Student’s Inflatable Incubator Wins This Year’s James Dyson Award (Video)

James Dyson is a British inventor and industrial designer who made his mark (and his fortune) in the vacuum industry starting in the mid 1990s.

After making a considerable amount of wealth off of his vacuums, Dyson decided to set up a foundation dedicated to encouraging young scientists and inventors. Every year, the Dyson Foundation gives out an award to one lucky young inventor.

This year’s winner: Recent Loughborough University graduate James Robertsan who invented an inflatable incubator.

According to the Dyson Foundation’s website, the James Dyson Award is,

“…an international design award that celebrates, encourages and inspires the next generation of design engineers. The Award is open to current and recent design engineering students. It’s run by the James Dyson Foundation, James Dyson’s charitable trust, as part of its mission to inspire young people about design engineering.”

Roberts was excited to receive the honor, and with the £30,000 ($47,5000) cash prize he has vowed to continue to improve the design, which is still in prototype stages. His hope is to have his invention available for purchase by 2017.

Photo Credit: Irish Examiner

The product, which he calls “MOM”, is an inexpensive, electronically controlled, inflatable incubator designed to decrease the number of premature child deaths within refugee camps.

According to MOM’s website,

“Every year an estimated 150,000 child births occur within refugee camps. Of these child births, 27,500 will die due to lack of sufficient incubation.”

The inventor, James Roberts, was appalled when he learned these stats, and was motivated to create an incubator specifically designed for refugees. He began working on the “MOM” as part of his final year project, which focused on creating a cheap, portable incubator that could be used within a 3rd world setting, according to BBC.

The winning prototype incubator complies with British Incubator Standards and can be collapsed and stored easily. And with a manufacturing cost of just £250 (~$400), it’s only a fraction of the cost of equivalent incubators, which can cost up to £30,000 (~$47,600).

Check out the video below to learn more about the inflatable incubator.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfREby6pERU#t=29

 Read more at BBC here.

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