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New Inventors -

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(generated from captions) THEME MUSIC Welcome to the New Inventors. Hello. I'm James O'Loghlin. Tonight we'll see an invention to a fifth of its normal size. that can reduce a bottle Also, a table with wings

at a new type of bin and we'll have a look that lives under the ground. On our panel tonight is Chris Russell, an agricultural scientist, an interior designer, Alison Page, and an award-winning architect out of beer bottles who once built a house Don't know if that bit's true. that he drank all himself.

Please welcome them all. Tone Wheeler! at the end of a busy night at a pub Now, talking of beer bottles, do you think they have? how many empty ones Hundreds, maybe even thousands. lugged out the back to the bin And they've all gotta be

to carry them. and that hurts your back and wake up the neighbours. They clink together and there's broken glass everywhere All you have to do is just drop one Hence, the BottleCycler. and, oh, it's just a nightmare. DRUM ROLL of a hotel or a bar, If you're an owner of empty bottles storing huge volumes can cause lots of problems. you cut yourself or others Not to mention the times with broken glass. can solve that problem. Our invention easily, efficiently and safely The BottleCycler for recycling. compresses glass bottles The bottle is instantly crushed, into the wheelie bin below. and dropped of cutting yourself on broken glass There's no danger through the top because once you've fed a bottle with the glass again. you don't come into contact the wheelie bin is full When the gauge tells you and replaced with an empty one. it's easily removed for recycling stainless steel unit, As a fully-enclosed a bar area without looking unsightly BottleCycler can slot into and it's as quiet as a dishwasher. Don't be swamped by empty bottles. with BottleCycler. Reduce the volume by 80% and Hendrik Van Rhijn. Please welcome Hans Van Schoonhoven APPLAUSE

Hi, Hendrik. Hans. Thank you for coming in. Um, this is it. Space, I guess. Now, what problem is this solving? Mmm. Noise. OH&S issues. breaking bottles. People walking around an environmental benefit too. And it's got driving back and forward It reduces a lot of trucks and a bit of glass. filled with air Is it going to save pubs money? How? Yes. the high-volume reduction, Um, because of we only have to pick up once a week instead of three times a week the same amount of glass much more efficiently. so we can do that collection costs most of the time. So we save them 50% in is close to the bar And the fact that the machine back and forward emptying bins, reduces all the staff walking Right, carrying crates about. having smokos... Hendrik? Alright, can we see how it works, Chuck 'em in. Here's a bottle. Crack! GLASS SMASHES that's not here. Now, the stuff doing the cracking, It's down there. You can't put your hand in it. and what happens? OK, well, where does it go, It goes into this bin. It comes out like that. A little blue bin. and how many bottles could this... Alright,

How many bottles could this bin hold? Right! 350 go in there. About 350. that little bin there So am I right thinking as those two bins there? would hold as many bottles Correct, yes. That's pretty substantial, isn't it? OK, come over and have a seat. or that handful of broken glass. You don't have to bring the bin I think we can leave that. think about the BottleCycler? Chris Russell, what do you it's a terrific invention. Oh, I think absolutely solved a problem I think you've the hotelier and the publican. from the point of view of at the other side of the equation, My only question is, looking how fussy the recyclers are? it's a two-sided equation For this to work attractive to them. and it's gotta be they like to have green glass, Now, those guys, white glass and brown glass. and they like to have They don't like it mixed up. but at the moment they don't. One day they might, Would it be very hard for you you pressed on the front to actually have a button one of three bins when you started, which deflected it into what they want as customers? or some other way of giving them

of customers, we collect the glass, With the largest amount and then it is recycled. and we go directly to the end stage have to separate it into colours? So you're saying you don't always but the technology now is there Not anymore. It used to be the case, to actually colour-sort the glass with a laser optical device.

involved anymore. So there's no manual labouring here, from one little bit there? So it can pick out one little bit 1cm and 6.5cm, As long as it's between a little jet stream puts it out. it detects the colour, and then they've got three separate streams. And they do that two times, and then And what about thick glass? Like a magnum, you know, or, er... with thick glass. a pressurised-type bottle No problem, no problem. No problem? they've got to think about The other thing, I suppose, is the labels and the foils. What happens with those? Does that matter? They burn off in the process. You know, the metal part? What about the foils? The aluminium, they got special - what it's called - magnets. I don't know exactly which take out non-ferrous metals. Special magnets

OK, Alison? a little less than $9,500. So the unit costs around a collection service with that? And you said you were providing a part of the cost? Is that going to be No. Or...that'll be an extra? Yeah, it's optional, and it's an extra cost. 'Cause you're also... ..you're hiring them per month, aren't you? Yes, that's what we've been planning. Yeah. Is it $300 per month, yes? And you would say to them that if the weekly rental cost is $75 a week, or less, they'd save more than that in labour per week. Oh, easily. Easily. OK, Tone. The architect in me actually sees it something like the Chrysler Building, in a way. You know, stainless steel and stepped. The stepping worries me a little bit, in that it sort of provides a shelf, but not. Have you thought about a different shape to it, perhaps? Yeah, we thought about it, but it's...to design, to redesign this, that's the next stage, and we're hopeful we have that ready in three, four months, a complete redesign of the machine. In the past two years, we've concentrated on the reliability

and the sound being quiet. Summing up, Chris? Yeah, look, I think... ..it's something that I hadn't even thought of, and particularly if the recyclers are now coming online with A, liking broken glass,

and B, being happy to be able to sort the glass themselves. I think you've got an absolute star invention there. I think you've done very well with it. Well done. Alison? Well, I think the cost savings, and the OHS benefits to the hospitality industry is really what's gonna sell it. And it will.

And Tone? Love the way it's so quiet. That's a big issue for people living near pubs, as I do. It's a bottler. Please thank Hans Van Schoonhoven, and Hendrik Van Rhijn. Thanks very much, Hendrik. Thank you, Hans.

Well done. It was great. And now, a story about an inventor who felt guilty. From the files of the Royal Swedish Library, comes the paradoxical life of Alfred Nobel,

the godfather of the Nobel Peace Prize. As a young man, Nobel was encouraged to follow in the family business - landmine manufacture. In 1853, Nobel joined forces with his brother, Emil,

to expand the business, by experimenting with a new, and highly volatile substance called nitroglycerine. But these experiments came at a price, as his brother, Emil, soon found out.

Despite this tragedy, Alfred persevered, and in 1866, he discovered that by making a paste mixture he could stabilise nitroglycerine to create dynamite. Nobel's invention ignited the public's imagination,

with world sales making him enormously rich. But with it, came a wave of guilt that turned him into a recluse. Haunted by nightmares of destruction, Nobel eventually hid in his mansion, and only communicated with the outside world by letter. Then, in 1888, his death was prematurely announced, with headlines reading, "The Merchant of Death is Dead".

Fearing that this legacy would follow him to the grave, Nobel secretly changed his will, and left the bulk of his wealth to establishing what came to be the most highly regarded of international awards, The Nobel Prizes. If you've invented something that works,

and you want to get on the show, go to our website at: Write to us at: Or fax us on: And get an application form. We'd love to hear from you. When you sit down for dinner, it's simple, right? You just sit down, and pull your chair in. But what if you were old or frail, and all you were able to do was collapse into your chair, and you didn't have the strength to pull it in. You'd be left marooned, with your dinner just out of reach. Here's an ingenious solution. If you're sick or elderly, the ability to sit comfortably at a table can literally be beyond your reach. You may need a carer to help you sit properly. My table allows you to sit comfortably and safely, without a strain on the carer. For most of the time, my design looks like a conventional dining table. A hinged panel in the table top simply lifts up so you can stand in the table recess. The chair can then be positioned. Using the sides of the table recess for support, you can seat yourself at the table. The top is lowered into place. And it's just as easy to stand up again. With a Sitsafe table everyone is sitting pretty. Please welcome from Terrigal on the New South Wales central coast, Dale and Ian Bachelor.

Hey, Ian. G'day, Dale, how are you? Um, now, Ian, you're going to play the part of someone who's... I'm the invalid. You are the invalid. Now, how would Ian normally sit down? Say, if he wasn't very able to sit down himself. OK, right to the edge,

put the chair behind him, and sit down. And if you imagine that he can't push it in by himself so that he could eat with some dignity, it would take a carer to have to do this... Now, now, Robin, you're not as young as me, let me have a... ..it's really hard, actually. I'm just gonna leave you there, I'm afraid. Um, and then you'd have to get him out again, wouldn't you? Which is... When he's ready to stand up, he can't lean forward, so you have to pull him out.

If you did that, you know, if you worked in an old people's home or something, and you did that ten times a day... Absolutely. What's that likely to do to your back? Well, you're putting yourself at risk of some strains, muscle injuries, or over a period of time, you could have some significant back injury. OK, using your invention, what do we do?

With the Sitsafe table, he just moves into the square.

Using the side of table as support, the carer puts the chair behind, he sits down, and we lower the table, and he's in the perfect position. Then you have your tea. Fantastic. So how do we get you up? Lift the table edge, lean forwards, stand up, take the chair away, and then he's free to leave.

Aw, fantastic. Round of applause, please.

APPLAUSE Alright, come across and sit down. Now Dale, you invented it, but Ian, you're sort of involved in the journey from the marketing and business side. That's right. What do you think, Alison? Aw, I think it's fantastic. You know, I really, when I first saw this, I thought, "Aw, how hard can it be to push a person under a table?" So I gave it a try, and it is really hard. It is really tough, and I'm sure it's a much bigger problem than I first thought. So are you going to manufacture these yourself or will you sell the IP off? We're hoping that maybe a company will pick up the idea.

Because it would be very difficult, I think, to protect. It would be, that's true. And is the hope then to have a range of different materials and finishes? That's why it's hard for us. Because some facilities have square tables, oblong tables, round tables. They might even want built-in furniture modified. Absolutely. They need different laminates, different tops to suit their decor. Tone? I think it's an incredibly clever idea. It's the execution of it that has a couple of questions for me. When you lower it down, is there any danger of getting your fingers jammed in the... Yes, there is, and there will be - not on that one - some padding so that it's not a problem. And if the... if the invalided person is using it themselves, would it be helpful for the top to have some kind of stays to it? Hydraulic stays, like the boot on a car has. Yes, yeah, that has been suggested. We're trying to make it as simple as possible,

and as cheap as possible, so when you go to hydraulics, and things like that, it actually adds a lot of cost to it. At the moment, it's not going to cost much more than a standard table, is it? No, probably not.

I know you haven't done full costings. No, but somewhere in the range of probably $400 or $500, we estimate. Yeah, OK. Ah, Chris? Yeah, look, this is a very close to home invention, I must say. This is not only good for frail people, but I can see a great future for this in dementia-type units. Absolutely! That's really where I'm coming from. It's in a dementia unit. My poor old dad, he's one...and they just forget about how to sit down, how to get to the table. They can't remember. When they are sitting down, they move around a lot, particularly dementia patients. You know, their knees go up, and then the stuff goes everywhere, and glasses fly. I wonder whether there'd be a catch that you could have that actually grabs it when it's down? It'd be cheap. And then it also maybe stops them getting up as easily. Which they can do during the meal. And the nurse would come along, and just move the little catch to release it or something, and then they can stand up. Might be another thought. Summing up, Alison? Oh, I think it's a fantastic thing. It is one of those things where you think, "Oh God, why hasn't somebody done it before?" And I think it could lead to a whole range of furniture that's designed for people with less mobility. Tone?

You see it, and you just go, "That is so clever". It's not a problem I'd thought about. It's a really clever solution. Chris? This'll be a real drover's dog job, in terms of the nursing homes. You'll show it, they'll buy it, it's in. I think it's a tremendous idea. Fantastic.

Thank you very much for coming on. Please thank Dale and Ian. All sorts of stuff gets washed out of our houses into the drain system.

Dirt, leaves, rubbish, unwanted relatives,

all stuff that should be leaving the house in the bin. Or in the case of the unwanted relatives, in a taxi. Here's a bin that actually goes down there, in your drain system. You may not be aware of what goes down our household drains. Big silt, leaves, and cigarette butts. But with my invention, the Nviro Pit, we can all make a difference to our waterways. With conventional household drainage, stormwater goes down the drain without any filtration. The Nviro Pit is a domestic stormwater drainage pit that collects all debris, via an internal collection basket.

From above, the drain looks like any other stormwater drain, except that it has a removable internal collection basket, which traps sediments and wastage run-off. With the Nviro Pit, we can all feel reassured that the water that goes down our drains, into our waterways, is cleaner and safer for all of us. Please welcome, from Mudgee, Russell Marsh. APPLAUSE G'day, Russell. G'day, James. Now, we've transported your front... A bit of your front garden in here, or a model thereof. What sort of water comes into this system, from where?

Well, primarily stormwater, from the surface run-off, and just from the normal drainage system. From outside your house, rather than inside, From outside the house. And inevitably, that water carries topsoil and leaves and twigs and all sorts of other things. Yeah, that's right. And I was surprised to learn 15,000 tons of that water goes into Sydney Harbour alone every year. What sort of effect can it have? When I was a kid, I used to skindive quite a lot in the lake near my residence.

And after about ten years, I sort of realised that my kids wouldn't be able to have that same experience, because now that lake's so polluted with sediments and debris

that it's just all mud. More so than clear water. Mostly from people like you and me's backyards. Give us a bit of a demo. This is sort of a cross-section. If we put, sort of, some of... That would normally be carried in. So we see, that water coming in is filthy, isn't it? It's mud. Well, the water just gets washed in there, as you can see. Normally, it'd get washed in, and then washed straight out, so... Yep. And here, we can also see the sediment falling down to the bottom. And then whenever it was full, well, just show us how you'd empty it. We just remove the grate. Yep. And you simply pull the pit out. Remove the lid, and empty it straight into your garden. Or into your garbage bin, if... And that'd take you five minutes. Yeah, and then you just simply replace it back in there,

and put the grate back on, and wait 'til next time it rains. Fantastic. Um, come across and have a seat. Tone Wheeler. You're an architect, you know about houses. What do you think? I think there's been a revolution in water. Ten years ago, we didn't care about it. Now we're paying attention a lot of attention to it. And I think what you've done, Russell, is a really clever idea. It's taken something from civil works, and making it for the household. Yeah, exactly. It works like a sump, doesn't it? The water stays in the bottom of that pit? No, the water actually...there's a drainage hole within the Nviro Pit, and over a period of a few hours, it just seeps back into the natural ground. If the soil's very clayey, if it's not very porous, where does the water go then? Well, it's a different installation process. All it is is you excavate towards the outlet of the pipe, and that's all filled with aggregate, so it naturally drains. What do you think, Chris? Yeah, no, I think it's great. Russell, I'm asking a little bit more about the lid on top of the part that you lift out, the basket. Now, this lid has got holes in it. The idea is, I think, as I understand it, for the leaves and the debris to go through it, but it stops it refloating, if you like, later on. Exactly, that's right. That's the idea? I mean, how long does it take for the leaves to go through? It seems to me that's actually a filter in itself in some ways. It actually stops the leaves going though. Well, depends on the size of the leaves, obviously. But a lot of the leaves break down into, you know, smaller particles, obviously by just normal process, and they fall through the holes. Once it's trapped inside of the pit itself, well, you know, the opportunity for it to come back out is very minimal. Um, to what extent are, like, oils and fertilisers, and chemicals of any kind filtered out of the water? Or are they at all? Well, it's not designed primarily for those. Um, there can be features added to it, we've been looking at putting other filters and things in. Because I think that idea of having accessories, if you like, for your, um, pit, would be really good. You know, you might want a carbon filter, or a sand filter,

or something like that, to sort of... ..depending on what you've got on your property. Well, that's right. The more filters, the more maintenance you've got, too. The idea of this is simply just to give the resident an opportunity to do their bit for the environment. Summing up, Tone? Well, if every householder fitted one of these to their yard, we'd be able to go fishing in our creeks and our rivers a lot more. I think it's a great idea. Chris? You know, I think the concept is going to make it a lot easier

to clean up the stormwater out of the overflow, so well done. Alison? Yeah, look, I love this invention. What I love about it - and, I think, the reason why councils will really love this - is because it's dealing with the problem, um, dealing with water at the top of the treatment chain, so, it's way, long before it sort of ends in, you know, rivers somewhere. So I think that's fantastic. Prevention or cure. It costs about $200, but it'd be great if councils could get on board and give you a bit of a rebate or something if you get it. Thank you very much for coming in. Please thank Russell Marsh. Thank you. APPLAUSE In a moment, we'll find out whether Russell, or one of the other two inventors will be tonight's winner. But first, this. Which invention will be tonight's winner? Whoever it is, they'll be in the running to be named our Inventor of the Year. Will in be the BottleCycler? The Sitsafe table?

Or the Nviro Pit? Um, Chris Russell, let's start with originality. Which of these do you think is the most original? Yeah, well, it's interesting. The simplest are often the most original. And this Sitsafe table, I think, really, is so simple, completely original, and I think that's done a tremendous job from that point of view. Having said that, the bottle recycler, well, everyone knows about crushing glass. We've also got a situation here where it's a portable, in-house bottle crusher.

That's original in its own right. I think what's really, um... what makes this BottleCycler stand apart from some of its European cousins, if you like, is the fact that it is small and compact, and that it can be built into the bar, which I think, really, just makes it fantastic. But in terms of design for them, you can over-design things, and I get the feeling the BottleCycler is a bit too expensive. It's beautiful, it looks like it could go to the moon, it's so well engineered. (Laughs) And I'm wondering if it could come back a little bit. Whilst the Nviro Pit is, in fact, incredibly cheap

for doing that very important job. But, on the other hand, the bottle crusher is sitting inside a bar in a hotel. It's gotta look reasonably sophisticated and sterile, or people aren't going to put it in the hotel, so the idea is to have it behind the bar, then that's the way it's gotta be. If it's in the back storeroom, you could cheapen it up a lot. Which one's gonna find a market? With the BottleCycler, I think, um, I think the issue is the market for the by-product. And I think the crushed glass, you know, what Chris was saying before about if it was colour-sorted, I mean, the market for the by-product just opens straight up. But, you know, listening to Hans, though, what he was saying was that the market is changing. You know, and that they are now being able to sort all these little chips of glass into colours. And that being the case, that problem's over. Potentially, it is a growing market, too. Switzerland manufactures 91% of its glass. They're the world leader, we manufacture one third. So, there's a lot more we could do in glass manufacturing. Yeah, and there's a lot of environmental aspects of getting glass recycled. I think, you know, it takes less heat to melt the recycled glass, as against the virgin products. And a lot of advantages. Well, on marketability, just with the Nviro Pit, I mean, the fact that it can be retrofitted, and it fits in with our already, you know... ..'cause there's lots of different ways of retaining stormwater, and a lot of them rely on this really massive, holistic approach. You know, normally with a new house, it can be done with permaculture, and things like that. But I think, you know, what's so great about this, it can be retrofitted, it can go into every house in Australia. Let's pick a winner. Let's start with you, Chris. Well, I'm gonna go for the BottleCycler. Simply because I think that it's, it's something that is quite sophisticated, it's quite unique and clever, and I think that's going to be, um, that's a real problem for hoteliers, which it's fixed.

Alright, one for the BottleCycler. Alison? I think because of the impact that it will have on the environment, and the time and cost-savings it'll make for local councils, who are stretched as it is, I think I'm gonna have to go climb onboard the treatment train, and go for the Nviro Pit. Climb onboard the treatment train, well put! Tone? In terms of sheer impact on people's lives,

of cutting out noise, doing the recycling, I'm going with the BottleCycler. So, our winners tonight - means I've got to pronounce their names again - the BottleCycler. Hans Van Schoonhoven, and Hendrik Van Rhijn. APPLAUSE Congratulations. Well done, Hendrik.

Well done, Hans, thank you very much. You can share that. Hans and Hendrik are in the running to be named our Inventors of the Year. If you'd like to have your say, vote in the New Inventors People's Choice Award. Pick your favourite from tonight. Text 1 for the BottleCycler, 2 for the Sitsafe table, or 3 for the Nviro Pit.

Or go to our website: Thanks to the judges, thank you. APPLAUSE And special thanks to the stars of the show, the inventors! Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Before we go tonight, Germaine Greer said that the only causes of regret are laziness, outbursts of temper, hurting others, prejudice, jealousy, and envy. But I'd like to add one more. What about regretting not inventing one of tonight's inventions? So three brilliant ideas, and you or I didn't think of one of them! Hurts, doesn't it? But don't worry. There'll be three more great ideas next week. And if you hurry, maybe you can think of one of them. Good night.

You know that last week the panel picked Scott Richardson, from Bathurst, and the Axle-Tow Feeder. Let's see what you picked as The People's Choice. There was the Protex Switching Technology,

the Cisternlink Aquasaver, and the Axle-Tow Feeder. Closed Captions Provided by Captioning and Subtitling International