What’s in the water down under? This is the second year in a row an Aussie has won the James Dyson Award, with both designs also aiming to save lives — albeit in very different ways. This year’s winning product is Airdrop, a network of pipes that sucks water from the air and irrigates drought-stricken Australia with the condensation it needs to grow plants.
The Swinburne University of Technology student was selected from a talented shortlist of entries for the always-off-the-hook awards, and has won its designer £10,000 ($15,555) to develop his invention further, plus another $10,000 for his uni.
What I love most about the Airdrop is that Linacre studied the Namib beetle, specifically how it can survive in arid conditions by collecting the dew off its back. Using this research, the Airdrop device sucks water molecules from dry air, and then pumps them through underground pipes, cooling them in the process so they turn into condensation. From there, it’s pooled at the roots of the plants, thus ensuring the season’s planting wasn’t done in vain.