Some of the smartest young people are coming up with some of the smartest inventions for a better tomorrow, and this year, the winner of the James Dyson Award will do that with a gadget made to help hospitals and premature birth.
Called the “MOM,” the gadget in question was developed by James Roberts, a graduate of Loughborough University in the United Kingdom with its inspiration coming from children in refugee camps.
A portable incubator, MOM will cost a little under $500 AUD to build and transport, and can be collapsed for easy transportation, running off a 24 hour battery, and heated using ceramic elements.
Furthermore, it is blown up manually, adding to the easy portability since it is soft and can deflate.
A small screen will be found on the unit showing temperature and humidity, with an alarm sounding if the environment changes dramatically, which can affect the subject inside, such as a baby born prematurely.
“I was inspired to tackle this problem after watching a documentary on the issue for premature babies in refugee camps,” said Roberts, adding that “it motivated me to use my design engineering skills to make a difference.”
Like many young inventors, there have been struggles along the way – I had to sell my car to fund my first prototype! The dream would be to meet a child that my incubator has saved – living proof that my design has made a difference.”
The concept has made Roberts the winner of this year’s James Dyson Award, joining a robotic arm from America in 2013, as well as Australia’s own Edward Linacre for a water collection mechanism for rural farmers.
“James’ invention shows the impact design engineering can have on people’s lives,” said Dyson’s James Dyson.
“The western world takes incubators for granted – we don’t think about how their inefficient design makes them unusable in developing countries and disaster zones. By bravely challenging convention, James has created something that could save thousands of lives.”
From here, the MOM Incubator will likely be researched, developed, and hopefully deployed to help it save lives in the field.