferred from the contact lens to the patient’s cornea where they were able to heal damaged parts of the eye. Several weeks after the procedure, significant improvements were recorded in each patient, successfully returning sight to the eye.
ROBOCAM PRO – by inventor Christopher Robin Collins from NSW.
Making movies is an expensive business, especially when you want long, sweeping camera movements that follow the action wherever it goes. Christopher Robin Collins is a filmmaker with 35 years of experience in the industry. His invention, the Robocam Pro, is an innovative and lightweight motion control crane. The motorised crane can seamlessly move across every axis, with or without an operator. In stark contrast to motion control cranes used in expensive Hollywood productions, Robocam Pro is priced so that an independent filmmaker or small production company can buy it outright and own it for future productions.
BLUPOINT – by inventor Graham Gibbon from WA.
Mining excavators break apart rock and earth with pointed ends known as bucket teeth. In a mine with tough rock, a bucket tooth lasts an average of three days. These worn down teeth, at least half their original size, are not recycled. They are simply thrown away or melted down to scrap metal and replaced at a cost of around $2000 each. Blupoint is a recycled alternative to replacing bucket teeth every time they wear down. It is a fitting made from hardened steel that is welded to the worn tooth. The fitting lasts as long as a conventional replacement tooth and is at least 30% cheaper. Blupoint creates significant cost savings, as well as increasing local employment opportunities for welders, and helping the environment.
The New Inventors will be repeated on ABC2 – Friday, August 28 at 4:30pm