2008-09 Winners

Winners

Christopher LoBello (1st Place) — Thermoelectric Alternator

Winning idea: Capture the waste-heat from an automobile’s exhaust, pass it through thermoelectric devices that turn heat into electricity, use the electricity to power the car’s radio, phone charger, and other peripherals.

Benjamin Kanner (2nd Place) — Magnetic Flexible Bridge

Winning idea: Use the repelling force of giant magnets to hold a bridge together. The magnets are attached to pillars at the ends of hinged segments that form a convex-arch bridge.

Michael Hailemariam (3rd Place tied) — Bio-Chill

Winning idea: Take advantage of the chemical properties of DNA to cool electronic devices such as laptops. DNA can be engineered to lose its chemical structure at a selected temperature. As it unwinds, it absorbs heat. Bio-Chill would store DNA designed to lose its double helix at the core temperature in the thermal management system of an electronic device to cool the device’s surface.

Theresa Luback and Raymond Ye’s (3rd Place tied) — DormStop.com

Winning idea: Develop an e-commerce website targeted to college students entering their first year of dorm life where they can buy approved dorm gear.

Finalists

A Buyer’s Network and Community - Chen-Han Ho

How’s your experience of shopping online? Good? Not satisfied? Troublesome?  Now, would it not be great for sellers come to you and say ‘please buy our product’? If it’s not appealing enough to you, how about sitting and watching sellers compete with each other by lowering their price just to win your deal?

The concept is a “reverse eBay”. In here, you just post a demand for a product or service and the price range you expected, and then sellers or service providers would compete providing the lowest price to win your deal.

With money tight, customers would love this idea, because this idea would let them save their dollars and time. Especially when the economy is worsening, sellers and retailers would desperately look for someone to sell their products.

BIO-CHILL - Michael Hailemariam

Computers from personal use or logic controllers in industrial process contain electronic devices generating a large amount of heat that must be dissipated for adequate functioning and long term reliability. Traditional electronic cooling components including heat sinks, and fans, use forced convective air cooling that can’t handle heat generation rates projected for some of the next generation computing devices.

The Bio-Chiller dissipates a damaging thermal energy from electronic devices using the unique properties of DNA stored in a thin layer of suitable aqueous solution. DNA can be synthesized to dehybridize (lose its double helix structure) at a given temperature, where it absorbs the heat from the device. This unique structure will hybridize back at a lower temperature, dissipating the heat to the cooler environment. The thermal management setup will allow for a cyclic formation of temperature and concentration gradient within the solution, which recycles the warm (dehybrdized) DNA to the cool area and the cool (hybridized) DNA to the hot part of the electronic devices. This will effectively remove heat from electronic devices efficiently at a safe operating temperature with high reliability.

Cell Phone w/ Printing and USB Capabilities - Mehul Arora & Lekha Rao

Recently, we have experienced a splurge of new models of mobile phones demonstrating tremendous technological advancements and high end multimedia capabilities. At the same time, research shows that in this digital age, more than ever, people still have a deep-rooted need to see, feel, mark, share or use their digital images or information in a physical form.

With Kodak putting forth estimates that between 25 and 68 million pictures will be captured with camera phones this year, the potential market for instant printing of photos captured by phones is vast and largely untapped.

The proposed idea is designed to take the mobile phone evolution to the next step by incorporating a mini color printer and a USB port, which will provide thumb drive compatibility, in the body of the phone- PRInter equipped MObile phone (PriMo). The thumb drive compatibility will be for the standard thumb drives available in the market, without the need of any adapter.

The social impact of this PRInter equipped MObile phone (PriMo) can be termed as providing flexibility and convenience of its users.

DormStop.com - Theresa Luback & Raymond Ye

Choosing a college and a major will undoubtedly be one of the major turning points in anyone’s life time. Stress will be piling sky-high as the start date to fall semester draws closer and one of the unnecessary worries for parents and students will be thinking about what to bring to college. Imagine if you could come to college with just a bag of your personal items. Imagine if your major items could be chosen with just a click and be shipped right to your college room. All these could be done with  DORMSTOP.com, a one stop solution where college students could furnish their dorm rooms with just a click. By partnering with a large department store chain, the prices would be discounted as shipping and ordering would be done in bulk numbers during move-in days. A 3D version of the room will be available for students to “roam” and “design” and see how decorations such as posters, bed sheets and comforters will look. Moving into college would never be easier and more convenient.

Eco Monitoring Card - Srinivas Gogineni

Stricter regulations and a greater public awareness of biological weapons and environmental issues have necessitated the need to monitor wider range of analytes in air, water and soil, and to do so with greater frequency and accuracy. A significant limitation to this approach, however, is that sampling and laboratory analysis of contaminated environmental and biological samples, can be slow and expensive; thus, limiting the number of samples that can be analyzed within time and budget constraints.

In such a case a new technology is needed where indicator compounds can be identified, faster; reduce uncertainties and be more cost-effective. One of such approaches is Biosensor technology.  This novel Biosensor design is made to remove some of the obstacles which include low-cost, portability, sensitivity, selectivity, stability and ease of operation.

FlexPad - Kyle Hicks

Now imagine a classroom with a FlexPad: Students spread out wherever they feel comfortable. The board can be seen from every seat in the room- information is sent wirelessly from the whiteboard to each student’s portable device. The teacher presses a button from his computer, and the corrected homework is distributed to each student in a matter of seconds. The homework is completed, sent and received (once corrected)- all on the FlexPads. Once the lesson begins, the professor’s words and diagrams are beamed wirelessly to each student in real-time. Handwriting recognition software turns his scribbles into legible writing. Diagrams are sent to the FlexPad, where the student can make notes, annotations and comments directly over the image. The teacher can ask questions to students, and have them answer by writing on their pads, which will be sent up and displayed on the digital whiteboard. At the end of the class, the professor transmits the handout and next week’s homework with the touch of a button, all without wasting a single sheet of paper. After class, the students send their personal annotations about the lesson to each other- just in case someone missed an important concept.

Green Shower - Andres Donoso              

How often do people take showers? Daily. How much water is wasted in trying to heat up the shower to just the right temperature? Thousands of gallons a year. The World Bank reports that 80 countries now have water shortages that threaten health and economies while 40 percent of the world — more than 2 billion people — have no access to clean water or sanitation. There is so much water that is wasted in just getting our shower ready during a time where water should be valued at a much higher rate than it currently is. Not to mention the amount of water used in the middle of a shower that goes straight to the drain. This invention is a programmable shower head that can record anywhere from 1 to 5 water temperature preferences and automatically supply the user with water of his/her own preference without the waste.

Interactive Cable TV - Cagdas Bilen

This project presents an advertising framework named Adaptive Advertising System (ADS) for cable TV which enables cable TV companies to provide advertisements within their services. The system picks the ads relevant to the viewed content, and displays them in the way most suited to the displayed TV program. The system can also be applied to services such as on demand TV or pay-per-view TV.

The proposed system can be offered to the cable TV customers in return for a discount for their cable bill, therefore helping both cable TV companies increase profits and customers reduce their costs increasing customer satisfaction. The increased profits of cable TV companies can also help them improve the quality of their networks providing a better cable TV experience in time.

Magnetic Flexible Bridge - Benjamin Kanner       

This submission entails an invention that is a novel structural design for a bridge. The new bridge design is lighter, cheaper, and flexible, when compared to conventional bridge designs, while still retaining strength and durability. The Flexible Bridge is comprised of many segments. Together these segments form the aggregate shape of a convex arch. Each segment mainly consists of three components.  The first component is a flat rectangular shaped surface on which vehicles drive on. The second component is a freely rotating hinge, which is the only physical connection between one segment and its neighboring segment. This hinge is located towards the bottom edge of both ends of the segment. The third component is two tall towers, one placed at either end of the segment.

Portable Translator - Azam Bacchus, Edward Cercado, & Eshwar Persaud

What if you want to understand another language?  An earpiece can be modified in such a way that a portable translator can be used to convert any language one speaks to another that one understands.  When someone hears a foreign language, the earpiece can be used to convert the words spoken into a language one can understand without the need of a live translator.   This device is a breakthrough innovation in the field of modern day communicating that can bring people of different cultures to understand one another. The portable translator takes in audio and converts it to the desired language to the listener’s discretion. The portable translator could break the language barrier, making communication more proficient. 

Relybel.com - Shammi Raj Balla         

Relybel (pronounced as 'reliable') is a web portal that would provide a very effective yet simple solution to facilitate the user to store all his/her financial information online using a simple user-friendly interface where an ordinary person can do all their personal accounting, store confidential financial data and finance management with utmost reliability. The user will be also able to declare nominee(s), to whom this information will be forwarded to in case they do not access their account for a user-determined period of time.

Room Navigator - Venkata Nallanthighal  

Countries like United States and cities like New York are flooded with great number of huge buildings. Locating a room often require guards help in one such building and is not that easy. The Room Navigator provides a solution to that challenge. The present idea delivers a navigation system to direct a person to the desired room in a building using Room Navigator. The Room Navigator is software application and display device that assists a person to find a room in a building. It provides directions, both diagrammatically and in a step-by step written format.

Thermoelectric Alternator - Christopher Lobello

Electrical demands are ever increasing as we move into the future. As Americans spend more time in their vehicles with their many electronic gadgets, energy needs in vehicles increases. Normally this electricity is produced by an alternator in the car that is driven by the motor. I propose a better solution, collecting the waste heat from the engine to create electricity.

There are devices called thermoelectric elements, which can take advantage of temperature differences and use it to produce electricity. By connecting these thermoelectric elements to the engine exhaust a large temperature difference can be found across the thermoelectric elements, causing them to produce electricity. This is done without moving parts while decreasing strain on the engine. The usage of this technology will help simplify engine construction by requiring less moving parts, thus making  it more reliable.

Thermoelectric Automobile System - Stanislav Palatnik

In 1994, U.S. residential vehicles traveled 1,793 billion miles a distance equal to more than 70 million trips around the world. Each mile, the automobile generates huge amounts of energy in the form of heat. In the current era of hyped energy awareness, it is astonishing to know how much energy a regular automobile wastes. Thermoelectric Automobile System (TAS) will convert this wasted heat into usable energy, even when the car is turned off. By capturing this heat, using principles of thermodynamics, it can convert this heat to power. This could add 2-4 miles per 30-40 miles traveled to a hybrid car’s mileage, and 1-2 miles for an ordinary automobile. It’s a self sustaining system that uses the electricity generated to power itself.

WOCORA (World College Radio) - Shammi Raj Balla

WOCORA is an online audio pedagogy. It’s an audio encyclopedia for any educational related information from any corner of the world. Any person can request any educational information from their computer, laptop, smart phones and listen to the audio in the desired language. Internet and satellite radios are getting more popular every day . However, there is no search and play application available.  WOCORA will make audio podcast and other user friendly features available. Traditional and modern education emphasizes on exchange and sharing of knowledge and such an effort through a radio can be easily globalized. Professors and researchers would go live and lecture and talk about their research and be able to invite students from colleges around the world to work with them.