A buoyancy aid from Australia has won this year's James Dyson Award, which battled alongside 14 amazing finalists. Made from hydrophobic foam which expands in the water, the Longreach aid can be fired 150m out to sea to save lives.
The winner designer, 24-year-old Samuel Adeloju, has been awarded £10,000 ($16,300) for himself and another £10,000 for his engineering faculty at the university he graduated from in New South Wales.
Flares attached to the buoyancy aid would help the waterlogged person attract attention, and as the aid expands in the water to 40 times its size (in just 15 seconds!), it's compact enough to store in even the smallest cupboards aboard a boat. [James Dyson Award]
Buoyancy bazooka floats James Dyson Award's boat to win 2010 award
A buoyancy bazooka which could save thousands of lives in the UK has won this year's international James Dyson Award.
Longreach, chosen from a final shortlist of 15 by inventor James Dyson, shoots an emergency buoyancy aid up to 150 metres out to sea. It is made of hydrophobic foam which rapidly expands upon hitting the water to, equipped with flares for night-time illumination, Longreach allows the victim to remain buoyant for a longer period of time.
James Dyson said: "Longreach is a smart solution to a very real problem. A product's functionality couldn't be more important when it's used to save someone's life."
Each year around 100 people drown off the UK coast and more than 13,500 incidents occur due to swimmers been swept out by rip rides or currents.
Samuel Adeloju, 24, an industrial design graduate from Sydney, will receive a £10,000 cash prize. His engineering faculty at the University of New South Wales will also receive £10,000. Samuel will also have the chance to visit Dyson's research, design and development centre and learn more about its design process from Dyson engineers.
The inspiration for Longreach came from a military training session during Samuel's army reserve training, where weapons that propel grenades and flares were demonstrated.
Samuel said: "After learning about propulsion technology in grenade launchers, I had to find a chemical that would expand to forty times its size in just fifteen seconds upon hitting water. After four months of testing I found that hydrophobic foam worked and soon after the concept for Longreach was developed. Winning the James Dyson Award will give me the financial support to develop a prototype and carry on testing".
Samuel is already in talks with the Surf Life Saving Australia and Westpac Rescue – an aeromedical search and rescue service - to mass produce his invention.
The James Dyson Award is an international design award that celebrates, encourages and inspires the next generation of design engineers. It's run by the James Dyson Foundation, James Dyson's charitable trust, in 18 countries. Last year's winner, the Automist, a device that detects fires and put them out by aerosolising the water from a kitchen tap, is now on the market.
Please click here to see more information on Longreach.
The runners up
2nd place – Sea Kettle
Kimberley Hoffman, 29, from the Academy of Art University in California, designed the ‘Seakettle'. It uses natural sunlight to desalinate water in the emergency life raft.
Kimberley took inspiration from the stories of people who suffer from dehydration while being stranded at sea. She thought that with water all around, there should be a way to turn it into safe drinking water.
James Dyson says: "It is a very logical configuration which optimises the production of drinking water in a way which is easy for people to use".
Please click here to see more information about the Sea Kettle.
3rd place – Reax
Graduates from the University of Applied Sciences Northwestern in Switzerland, Lars Imhof, 26, and Marc Binder, 27, developed the Reax.
Cardiovascular disease is the most frequent cause of death with an incidence of nearly 50% of all victims. This fact motivated Lars and Marc to design Reax.
CPR is physically strenuous and requires the paramedics' full time attention. By the clever use of pneumatic muscle technology the ‘Reax' design is able to compress the entire chest at regular intervals, and therefore allows the paramedic to perform more tasks.
James Dyson says: "I was impressed by Lars and Marc's use of prototypes and rigs during the design process. Each iteration brought them one step closer to the final design. A worthwhile invention which Paramedics could find invaluable".