Today, it seems like the most innovative designs are being funded privately by wealthy individuals, leaving corporations lagging in the R&D department. From James Cameron’s announcement to explore Challenger Deep to a nautical balloon race to the moon, today’s pioneers are after fame, glory and, of course, prize money.
Not to be outdone by the likes of Richard Branson, James Dyson, creator of the Dyson Ball Vacuumand the Dyson Airblade Hand Dryer, recently sponsored the James Dyson Award, which aims to put simply: “design something that solves a problem”. One of the runners, SeaKettle, up and does just that.
The official James Dyson Award website tells us:
The SeaKettle is a life raft that combines safety, accessibility, and a desalination process. In an emergency at sea, you may not be able to obtain fresh drinking water before being forced to abandon ship. Passengers could easily die of thirst or from extreme temperatures before they are rescued or reach land. The SeaKettle solves these potential life threatening problems by providing both insulated, reliable shelter as well as fresh drinking water. The process, (see image 5), involves pumping sea water up to a Gortex covered reservoir, where the water is subject to evaporation. The evaporated water then hits the top canopy and condenses, filling the four pockets around the raft with fresh drinking water. The Gortex cover over the reservoir allows the vapor molecules to escape, but holds in the larger liquid molecules, preventing the pockets of fresh water from becoming contaminated by the sea water. This produces enough water for up to five passengers to stay sufficiently hydrated. Continue Reading…
And the winner of the James Dyson Award 2010 is….
Longreach Buoyancy Deployment
If true glory rests in winning awards, then the “LONGREACH Buoyancy Deployment System” has already achieved it’s prize. This is not another non-lethal anti-piracy weapon, it’s a lifesaving device more closely related to a traditional line thrower… that is if your line thrower launched hydrophobic or rapidly expanding foam.
This toy, dubbed the “MOB Cannon” here at gCaptain HQ, is equipped not only with the rapidly expanding foam bullets which, like the old Dinosaur Bath Toy Capsules, magically grow in water to become a PFD, it also comes with a high intensity strobe bullet and Para-Flare launch kit.
Here’s what Dyson says about the MOB cannon:
Inspiration – Every year hundreds of people are drowned in situations where rescue systems are present, but unable to reach the victim in a timely fashion. ‘Longreach’ is designed to accommodate a wide range of users from the beach and small fishing boats through to super tankers. It is a man-portable system that allows for the rapid conveyance of temporary, water-activated buoyancy devices to a victim’s location in a situation where other forms of rescue and safety devices would fail. It is designed to allow a victim to remain buoyant while rescue personnel prepare the appropriate response to the rescue situation.
Development – In the Development of the Life Ring, the projectile that is launched to the vicinity of the victim, a number of considerations needed to be made. The focus was on developing a method of inflation that was distinctly different and better than all those that have come before it. A foam based inflation presents the best possible balance between safety, ease of manufacture and cost. By using expanding foam as the core of the rescue package many problems typically associated with water-activated inflation are negated. Weight and cost are reduced while reliablity and puncture resistance are increased. Longreach is currently in the prototyping and testing phase and is due to start field trials with Surf Life Saving NSW (in Australia) in the coming months. See the links below for more information and Links to news story about the Longreach rescue system. Continue Reading…
While we question the real innovation here; floats have long been attached to line-throwers, we like the first class effort to develop new ideas for saving lives at sea. Our only hope is that our future rescuer does not have dead-accurate aim… Here’s the video showing off Dyson’s new toy: