The New Inventors

The New Inventors Grand Final prize for the best invention of the year has been awarded to farmer and inventor Edward Evans (second from left) from NSW, for his SwingGate, designed to minimise the risk of injury when cattle charge a gate within the confined space of a cattle yard.

The Swing Gate is a cattle gate with a hinge that allows a struck gate to bend, preventing operators from being struck by the full force of the impact.

The Les Is More Award, which honours inventors who create something to help others or the environment, was presented to Michael O’Brien for his low-cost, battery operated surgical light for developing nations.

The portable LED Surgical light produces the sufficient amount of lumens to perform surgery. The lamp addresses all the other product requirements for a surgical lighting including adjustable optics, sterilization, adjustability and colour temperature of the light.

The Bright Spark Award was won by Liam Scott and Matthew O’Malley for their Space Saver Spacer, a portable and collapsible large volume asthma spacer that saves about 80% of the room taken up by an equivalent spacer. The boys are part of Team BaCoN, a team of seven high school students from Adelaide who came up with the idea. The Space Saver Spacer allows asthma sufferers to carry their spacer with them at all times in their pocket or handbag, and is made of medical grade silicone whose decreased static properties will improve dosage consistency, is easy to wash and is also durable.

James O’Loghlin presented the show, whilst Chris Russell, Bernie Hobbs and Sally Dominguez made up the Grand Final judging panel. They were joined by the remaining judges for the final decision of who would win the title 2011.

8:00pm – Wednesday, August 17 on ABC1

Hosted by James O’Loghlin, The New Inventors presents the Season 8 Grand Final. For the past eight years, The New Inventors has launched the best and brightest new inventions from across the country, and this year has been no exception. From hundreds of applications we now have a select group in contention to be The New Inventors ‘Invention of the Year’. Our panel of expert judges have the unenviable task of whittling these winners down to a final three that will compete in our Grand Final for this prestigious prize.

Measuring the winners against six criteria – originality, need, design, safety, manufacture and pricing, and market – only the best of the best will make it through.

In addition to ‘Invention of the Year’, two more special prizes will be presented – the Bright Spark award for the best inventor under 18 years of age, and the Les is More award in honour of the late judge Les Miller, for inventions created for the benefit of society or the environment.

The inventions selected for The New Inventors Grand Final represent the cutting edge of innovation, design, and scientific advancement in Australia.

Join us as we celebrate the best of the best of Australian invention.

8:00pm – Wednesday, August 10 on ABC1

Wednesday,10 August 2011 Hosted by James O’Loghlin, The New Inventors is delving into the world of delicacies and degustation, cooking up a storm in the kitchen with three inventions for the future of food. Deciding the winner of these three inventions are: designer Alison Page, engineer James Bradfield Moody, and restaurant reviewer Matthew Evans. Inventions featured on the program: OYSTER SHUCKER HOLDER – by inventor Ian Scott from SA Closed oysters are fresher, cheaper, and keep longer. Unfortunately, opening them is no simple task. Two days into a sailing cruise last year, retired engineer Ian Scott saw a friend cut his finger so badly while opening an oyster that they considered returning to the mainland for treatment. Retired or not, the lifelong engineer became determined to find a solution.

The Oyster Shucker Holder allows people to open oysters safely and easily. The stainless steel hand guard protects the user from cutting themselves on the knife or oyster shell. A dozen oysters can be opened in less than 5 minutes when using the invention. The device is made of non-absorbing materials to protect users from notorious oyster bacteria.

EASYJUST – by inventor Trevor Murray from QLD Trevor Murray had gone through nine lives’ worth of careers before realising his true calling as an inventor.

Having tried boat building, wood turning, picture framing, printing, and finally design, he’s picked up some skills along the way. One day as Trevor was sitting at a cafe table in Caloundra, he became increasingly frustrated by the never ending irritant of the wobbly cafe table. Suddenly a design project started forming in his mind that would set him on the path to becoming an inventor.

Easyjust is a cafe table that can be easily adjusted by the cafe patrons themselves, from the comfort of their own seat. It looks like a standard cafe table, but inside the central column there is a rod that can be controlled by a small winder in the centre of the table top. The controls allow you to raise or lower the central rod, which in turn controls a pivot in one of the table legs, so you can adjust one leg until it stabilises the base.

VACUUM BIN – by inventor Thomas Pyrzakowski from SA There’s nothing like treating yourself to a great coffee in your favourite cafe. But the carefully crafted hipster ambience can so easily be ruined by the clanging noise of baristas banging their tools against the knockout bin every time they make a cup of coffee. Twenty-two-year-old Thomas Pyrzakowski decided to tackle this problem as his final year industrial design project.

The Vacuum Bin takes the noise out of the knockout bin in which baristas discard used coffee. The Vacuum Bin uses a small foot pump to pull the air away from the top unit, applying suction and removing all the used coffee beans in one large clump, eliminating noise and minimising the stress on baristas’ wrists.

8:00pm – Wednesday, August 3 on ABC1

Wednesday,3 August 2011 Hosted by James O’Loghlin, The New Inventors heads out into the great outdoors with three inventions for sport in both the sun and snow. Inventions featured on the program: SHUCATI – by inventor Samuel Shumack from NSW While over a million Australians enjoy waterskiing, many people don’t get the opportunity to try, even if they’d like to. Waterskiing requires coordination, fitness, and strength, and many people who are older, beginners, or have a disability, are not able to take part. Sam Shumack is in his first year of engineering at UTS, and wanted to find a way to make waterskiing more accessible for everyone, regardless of their fitness.

ShuCati is a water bike alternative for waterskiing. The seat sits high so it’s really easy to climb aboard. The handlebars are level with the height of the seat so when the operator is riding they will be sitting back but leaning forward. This means that the handlebars will be raised to a position similar to a motorbike, which is much easier to handle.

SKI ATTACHMENT – by inventor Gino Campagnaro from NSW As an engineer, 81-year-old Gino Campagnaro is always thinking of new ways of doing things. He still enjoys skiing regularly, and when he gets the chance he skis with his granddaughter. The problem is people wear themselves out carrying skis to the slopes, especially kids and older skiers. 50 years ago Gino was travelling in the Australian bush and came up with an idea to attach wheels to his suitcase, at a time when this was not a feature of people’s luggage. While he missed his chance to formally lay claim to that invention, he’s now done the equivalent for skiing.

The Ski Attachment puts wheels on your skis so you can easily transport them between the ski slopes and the car park. They have been designed to enable the skier to comfortably wheel their skis with one hand. There is a different kind of wheel on each ski so that it can be used on both hard surfaces, such as a road or car park, as well as on snow and ice.

FiberFlex – by inventor Hayden Cox from NSW Hayden has been making surfboards since he was a 15-year-old work experience shaper in a surfboard factory.

He’s spent enough years learning the craft that he’s figured out how to reshape the surfboard into a new design altogether.

FibreFlex creates a surfboard that is lighter and more durable. It gives your board a longer life-span and most importantly a faster flex pattern. This enables a surfer to reach their top end speed more easily and makes it easier to move around on the wave. The boards are made of foam, but they use a parabolic carbon fibre frame that hugs the rail of the board and its epoxy laminate. The result is a stronger, faster, more responsive board.

Mark Pesce has fuelled speculation that The New Inventors may hev been axed by ABC after posting on Twitter last night.

Pesce tweeted: “It has been seven wonderful years. Hundreds of shows. Great working with the ABC and with all the fantastic #newinventors inventors.”

“Eight years is a fantastic run for a TV series. I was on for seven of them. I seriously never thought I’d have a TV career.”

“How many TV shows run 8 series? Only a handful. We had a great ride.”

ABC last night confirmed to TV Tonight that the current season of the series will finish mid-August but there has been no decision on its future.

Source: TV Tonight

8:00pm – Wednesday, July 27 on ABC1

Wednesday,27 July 2011 Hosted by James O’Loghlin, The New Inventors is mining invention gold with three amazing innovations to help maintain the mining boom. Inventions featured on the program: WORK AREA MONITOR – by inventors Lachlan Campbell and Pat Bellett from QLD Mine walls can suddenly shift without warning, bringing down tonnes of rock and dirt. We’ve seen the terrible consequences of mine collapses all over the world. Radars that measure rock movement are too far away from the mine to give immediate warnings to those working inside. Following a collapse, mines often close for 24 hours, longer if there is an injury or fatality. Apart from the human cost, down time can cost many millions of dollars.

The Work Area Monitor (WAM) alerts work crew when wall movement is detected above the work areas in an open cut mine, to keep mining crews and equipment safe. The invention uses radar technology to detect rock movement on a surface or mine wall. You simply drive up to the site, deploy the automatic stabiliser legs by remote control and start the computer. If the radar detects any rock movement it sends an alert to evacuate to a device worn by each miner. WAM also increases productivity, allowing safer mining in otherwise unsafe areas.

SMART CAP – by inventor Daniel Bongers from QLD Fatigue is a big risk factor for any work that requires long periods of driving. When people are in charge of heavy vehicles you need to know that they are alert, for their own safety as well as others. Much of the technology currently used to determine driver fatigue relies on taking video images of the eyes and checking for excessive blinking or length of time the eyes are closed. But this can be misleading in many situations, such as when there is excessive dust making the eyes irritated, or light glare.

The Smart Cap is a driver fatigue alert system built into a regular baseball cap. The invention works by measuring brain waves and sending this information from the cap to a dashboard touch screen, as well as back to base. The system provides constantly updated information for the driver and their supervisor on the driver’s level of drowsiness.

SAFETY IDLER ASSEMBLY – by inventor Les Dunn from QLD Shutting off conveyor belts at a mine for an hour can cost up to a million dollars in down time. Les Dunn has been working in the mining industry for over 30 years as a mechanic for conveyors. But after many years of fixing problems with rollers on conveyor systems, he finally decided it was time to build a better system to be easier, safer and more accessible.

The Safety Idler Assembly is a redesigned frame and roller system for mine conveyor belts. The frame is designed to drop away from the belt, so you can change a roller without stopping the belt, and there is no need to lift the belt from the rollers. It also employs a system of interlocked ‘cassettes’, the part that holds the rollers, which allow maintenance crews to change all rollers quickly and efficiently from one side of the conveyor.

8:00pm – Wednesday, July 20 on ABC1

Wednesday,20 July 2011 Hosted by James O’Loghlin, The New Inventors is going rural with three great inventions to help farmers keep their animals safe and put food on our plates. Deciding the winner of these three inventions are: agricultural scientist Chris Russell, materials engineer Veena Sahajwalla, and Landline presenter and farmer Tim Lee.

Inventions featured on the program: HARRINGTON SEED DESTRUCTOR – by inventor Ray Harrington from WA Weeds are the biggest interference for annual crop production systems worldwide, costing farmers in Australia more than $200 million a year through reduced yields. Several dominant weed species have become resistant to previously effective herbicides, causing farmers to come up with new strategies such as collecting weed seeds during harvest with chaff carts. But the problem with chaff carts is that seeds blow out the top and have to be disposed of by fire, which can be both dangerous and time-consuming.

Ray Harrington has been a farmer for nearly 50 years. His invention consists of a cagemill with its own power source mounted on a trailer towed by a header, complete with chaff and straw delivery systems. During the harvest operation it will process the chaff fraction exiting the harvester rendering any weed seeds present non-viable.

TWO WHEEL TRACTOR SEED DRILL – by inventor Ronald Esdaile from NSW Two wheeled tractors, where a farmer pushes and guides the two wheeled vehicle, are very common in the developing world as a cheaper alternative to standard tractors. Seed drills are a tractor attachment that can greatly increase a farmer’s yield and are commonly used in the developed world. Such technology would be of great use to poorer farmers, but there is currently no way for them to access it.

The Two Wheel Tractor Seed Drill is the first seed drill that can attach to the two wheeled tractors commonly used in the developing world. It can sow crops, and apply fertiliser into soils that have not been tilled and have been prepared using conservation farming methods. This technology could greatly increase the yield of the world’s poorest farmers.

HORSE FACE VEIL – by inventor Kirsten Milic from QLD Sunburn and rain scald on horses’ faces is a big problem in our harsh Australian climate. It is becoming increasingly common for horses to be deliberately bred with whiter markings on their faces and pink skin. Sunburns on horses blister and form into scabs which can lead to infection. This can be very uncomfortable for the horses, especially when needing to ride and putting on bridles.

The Horse Face Veil protects a horse’s muzzle, eyes, and blaze areas, which are those most susceptible to sunburn, so that they don’t get burnt or scalded by rain. It covers the front of the horse’s face to fully protect them whilst using as little material as possible to decrease sweating. Unlike a fly protector, it leave the eyes uncovered so horses are able to see better.

8:00pm – Wednesday, July 13 on ABC1

Hosted by James O’Loghlin, The New Inventors is getting technical as we explore the way technology turns simple things into wonderfully advanced systems. Deciding the winner of these three inventions are: futurist & author Mark Pesce, designer and inventor Sally Dominguez, and Good Game presenter Steven (Bajo) O’Donnell.

Inventions featured on the program: !NSTRUMENTOOL MAGNETIC CALIPER – by inventor Joel Sheard from WA Violin making is a highly specialised craft, and being able to measure the thickness of the wood is important when making or examining the instrument. However, the only tools available for measuring violins are either much too expensive or inaccurate. The only other option is to disassemble the instrument, and very few violin owners want to do that.

Joel Sheard is a young violin maker, and rather than suffer exorbitant costs or inaccuracies he made his own tool that does the same job cheaply and easily. The !nstrumenTool Magnetic Caliper is a new digital thickness gauge designed for measuring wooden plates in violin family instruments and guitars. It can measure the thickness of nearly any thin material to the nearest 0.1mm with complete accuracy.

SECUREMAT – by inventor Dean Vey from ACT No matter how much we progress technologically as a society, we will always be plagued by the existence of people trying to steal our stuff, especially our expensive techie stuff. Alarm systems for both homes and businesses can be terribly expensive, and most of the time they get it wrong. False alarms are also a serious problem that cause police a lot of grief, with some studies estimating that between 94 and 98% of alarm calls are false.

The SecureMat is a new and innovative approach to protecting the perimeter of restricted premises and expensive equipment that needs to be stored onsite. The concept involves placing a mat on the ground inside a perimeter fence that can detect any intruder standing, walking or running across the protected area. The system incorporates fibre-optic technology with sophisticated signal analysis that dramatically reduces false alarms.

AISS – by inventors Allan Hahn from ACT and Richard Helmer from VIC Although historically among the most popular of sports, today people are more conscious of the health implications of boxing. The scoring of boxing has also been the subject of much debate, with a panel of judges making decisions about very quick events involving large sums of prize money.

The Automatic Impact Sensing System (AISS) integrates a network of sensors on the athlete’s head, body and hands. Using a Bluetooth network, physical contacts are monitored in near real-time on a remote computer to determine legal hits. It is hoped that this system can reduce the need for full contact contests as well as provide a more reliable method of determining the outcome of a bout.

8:00pm – Wednesday, July 6 on ABC1

Hosted by James O’Loghlin, The New Inventors is delving into the daring, delightful and dazzling world of design. Deciding the winner of these three inventions are: designer and inventor Sally Dominguez, materials engineer Veena Sahajwalla, and Design Institute of Australia President Oliver Kratzer.

Inventions featured on the program: ERGONOMIC ORCHESTRA HARP – by inventor Hugh Jones from NSW Orchestra harps are beautiful instruments, so it is easy to forget how awkward and uncomfortable they can be to play. The geometry of the harp was adjusted hundreds of years ago to accommodate pedals that allow players to change key, but the changed design forced players into a position that is uncomfortable, affecting their ability to play difficult music. A typical orchestra harp weighs around 36kg, is approximately 1.8m high, and has a depth of 1.2m- a difficult stretch by anyone’s standards.

Hugh Jones is one of 12 makers of pedal harps worldwide, and has taken his designs one step further by reworking the pedal harp into an ergonomic instrument. By curving the soundboard and allowing the pedals to be arrayed the way a player’s feet move, the Ergonomic Orchestra Harp allows players comfortable access to this classical instrument.

A NEW ANGLE – by inventor Nick Galli from NSW Snowboarding is the cause of so many injuries it is considered an extreme sport. With jumps and rails becoming more popular and challenging, the risk of serious spinal injuries escalates with potentially devastating consequences. To prevent such terrible injuries, there needs to be a solution that can become as readily available as helmets.

A New Angle is a protective spinal armour that could prevent major injuries when snowboarding. The unique design locks into place on impact, preventing hyper extension of the spine. The armour has been carefully designed to protect the snowboarder’s spine without compromising their ability to use the full range of movement while out on the slopes.

HIPDISK – by inventor Danielle Wilde from VIC The hipDisk is a wearable system that turns the human body into an instrument. By placing the hip and torso in extreme opposition the wearer can trigger tones and create simple tunes or melodies. Two disks attach to the wearer’s body, one above the waist and one below, while twelve custom-made soft contact switches that represent the notes on a chromatic scale are spread around the inner face of the disks. By the inventor’s own admission it is quite possibly ‘the most undignified musical instrument’ ever created.

hipDisk was designed to inspire people to swing their hips and explore and extend the full range of movement available to them through a simultaneous, interdependent exploration of sound. The resulting body instrument interconnects choreography and musical composition seamlessly, to the joy of the wearer.

8:00pm – Wednesday, June 29 on ABC1

Hosted by James O’Loghlin, The New Inventors is having a night at home, presenting great inventions to make our domestic lives better and brighter. Deciding the winner of these three inventions are agricultural scientist Chris Russell, materials engineer Veena Sahajwalla, and journalist and author Juanita Phillips. Inventions featured on the program: SOLID INFINITY SYSTEM – by inventors Trevor and Nicolle Drake from NSW Trevor and Nicolle Drake have been married since 1983 and run an interior design business together. Ten years ago they bought their young son his first surfboard. The new hobby rapidly became a passion and the number of surfboards grew, creating a significant storage issue. Trevor and Nicolle knew they had the expertise to solve the problem, so they designed a set of wall-mounted racks that could store multiple surfboards. Since then the design has undergone 70 evolutions to become the Solid Infinity System.

Solid Infinity System is an internal wall cladding that allows things to be mounted on your wall. A section of perforated light-weight polymer sheet is screwed to the existing wall or ceiling structure. The sheet spreads the load so that no reinforcement is needed behind the existing wall. The system can be installed by anyone and is weight tested to 200 kilograms.

CLOTHESLINE COVER – by inventors Amber Holmes and James Turner from NSW We’ve all had that moment. You’re out enjoying the day, when it starts pouring with rain and you realise you’ve left a load of washing on the line. It’s a problem that has plagued us all for generations, but it took four students from Toormina High School near Coffs Harbour to find a solution, and they’ve just been awarded for their efforts by winning the Young Inventors Solar Challenge.

The Clothesline Cover uses a folding clothes-line attached to the wall of your house. If it starts to rain a moisture detector activates a roll out awning which covers the clothes line so that your washing doesn’t get wet. The motor of the awning is powered by batteries which are charged by a solar panel, so the young students are keeping your clothes dry while keeping the planet cool.

JOEYCAN – by inventors Denis and Lyndon Treacy from VIC Many showers run cold water for a long time before they finally start heating up, and in a country as droughtprone as Australia it’s water we cannot afford to waste. A bucket is an ugly and inefficient solution, and Denis wanted to solve the problem properly, so he teamed up with his son Lyndon, an industrial designer now based in New York, and together they invented the Joeycan.

The Joeycan is a combination of a bucket and watering can. In the shower it lies flat, with a strategically placed hole near the top, and front ridges that reduce water bounce-off. When full, the container is turned upright, where a spout along the side allows the device to be used as a watering can for the garden. Its volume of 6 litres gives it a maximum weight of 6 kilograms, making it lighter and therefore safer for people of all ages to use it.