Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Disclaimer: The Parliamentary Library does not warrant the accuracy of closed captions. These are derived automatically from the broadcaster's signal.
New Inventors -

View in ParlView

(generated from captions) just like everybody else. to use the toilet that would allow your cat so I decided to create a device of my cat's smelly litter tray I became tired Well, perhaps now they will. your house and yet they won't use it. There's a perfectly good toilet in But that's what cats do all the time. wouldn't you? You'd think that was a bit much, it to be in the bathroom." "And another thing, I don't want "well, I want my own. you know the toilet that you all use, and they said, "Look, no offence, but staying at your house, right, Imagine you had someone Thanks, James. And you look quite good. two-thirds of you look lovely. And if I may say so, APPLAUSE Hi, James. Welcome all. and interior designer Alison Page. Science communicator Bernie Hobbs, is engineer James Bradfield Moody. On our panel tonight paint glass onto your floor. And a third that will let you when you watch the New Inventors. side of your brain you're using Another that will tell you what for your cat inspired by a film. Tonight we'll see an invention Welcome to the New Inventors. Hello, I'm James O'Loghlin. APPLAUSE THEME MUSIC

Yep. And he just sort of squats there. OK, now, this is Ben our cat. And this is self-locating. So, put her in. to the water below by a small hole. you then introduce your cat a regular litter tray, this kind of substitutes on the toilet, When your cat is used to being one with a little hole in it. Then, if we remove that, you then put Yes. and use it as kitty litter, right? toilet that allows them to jump up You essentially put something in the So, this is step one. to do that too." "I'm going to teach my cat And when I saw that, I thought, of the litter tray. around the management litter tray and the hassle and filth and I was already regretting the for a couple of weeks I'd had the kitten and my children a Burmese kitten. I'd just bought myself That's right. to make it happen. But, in fact, it inspired you would ever be on the toilet." "As if a cat is because you think, The reason that's funny in the movie Sorry. Oh. Let's have a look. And, in fact, it was this bit. That's right. 'Meet the Parents' right? was when you went and saw Now, the inspiration Hello, James. Hi, Jo. Jo Lapidge. Please welcome from Sydney, 'Lord of the Rings'. making it the new in just a matter of weeks, Your cat will be toilet-trained is simple and easy to use. the Litter Kwitter and doing its business. to balancing on the seat the cat soon becomes accustomed of a larger ring, With the introduction Step number three. to hop up onto the seat. to train the cat the device is placed on the toilet Step number two, to the look and feel of the seat. This will get the cat used like a normal litter tray. next to the toilet the Litter Kwitter on the floor The cat first uses Step number one. which work in three simple steps. of a set of three training rings It's made up toilet-training device for cats. The Litter Kwitter is a

that you've got to, sort of, take? like, particularly hygiene, is there any other precautions, knocking before you enter, I mean, apart from with your cat, If you're sharing your toilet OK. Alison. Approximately around $80 to $150. sell them for? How much are you going to Now you might think about it. I hadn't thought of that. What an excellent idea. Like pet shops. baby equipment hire places. You know how they have rather than selling the units. an equipment hire deal, so have you thought about for a couple of months, you're only ever going to need it But what I was thinking was, I know. and they all love the idea. So, apparently, without anything. to use the toilet seat who self-taught itself in Germany, and one actually had a cat to a number of cat owners but I have to say, I've spoken thought it was a little ridiculous, When I first heard about it, I Bernie? its behaviour to use the toilet. we're just going to modify to use a litter tray, And if you can teach a cat We're just modifying its behaviour. a new trick or anything. We're not actually teaching it a cat's behaviour here. But we're really modifying That's right, yeah. could fall in and that'd be bad. Because if they're too small, they Any sooner, they're a bit young. around 12 to 14 weeks. We do recommend that you start regardless of its age. Any cat can be trained, No matter what age? are toilet trainable? But do you think all cats For training. a staged approach here. I really like that you've got Yes, I am. James Moody. Are you a cat lover? With Ben. Alright, Jo, come over and sit down. That's right. and Ben will be able to do this. put the toilet seat down you can remove that totally, And then eventually, and off he'll go. and Ben will balance here only a bit wider, which is like a toilet seat you've got this bit, And then finally Yeah, we get it. And he's going... more adept at balancing on the rim. By this time he has become a lot and more adept. ..by this time he's more used to it And then Ben sort of pops, er... Which is a much larger hole. if you get the next stage. Now, the little one, You can almost hear the plop. his front paws on top. he can't help it but to put negotiates around the hole, He puts his rear legs, That's right. he's got a little hole in the middle. And he's got his litter tray, and

the benchtops, compared to a cat... So, in comparison, it's a lot more hygienic. Is your market primarily people who live in apartments? Like, off the ground, where the cat can't go outside? That would be primarily one of our markets, but certainly anybody who is aware of the needs of the environment. One of the key issues is, organisations are trying to get people to raise indoor cats. Now, if we can take the angst out of litter tray management and train the cat to use the toilet, then it keeps your cat indoors and protects our flora and fauna. Summing up. James. I think this is an invention with a huge market opportunity. Bernie? You've got to speak to cat owners and lovers to know how much they appreciate this idea. If you can get that rental thing happening, it'll make it really accessible for people. Well, I think it makes a seemingly impossible task look really easy. Jo, thank you very much maybe on your pillow, certainly on and walks all over the carpet, and then it hops out its waste on its paws it covers up and possibly gets that currently uses a litter tray that if you compare a cat No. In fact, you could rest assured for coming in. Good luck with it. Please thank Jo Lapidge. Thank you very much. APPLAUSE Oh, and Ben. And Ben. And now, another way of making life a little bit easier. My name's Robert Allen. I've been an opal miner for the last 40 years. The young bloke wouldn't give me a ride on the surfboard. He said, "You wouldn't be able to paddle it out through the waves." I said, "Well, I'll go home and I'll put a motor in one of them." I was using the Whipper Snipper, trimming the lawn one day, and I walked in and had a cup of coffee and I said to my wife, "I've just worked out how to power that surfboard along." She said, "What are you talking about?" I said, "I'm gonna put the Whipper Snipper in it." The propeller came along after many trials and everything else, and I've been working on and off on it for three years. The propeller will allow you, you can go and mow the lawn, and then in a couple of minutes you can change the cutting head off the Whipper Snipper and put the propeller on and it'll allow you to propel your boat. The propeller will propel a kayak along at about 10 to 12kph. And because of its light weight, women and children can use it. So, if you own a Whipper Snipper, you can propel your small craft with it and then you can take the end off and go back and mow your lawn again. You can do that week in, week out. How cool is that? Next he's going to invent a surfboard that can cut grass. LAUGHTER If you've invented something, well done. If you'd like to show it to the world, come on the New Inventors. To get an application form, just go to our website. Or write to us. Or fax us. You've probably heard a bit about all this left brain/ right brain stuff. You've probably heard that the left brain is supposed to be the logical, rational part, and the right brain is supposed to be the creative part. The left side is Mr Spock, the right side is Cher. But it's actually a bit more complicated than that. And this is a tool that may help us work it all out. When I was doing research with monkeys, I discovered that ear temperature was related to brain activity. And I wondered if the same connection existed in humans. And as our invention shows - it does. These two tubes are used to monitor activity in the left and right hemispheres of the brain according to the temperature of the wearer's ears. When the left or right side of the brain becomes active the blood flow to that side of the brain increases. The blood flow to the ear on that side also increases. Because the blood is cooler than the brain, or the ears, the Cool Mind Monitor registers a drop in temperature, telling us that that side of the brain is active. Knowing which side of the brain is active during a particular task is crucial for rehabilitation after brain injury. And assessing some of the risk of brain surgery. Please welcome from Canberra, Nic Cherbuin and Dr Cobie Brinkman. APPLAUSE Hi, Nic. Hi, Cobie. Now, this invention, obviously isn't for people to buy in their homes. But it can make some fairly complex research and diagnostic tools a lot more available. Is that why you wanted to invent it? That's correct. At the moment devices that assess brain activity are very expensive and we wanted to have a simple device that we could use in our lab. Now, this is it. This is just a normal rock climbing, or something, helmet, isn't it? Yes. Or workman's helmet. If I put it on... ..and these two things, what do I do, stick them in my ears, do I? That's correct. Yes. Yeah, alright. They don't meet in the middle? This one measures the activity on the right side of my brain. That's correct. Now, is that the rational part or the creative part? It's the creative part. OK. Hence the need for your invention. And this recognises the activity in the left side of my brain. Doesn't seem to be much happening on either side. Can we see what I'm... Can we analyse that or does it take a while to sort of warm up? It does take a while. Usually we test people in the lab and they a certain task for a period of time. And we see slowly the temperature changing. Well, look, come across and sit down. And we'll discuss it a little bit more. Now, this is going to sell to research facilities and hospitals for about $5000. Bernie, what do you think? First of all, congratulations on getting such a simple idea as to measure the change in temperature passing the ear canal and then use probes to just pick up on that and infer brain activity from that. You'd normally have to do something, in the past, you'd have to do... MRI scans, PET scans, brain scans, to really tell you what part of the brain is being used. Now, this equipment can't tell you any more than which part is being used? It can't tell you a region of the brain, can it? No, it cannot. It's been really designed to tell you which side of the brain is more active. But this is one variable that is very important in research, and to solve specific questions. I can see how that's applicable in research and how it'd be nice and convenient in a psychology lab or something, but you mentioned about for stroke victims or brain surgery. How could it practically be used in those situations in a hospital? It could be used as a screening device, for instance, before surgery, where it's important to know which side of the brain contains the language centres. Now, the language centres typically are located in the left hemisphere but in about 10% of people, it's located in the right hemisphere. So, it would be a very cheap, efficient way of screening people before they have other expensive type of scans. So you know what you're looking for. That's correct. Would it reduce the need, though, for MRIs? Because if I was having brain surgery, from that simple indication, I'd still want to make sure that they had a scan to make sure that, you know, we really knew what was going on. It might enable people to plan for surgery a lot better. Because it's a compact device that is transportable, that is non-threatening, it could be used in the surgery... Alison, you're an interior designer, and thus very interested in the interior design of the brain. Does the measurement only work with the specific tasks that you've designed? Or is it... Can you just measure people undergoing everyday tasks? Or measure groups of people? Indeed. That's why this device is very versatile. Because it can be used in all sorts of situations where other scanning devices can't be used. It can really be taken into the home, the nursing home, and all these places. James. As well as sort of monitoring existing conditions, could you see, one day, it being like an early warning sort of device for a stroke or something like that? Maybe not for strokes, although, we don't know. But certainly in assessing mental health, possibly. Er...yes. Screening for dementia could be a possibility. Very early signs. So that people can prepare better for a better quality of life. And is there any issues with locating the probe in the ear? Could you get a false reading if it was slightly pointing the wrong way? It has to be properly put in the ears and it needs to be checked. But once it's in, the little supports are quite rigid and they stay there. So, even if you move a bit, it's not going to affect the measurement in a significant way. Summing up, Bernie. Look, I'm sure you can, with a good industrial designer, make it look a lot more appealing. But, frankly, I think you've got an incredible market out there. I know you don't want to do this, but at the mind-body conventions you'll see stalls set up for these things so people can find out if they're left- or right-brained or whatever. Amazing market for that as well. Alison. I think the market in regional universities where they're teaching psychology and they can't do these sort of brain studies, so I think that's great. And, James. I think it's a really interesting idea. I'm still not certain which market you're going for. Whether it is these markets or the research or the universities. I think some more work in that area will do you a world of good. Well done. And, finally, just from the little you saw of my brain on the computer, I mean, do you think I'm quite intelligent? I think you've got great prospects. LAUGHTER Please thank Nic Cherbuin and Dr Cobie Brinkman. Thank you very much. APPLAUSE Thank you, Cobie. If you've ever been into a house and been impressed by some whiz-bang flooring or benchtop they had you probably immediately thought two things. One - "Gee, that looks good. I wish we had one at home." And two - "I bet it's really expensive." This is a new way of making surfaces in your house look like they cost a lot, more than they actually do. If your benchtops and splashbacks need updating, or you'd like to jazz up your floors... ..here's an economical alternative to glass, stainless steel, stone, or other more expensive materials. Liquid Surface Creations is a tough, durable, resin coating which looks like liquid glass. With just one coat it can cover a range of surfaces including compressed cement sheet, craft wood or cement tiles with a smooth or textured finish. It comes in two parts. You just add the resin to the colour and hardener and apply within one hour. It takes 24 hours to dry and doesn't chip, crack or scratch. There's no grout lines and it's easy to clean. It's also flame, heat, moisture and UV resistant. This is a one coat wonder. Adding pizzazz to your interiors without breaking the bank. Please welcome from Mt Eliza in Victoria, Perry and Heidi Eckert. APPLAUSE Hi, Perry. How do you do? Heidi. Nice to see you. Thanks for coming on. This is the finish, obviously. Why did you think of creating it? It was developed initially from the polished floor concept. Concrete is presented in restaurant and shops. We started with a clear finish and then developed it into a high-tech polymer coating that can be coloured with special-effect pigments. And in doing so, it looks glassy when you apply it. So it has a very liquid appearance. Yeah, it does. Well, let's see how you put it on. Come across. And there's, I guess these are other examples of it here, that you might use in flashbacks. Oh, flashbacks! Splashbacks! Flashbacks. I've been having a few flashbacks myself. Now, there's your trowel. I'll be your trowel holder. You'll be my trowel holder. Yeah. Very good. So, you pre-mix this, do you? Yes, this is pre-mixed. It's a two component mixture. And it simply flows... Away it goes. ..it simply flows out. I mean, I've put a bit much on... Now, is this highly skilled? Or do you reckon any DIY person could do it? Anyone that can ice a cake. We trowel it out, cover the surface, get it ready, and trim it up to the size. Once you've got it on... You can put any sort of... You can put swishy patterns in it. Right. You can put long architectural slops in it. Once you've got the pattern that you like you just leave it. And that's how it sets, eventually. OK. Well, I like it like that so let's leave it like that. And come across and sit down. Perhaps take off that disturbing black glove. Slightly nervous. Have a seat. Now, this is really the forte of the interior designer, Alison. It is, indeed. Hi, Perry, hi, Heidi. How you going? And just when you think all opportunities for paint have been exhausted out comes another one. And I love your research and development. You know, just get in the...you think it'd take weeks, but you know, you just spent the weekend in the shed slapping together leftovers. Yep, that was it. I get bubble and squeak when I do that. I think what a lot of people will be asking is, you know, can this be applied to an existing vertical surface? It can be thickened and applied to a vertical surface, but it's obviously a free-flowing material. It's best... HEIDI: On a backing board. ..on a backing board. We would see it supplied already installed as a completed product. Where you go to the store and buy a sheet dry, bring it home, trim it to size with an angle grinder... Prefabbed? Prefab. Oh, yeah, that would be better. Liquid nails on the wall. A couple of hours you've got your kitchen splashback finished. And what would the cost comparison be between your thing and some of these more posh fittings that it looks like? It's a time and cost. Glass you've got cut templates and take them away, and it can take six weeks to get a splashback. With this, you can obviously install it on a Saturday morning. But the cost is a quarter to a third the cost of glass, stainless steel. Probably equivalent to tiles, but it's something you can do yourself. There's no mess. No unhygienic grout lines. Yeah, and I like it because it looks good and it looks really durable. But have you done any testing on ageing? Do you know how it'll age? We've looked at, we've done some floors. We had an exhibition floor with about 10,000 people over it, and it looked good after that. We've put it into a hairdressing salon - floor. And that's a year old and it looks pretty good. Um, and it can be maintained. You can sand it aggressively and reapply clear coat, time and time again, so, it's ageless. Bernie. Anything else? Yeah. When I see things like that the first thing I think is, bathrooms or outdoor furniture, just because it's got that wet look. And also in commercial places like dentists and hairdressers, like you said, wherever there's a wet thing. But how's it going to go with all the chemicals and stuff that are used in those places. Not a problem at all. It's inert. What about outdoor furniture? I reckon it'd be great around a pool, as well. Tabletops. How... Restaurant tabletops. Yeah. They have to be hygienic. They can't be scratchable. Yep. Oh, that's good. You can coat a table for about an eighth of the cost of buying an imported plastic-coated or sheeted table. It's very reflective, though. You wouldn't want it outside, really, would you? Because it'd be too glary. We supply free sunglasses. (Laughs) You've got the market covered. Summing up, Alison. Well, I have to say, when I first saw it, I wasn't too crash hot, aesthetically speaking, on the larger panel, but I love some of the other ones and I think the colours and everything are fantastic. I really think it's a great product. James. Yeah, I think the real benefit of this product might not just be in homes but it's the commercial areas, like the kitchens and the retail fit out and others. So, I think you've done really well. And Bernie. Especially with that retail fit out. Because you can paint over it, or just rip it off when you're sick of it. I think it's great. And for the DIYers, thank God you're prefabbing it, because they do hideous stuff on their own. This will make it a lot better. Please thank Perry and Heidi Eckert. Thanks very much, Perry. Thank you, Heidi. In a moment we'll find out which invention our judges will pick as tonight's winner. But first, this. Tonight's winner will be in the running to be named our Inventor of the Year. Will it be the toilet training for cats Litter Kwitter? The left and right brain assessing Cool Mind Monitor? Or the paint it yourself glass, the Liquid Surface Creations? We've got a number of criteria that we have a look at. Let's start with originality, James Moody. What's the most original of the ones you've seen tonight? Well, James, I think that the Cool Mind is actually a pretty original invention. It's a portable way of assessing the brain, which, I think, is a very original idea. Especially if you are stuck in remote Australia or something, and want to get some sense of if there's something wrong, or something's not functioning. And then, before you go to the trouble of going to the city for a test. I think the Litter Kwitter is a unique system. To, you know, the other systems that are out there. The other ones don't really come with any hardware, do they? They tell you strategies for training a cat. But, look, the Liquid Surface Creations, it is combining a whole of existing products, but it's creating something totally new too. I think where the Liquid Surface Creations comes in is in the design side of things. It looks spectacular. It does. I mean, I know, you know... I'm a design Nazi, I know. So I will say if it doesn't look good, and, you know, I think it does look great. It's really hard to tell on telly, but in person, the colours are fantastic. And they really do make you want to add a little pizzazz. Which one do you think realistically is most likely to find a market? Alison? Well, I think that, you know, some of the biggest inventions to come, I think, are in the area of neuroscience, seriously. And it's probably because of that portability factor. The fact that we haven't been able to undergo certain research, like, for instance, you know, researching a whole group of students in a classroom setting and seeing how left and right brain activity works, or whatever. So, I think that has got a huge market in research. I'm still confused about that. I do think it'll take off on the New Age circuit. Because people are obsessed with finding out whether they're left or right brain. They love being right brain. I have to agree with Bernie on that. Because I think the Cool Mind is a little bit of an idea searching for its market. OK, well, let's pick a winner each. James? I, actually...I really like the kitty Kwitter system. Because it's about training the owner and the cat. Bernie. As much as I do love the Liquid Surface Creations, I'm also going to go with Litter Kwitter. Oh. Um... Alison?

You know that I'm going to give my vote to Liquid Surface Creations. Because I, yeah, I was really surprised, aesthetically, of how beautiful it is. Well, the winner tonight, two votes to one, the Litter Kwitter, Jo Lapidge. APPLAUSE Well done, Jo. Thank you. Congratulations. There you go. Congratulations. Jo's in the running to be named our Inventor of the Year. To have your say, cast a vote in the New Inventors People's Choice Award. Pick your favourite from tonight. Thanks to the judges. Well done. APPLAUSE And thanks to the real stars of the show, the inventors! Thank you very much. APPLAUSE And if you want to use all three of tonight's inventions, well, paint your toilet with the Liquid Surface Creations, then put the Cool Mind Monitor on your cat, and using the Litter Kwitter, you can see which side of its brain your cat uses when it does a poo! Goodnight! Closed Captions provided by Captioning and Subtitling International Pty Ltd. We know that last week the panel picked Gary Marshall from Victoria and his Smokers Pole. Let's see what you picked as the People's Choice. There was the Current Detective, the Smokers Pole and the Liquid Frame. And you picked: