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New Inventors -

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(generated from captions) This program is not subtitled THEME MUSIC on The New Inventors JAMES O'LOGHLIN: Tonight into a fish tank, a way of turning your computer hospital patients up and walking, something that'll get more

and Lego for grown-ups. APPLAUSE Thank you. Thank you very much. Hello. I'm James O'Loghlin. Hello and welcome. but first our judges. To the inventions in a moment, is an agricultural scientist On our panel tonight who once exercised racehorse Think Big, Chris Russell. the dual Melbourne Cup-winning a '70s cover band, Sally Dominguez. Designer and former singer in also writing an opera, Mark Pesce. And a futurist and author who's Thank you for coming in. Welcome, all. APPLAUSE is relaxing. Oh, it is. You know, looking at fish and it just chills you right out. You can do it for hours is not relaxing at all - Working, on the other hand, it's stressful, it's hard. work at computers, A lot of people these days and our first invention to help them all relax. could be a way of using fish Working in an office all day

disconnected from living things can make you feel I spend enough time with Wanda. and, personally, I don't feel like of seeing her all the time. So I've come up with a way Senti is a unique web-cam design to your fish tank at home which grips directly of your aquatic friends. for live streaming Using a colour digital camera high-resolution video of your fish Senti broadcasts onto your office screen saver. The design is based on a starfish. with suction cups and a head, It has five plastic legs which contains an adjustable camera. depending on the temperature, Its outer coating changes colour bringing it to life. So if you work with cyberspace

your own special cyberplace. Senti can help make Please, welcome from Sydney Sam Choy. APPLAUSE Hi. Not bad. Sammy, how are you? Thank you. Nice to see you. a lot of research into this. Now, you've actually done Yeah, six months. the fish on your computer it'll... And you reckon that if you have It'll relax you. on a nursing home There was a study done a fish tank on a screen and they found that watching as watching a real aquarium. was as relaxing Let's have a look at... you can see your camera. Now, over...round here suction points on it and it sticks. And it's got five little

And the camera's in there, right? if we have a look at this one, You can see, and the camera is in there. it sticks on And you turn it on. So when you look through the camera, going in front of the lens, what you see is the fish on your computer, and you can probably even see me wouldn't be very relaxing. which probably you get a lovely screen-saver effect But without me that is on the computer.

Isn't it lovely? Can anyone see me? There we are. Oh, I feel like going to sleep. And the bubbles and stuff. because we can't go to sleep Come across and sit down the show and it's so exciting! because we've only just started Now, Chris, what do you think? I have about this Well, the first question cam and just point it at the tank, is if you could get an ordinary web which obviously you could do, onto the glass like you're doing? what's the advantage of sticking it as close-up a view SAM: You don't get and it would have a fish-eye lens aquarium so you can capture more. so you'd get a broader view of the fish, and some have cost a fortune. CHRIS: I've had, you know, tropical SAM: Yeah, they do. whether they're gonna die CHRIS: And you're always worrying or the pH is right. because the heat's too much pointed at the temperature gauge I'd have mine I wasn't losing my fish. to make sure with the temperature. SAM: It changes colour of knowing that remotely? CHRIS: OK, is there any way I chose it to change temperature SAM: No, the reason why were frustrated with aquariums, is my research showed that people they wanted to tap on the glass. coming through Also, with the industrial revolution that cows give us milk? who would have thought being an agriculturalist, but... I mean, maybe you knew that, to find out. CHRIS: Took me five years and eggs come from chickens SAM: Cows give us milk and things. and horses used to pull carts and we don't know about the other... But now we go to the office and you're trying to connect us! We're disconnected from nature the only people on this planet. Completely! We're not the tank and make it waterproof? CHRIS: Why not drop the camera into Would that be possible? make it waterproof, yes. SAM: You can "If it's gonna be waterproof I had a look at that and I thought, specifications as dental tools." "I want it to have the same to electrocute the fish. Because I don't want it of dental tools And if you follow the specifications quite a bit. it would jack the price up I love the biomorphic form. Sally, what do you think? should be inside the tank, I think. I love it, but it looks like it the current model that you've got So my question was in to the electric socket, with the cord going straight belonged in with the fish, if a child thought it if you dropped it in? what would that do to the fish wouldn't be happy for the fish. It's only 12 volts. It probably electrocute the baby. But it's not gonna (All laugh) are those little suction-cappy feet. The other thing I really love how long does the suck suck for? And I'm wondering and stay there for weeks Will it suction on chew it after a couple of days? or will it drop off and will the dog every once in a while? Does it need to be re-stuck I've had it stuck there for a while. about the hot lights of the studio I was a bit worried and popping off, warming up the air behind it but it seems to be OK. This is up your alley, is it not? It's still on. Mark? screen saver I had for my computer Let me tell you, the first was a simulation of a fish tank, so you brought it home. This is's beautiful.

Now, you have this wonderful streaming version of the fish

coming into the office, is this gonna use a lot of bandwidth? At the moment it's like a standard web camera. So your resolution is around 460 pixels squared-ish. Is that a lot? No, it's not really, really great. But as broadband becomes more accessible to more people it's only gonna get better and better and better. Summing up, Chris? Look, I think it's a most intriguing invention. I think that the whole idea of the calming affect, that's a whole study you've done, so I accept all that. But I think there may be some practical applications for this as well - just monitoring of expensive fish. Sally? I love it. I think it's so cute! I love his little sucky things - it's just fantastic. Love it. Mark? I want you to make it completely self-contained so I can put it on my cat

and then follow the cat around the house. Nice! Please, thank Sam Choy! Now, a little look into the future of recycling with the president of the Australian Conservation Foundation and honorary professor of science and technology and society at Griffith University, Ian Lowe. I grew up in world in which resources seemed infinite and the earth seemed so huge that our waste could not possibly be a burden on it. We now know that we're running out of critical resources. 50 years from now recycling will be the order of the day. We probably won't have domestic rubbish collections. We'll probably have closed urban rubbish tips and mined them for their resources. And we won't throw things away, we'll be used to reusing and recycling. We already recycle glass and metals and paper,

but we need to go beyond that and see all of the domestic appliances as an embodiment of precious raw materials. The bin that you take to your kerbside on Tuesday night, what we should be aiming to do is so dramatically reduce the content of that bin. Our children's future is more important a priority than our short-term indulgence. So we need always to be thinking, "What will people in 50 years time think of the choices I'm making?" We need to recognise that this earth is the only home we have

and the only home we'll ever have, and learn to live within the limits of the natural systems of this small and beautiful planet. APPLAUSE Look, if you're an inventor we'd love to hear from you. I'm not just saying that, we really would. Come on the show. To get an application form go to our website, it's at: Or you can write to us at: Or send us a fax: Still to come, an invention that will allow you to build furniture even if you're as handy as a foot, and the story of how the doughnut got its hole. Before we get to them, even when you're sick in hospital it's important to still get up and go for a bit of a walk, if you can, it's good for you. But if you're hooked up to a whole lot of tubes and things it's not easy. So that's why our second inventor tonight, who's a nurse,

invented this. MAN: Getting major surgery patients up and moving as soon as possible helps the healing process. But they're usually hooked up to all sorts of equipment

which requires the help of extra staff. My invention helps get patients back on their feet

and carries essential medical accessories. The Patient Mobilizer is a walking frame that supports any type of fluid bag, oxygen cylinder, pumps and even a monitor if required. The Mobilizer's low centre of gravity means that it's stable and easy for the patient to wheel along the ground. There are different designs to suit each patient's needs. And when it's not in use it stores neatly away to save valuable space. My invention means a better recovery period for both patient and hospital staff. Please, welcome from Perth Leslie Tomlinson. APPLAUSE Hi, Leslie. G'day. Now, someone who works on the show

actually was at a hospital a couple of weeks ago.

And they saw someone wheeling an IV tube around and it got away from them on a gutter and it went over and they went over with it. So you, as a nurse, I guess, things like that are why you invented this. Is that right? Yeah, that is a big problem, the instability of the standard IV pole. And I guess if it needs a lot of people to sort of escort people around, sometimes with shortages you actually can't get people out of bed as much as you want. Yeah, with mobilising you actually get better, heal a lot quicker. So you wanna make it as easy as possible. And as often as possible. So, what this is, it's two IV tubes, and then moving down here it's effectively a Zimmer frame, a walking frame. And then down here you've got space for oxygen tanks and the like. And over there we've got the sort of at-home model. But I wanna take this one for a bit of a walk, and obviously you wouldn't be running with it. Is there any...? But it doesn't feel like it's gonna get away from you, I guess. Is there any danger of that happening? No, it's very, very stable because it's got such a low centre of gravity. It really sticks to the ground. It's as stable as.

Come and sit down. How much will it cost? Is it under $1,000, a few hundred bucks? It's under $1,000. Still working on the pricing, probably about $800 for the stainless steel,

$600 for the powder-coated mild steel, $400... I know you've got a couple of hospitals interested in doing trials. Sally, what do you think? Yeah, Leslie, I would think that nurses would love this integration of the walking frame and that wobbly pole. Have you looked at the ergonomics of the nurses bending over to put everything together on it as well as the patient leaning on it? That's one of the principles of its actual manufacture. If you notice the pumps are actually set down and at 45 degrees. If you're nursing and you want to lower the centre of gravity you put a pump down, which is upright, and you have to bend down and... just doesn't work. You'd end up, you that six times a day and your back is gone. What about the combination of quite a heavy pack of equipment and a weak patient? Is it possible that on a slight slope you could get a runaway one of these? Do you have an emergency brake or a panic button that you can press to brake the machine and stop it flying off? It's actually got brakes, but if you were going on a... They're foot brakes, right? They're foot brakes. If you were going, say,

transporting a patient that's going down a ramp or something, they wouldn't be doing it by themselves, anyway. This is for hospital use. There is a home-use one which will have bigger wheels and you'll have... Handbrakes, you could have? No, not necessarily, no. I think handbrakes get them on all sorts of walkers and you talk to people who have handbrakes on...they never use them. Mark, what do you reckon? Well, I'm really interested in the home model. It seems like that's gonna be a real innovation.

Is there anything like this for the home already? There isn't really because you get a lot of patients that stay in the hospital for an extra week because they've got, say, oxygen and maybe one other - an IV or nasal gastric feed or something. Just because they've got a combination of two they can't go home. Is this also gonna help them probably even on their own get out of bed earlier? Much, much easier. A lot of patients who actually wanna get up and go post major surgery initially have to be assisted quite a lot. OK, Chris? What about the different size and weight of the people that are gonna use it? You know, tall, short, big, bent over, hunchback, whatever. How do you adjust it for that? LESLIE: They're all fully adjustable. CHRIS: So all the rail things go up and down? LESLIE: Yep, they go up and down. And you've got different types of handles too, haven't you? You've got the gutter frame

for someone who's really, really, you know, quite dependent, a lot of pain, they need to really support their upper frame. And so that'll take all the weight. CHRIS: Are you intending that someone who needs this is gonna do it on their own or will they always have someone with them? LESLIE: No, on their own. Summing up, Sally? Really thoughtful, really useful, and the way it stacks and nests is really good too - fantastic. Mark? I think this is gonna be huge in the home market because people will be older and more chronically ill and this will be something that will give them an enormous amount of quality of life. And, Chris? Yes, and I think that it's a permanent station that can sit beside the bed when they're in the bed, and then they get up and off they go with their mobile station. So you've thought it through well and obviously it comes from the experience - well done. Good on you, Leslie. Thanks for coming in. Please, thank Leslie Tomlinson. Thanks very much, mate. So, the big question for tonight - how did the doughnut get its hole?

MAN: This story takes place in 16th-century Holland, where Dutch bakers used leftover knots of batter to make what they called 'dough knots'.

These were sweetened and eaten as a treat. In 1640 Dutch pilgrims brought their dough knots to the New World where they became known as 'doughnuts'. Then in 1847 on a stormy sea, a sea captain called Hansen Gregory was having trouble holding onto his doughnut. In a sudden bolt of inspiration he punctured a hole in the dough and created a worldwide junk food phenomena.

APPLAUSE And I'm very confident that some of our actors in that piece next year will win a Logie. LAUGHTER I think they will. You know, the thing that puts me off trying to build things in a handy sort of way is that I'm not - I'm not handy, I'm just not. I even have trouble opening gates. But with this system of joining tubes I reckon even I could probably build something. I wanted to find a better way to connect this with this

without welding and without using screws. If you're like me and lacking construction skills, my invention helps you to do this and much more. The Elbo is a universal joining system that allows you to connect two pieces of steel together easily. Made from steel, the connectors and collars can be arranged to form basic 2-way joints up to more complex 6-way joints. It's quick and easy to construct framework that might otherwise take you hours. And because there are no permanent joins or welds they can be dismantled or altered and even reused in another form. For all of your DIY projects you'll wonder how you ever got by without your Elbo. Please, welcome from Strathfieldsaye just out of Bendigo in Victoria, Len Williams. Hi, Len. Hi, James. Thank you for coming in. Thank you. You were building something in the bush and it wasn't working and you thought this, it must be something else.

I thought there must be a better way to put these sort of items together. So I tried a few experiments and I come up with this is the best solution. And, basically, it can replace, you know, welding, I guess, which would make... Can I build something? Go ahead. Alright, good, so you can just make a little right-angle joint like that, and there you go, that's one of your building blocks, right? And then if you wanna make it a bit more complicated, well, you better do it. (Laughs) Alright, so we could now make a 3-dimensional joint by using the collar and another one of the L-shaped things. We can just attach that on that there. Right, oh, that one goes on there. And now we can... Get another one from over there. And we can keep going upwards. And then you can build whatever... And, what - you'd sort of screw them together just to make it a bit more solid? If you wanted to, yes. Some instances you wouldn't need to do that but, yes. You've made benches and shelves and hothouses, and over there you've made sort of some shelving. And you can see when we hone in that there's a sort of a joint there and how the joints work when it's screwed together. But that's pretty solid, isn't it? Very solid. (Laughs) Come and sit down. It's shall I say this, Len? It's not beautiful. Like, if you open your front door and the guests in you wouldn't want the coffee table to be made out of it. No. Is that a fair comment?

That is, yeah - I've designed it for the do-it-yourselfer, someone who wants to go out into his shed. It's not a glamorous, but it's strong, very versatile and universal system. Mark, what do you reckon?

Len, welcome. I think this is just brilliant. I'm wondering now... I'm a person who's seized with a lot of ideas to build things but I have no mechanical aptitude with metal. How would I get started? You don't need to weld, that's one of the main things. And, yes, it's quite easy to try an idea and then tap it apart and try something else.

Right, let's say I get good at making simple things like tables and whatnot and I want to make something fancier. Do I need to be able to sort of draw that all out on a piece of paper first and get very sort of precise with it, or can I really just play with these? I like to think that you could just play with it. You would get a bit of experience by trying one or two ideas first and then there's no problem just tapping it apart and thinking, "Will I have it this way? Will I have it a little bit longer? "This way a bit shorter?" Whatever. So you can really think with the material, then? Yeah, it's a bit like a building block. Chris? The ingenuity of this is that those two bits do so many things. I mean, you've had, you know, 14 different joints you need to do it in other ways. But how many times can you actually reuse...? I mean, this is quite tough, pushing this on now, so that'll grip, I'm sure, quite well. But how many times can you reuse it before it starts losing its... ..sort of starts becoming very wobbly and not really holding? LEN: I don't know. You could probably use it six times. But then all you would need to do is buy another collar, and the collar piece is only the $2 piece. It's not a big cost difference. CHRIS: And if you were using powder-coated material like this, which is powder coated to stop it corroding and so on, by the time you've driven it through there a few times, I mean, the powder coating is gonna be gone. So is it really suitable for that or are you better off using just straight aluminium extrusion or stainless steel or something? LEN: If you want it to look nice I would use probably powder coating. And you're probably not gonna use the powder-coating one very often. You would only use maybe that one once.

If it's one that you're gonna use regularly you'd probably just use plain galvanised steel. Sally, what do you think? I've noticed that on your version over there you've got screws going through the collar. So I'm wondering if you've got the real do-it-yourselfer, like Mark, here, could you pre-screw holes in it so that it makes it really foolproof? I wouldn't want to pre-screw the hole because you wouldn't know exactly where the alignment would be. When you tap the collar back over there's no exact spot that the collar will come to. So if you pre-drilled the hole it would be fiddly to find the exact hole spot. It's best to tap it together, then when you're happy then put the screws in to make it permanent afterwards. I think this will be a fantastic toy. If this was lightweight... For kids, yeah. And it's the ultimate puzzle because you can put it together so many different ways. Maybe a smaller version. Would you consider doing, like, same design but a lightweighter plastic or something that actually having a system, like, a Meccano system for kids? It's certainly worth looking at, yes, could look at this in the future. Hey, that's some market we're talking, there. Summing up, Mark? This is really nice because it allows me to think and play in metal, which is something I haven't been able to do before - well done. Chris? Yeah, when I first saw this I thought, "Hmm, I think I've seen this before." But that's never been done with just two bits for so many possibilities, that's the cleverness of what you've done here - so terrific. Sally? I had exactly the same reaction. I thought, "I can name six other systems "that join things without welding." When I had a good look at it I thought, "This is fantastic. I could play with this all day." It's terrific. And she did. Please, thank Len Williams. Thank you very much, Len.

Good luck with it, mate. Tonight's winner could at the end of this year be named our Inventor of the Year. And if they are they will win some potentially life-changing prizes. So, will tonight's winner be the fish-tank projecting Senti, the patient mobilizing Patient Mobilizer or the new system of joining things, Elbo? Let's begin with the criteria of originality. Chris? Originality for me is probably the one I would have thought would be the least original when I first looked at the three inventions. Because the originality sort of grows on you as you work with that Elbo system. You're just using two parts and you can build bookshelves, you can build shelving, you can build benches. I just found that to be...that whole concept was absolutely ingenious. Yeah. Sally? Yeah, same reaction. Thought it wasn't that original, played with it and thought, "Oh!" I see the Senti as being... Putting up a fish tank is a great place to start. But once you actually start popping it around all sorts of different places, it's not so much surveillance as it is playing with being able to put a camera into any space that you want. And I think that people will get a hold of that and actually start to explore that creatively. But can't you do that now? Well, because of the mounting, the cameras don't mount now. The whole idea behind the Senti is it's the mounting. You just go... It's up on the wall and it's there. Sally, design? Yeah, I think that the Mobilizer would have been a particularly hard one because there's so many functions going on in that. So, you know, to have resolved that so that it's in a useful form is a pretty big thing, so... From practical engineering design, again, you know, Elbos. You know, its simplicity is ingenious. Alright, well, which one's gonna find a market, which one's gonna sell? Sally? Oh, it has to be the Senti. You know, once it's fully done and if it could be cordless. I can just see them... I see it in a spider suit. I see it all over the place. I love it. There's a lot of hospitals. Yeah, I'm thinking that there's a lot of hospitals and also a lot of home care now. And so I think the Senti will sell very well in the consumer electronics market. But I think with the Patient Mobilizer it's going to be something that maybe every person after 80 sort of has in their home.

It's not that expensive and it's something that they may need on enough occasions that it will simply be there. And we're a greying population, so as you say... But if you combine marketability and what's gonna sell well together, I mean, marketability in just being able to mass-produce two fittings, put them out in bags and you can build all that stuff from it - how marketable is that? The only problem is if, like us, immediately you think, "Oh, but there are other things out there that do it." You need to take the time to realise that it's actually quite an amazing innovation. Alright, finally need. Which one does the world need now? Patient Mobilizer. Yeah, I think that. Yeah, me too. OK, so adding up all those different criteria and coming out somehow with a winner, Chris? On the criteria I'm gonna go for Elbos. Why?

I just think its marketability, its ingenuity, and the cleverness in its simplicity take it over the line for me. Do either of you disagree? Yeah, I disagree. If Elbo was a kids' toy I'd be a really happy camper. No, I think on the criteria it has to be Mobilizer. I agree with Sally. Thanks, Mark. The winner, then, tonight - Leslie Tomlinson and the Patient Mobilizer! APPLAUSE AND CHEERING Well done, mate, congratulations. Good on you. That's yours. Leslie is in the running to be named our Inventor of the Year. Well, what did you think? Did the judges get it right or not? If you'd like to have your say, vote for The New Inventors' People's Choice Award. Pick your favourite from tonight, text:

Call: Or go to our website: Thank you, judges. Thank you very much for your judging tonight. APPLAUSE But a big round of applause for the people who make the show possible - the inventors. Thank you very much. Thank you so much. Oh, and thank you again, yes. Alright, before we go tonight, next time you go back somewhere you used to live, remember this - "There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged "to find the ways in which you yourself have altered." Nelson Mandela said that, so it must be good. Goodnight. APPLAUSE We know that last week the panel picked Hanna Piazza from Melbourne and the Programmable Turning Bed. What did you pick as the People's Choice? There was the Programmable Turning Bed, the BKJ 12 String Guitar and the Airbag Guard. And the winner is... Closed Captions by Captioning and Subtitling International Pty Ltd .

This program is not subtitled Good evening. Craig Allen with an ABC News update. The ACT Legislative Assembly has passed amendments to the Education Act that will help pave the way for the 39 Canberra school closures over the next three years. Earlier today, Jon Stanhope faced a hostile reception as he began the process of selling the budget to Canberra's business leaders. The head of the ESA, Peter Dunn, has resigned. He says he fears a budget move to bring the ESA under departmental control will result in a loss of independence. ACT Transport Minister John Hargreaves has stood down from the Ministry after being charged with drink-driving. He recorded a blood alcohol reading nearly twice the legal limit. The Chief Minister says he'll review Mr Hargreaves position once the matter is finalised in the courts.