Young inventors vie for top design award

Story highlights

  • International shortlist announced for the James Dyson Award
  • Twenty inventions from 18 countries currently vying for first prize of £10,000
  • Overall winner will be announced on November 8
The tension is mounting for some of the world's most inventive young minds as this year's James Dyson Award reaches its climax.
Judges recently chose their international shortlist of 20 inventions -- 15 of which will go forward to this year's final and the chance to scoop the £10,000 ($15,500) first prize.
The competition, which is open to students and recent graduates in participating (currently 18) countries, has attracted over 500 entries this year, says the UK company.
From "Airdrop Irrigation" -- a condensation-producing device which waters plant roots in arid areas -- to a prosthetic arm controlled by brainwaves called "AMO Arm," the shortlist showcases a range of novel responses to the competition brief: "Design something that solves a problem."
Medical designs feature prominently. A massage machine which uses PVC bags and infrared heat pads aims to soothe the pain of arthritis sufferers, while the "MediMover" helps transfer hospital patients safely from their beds to trolleys or surgical tables.
Another, the "Rabbit Ray," explains medical procedures to children by demonstrative play.
Other entries include an energy-saving flywheel from Germany which powers kitchen appliances, space-saving furniture from Japan and a design called the "Ecoclean," which its Spanish inventor says improves floor hygiene.
British inventor James Dyson is best known for creating the bag-free vacuum cleaner and recently launched a new fan heater called the "Dyson Hot" which uses the same blade-free technology found in his "Air Multiplier" fan.
A full shortlist can be found here. The overall winner will be announced on November 8.