The Lemelson-MIT National Collegiate Student Prize Competition honors promising collegiate inventors around the country, undergraduate and graduate, who have inventions in either the categories of healthcare or consumer technology. Inventions can address issues in both developing and developed economies.
Undergraduate teams can win up to $10,000 and graduates can win up to $15,000. Applications are open for the 2015 year and are due by January 30, 2015.
The Touch of Genius Prize for Innovation is a $20,000 prize that recognizes software, apps, educational tools, or games that promote braille learning or braille-related hardware. The prize is offered through the National Braille Press and the Gibney Family Foundation, and attracts participants from around the world in fields such as education, technology, engineering, and general literacy.
Stay tuned to the National Braille Press website for details on the 2015 competition. Although applications have not yet been released, the deadline for registration is expected to be January 7, 2015.
Nineteen Johns Hopkins University undergraduates, most of them engineering students, make up the only undergraduate team that was selected to compete in the final round of Qualcomm’s Tricorder XPRIZE international competition. The team, called Aezon Health, first started competing in 2012 to develop consumer-friendly “tricorders,” reminiscent of a gadget used by Dr. Leonard McCoy in Star Trek, that can diagnose 15 different conditions from a patient’s vital signs. The device can weigh no more than five pounds.
Aezon’s device, according to JHU Engineering, can scan for illnesses like strep throat and urinary tract infections, and includes a smartphone app and cloud database to store test results for later use. The device could alleviate problems of access to basic healthcare screenings that many areas of the world suffer from.
Recently the University of Hawaii at Hilo hosted a robotics competition that put mining robots from seven universities on the slopes of Mauna Kea volcano. The Robotic International Space Mining Competition was the first of its kind, and was put on by the Pacific International Space Center for Exploration System (PISCES).
Google is offering $1 million to anyone who can take a power inverter — a device used to convert energy that comes from solar, electric vehicles, and wind — and shrink it to 1/10th its normal size. Such devices are normally the size of a picnic basket, according to Google’s blog.
It’s called the Little Box Challenge, and it’s being offered in partnership with IEEE. According to the blog, “A smaller inverter could help create low-cost microgrids in remote parts of the world. Or allow you to keep the lights on during a blackout via your electric car’s battery. Or enable advances we haven’t even thought of yet.” The challenge requires teams to register by September 30, 2014 in order to submit a technical approach and application by July of next year. The grand prize winner won’t be announced until 2016.