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New Inventors -

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Hello, I'm James O'Loghlin. Welcome to the show that we hope into a crystal ball. turns your television set what the future might look like. And lets you see On The New Inventors tonight, the hobble out of being a horse. we'll see something that will take a computer into a chair. Something else that can turn can turn milk into flavoured milk. And we'll have a look at a straw that engineering professor Our judges tonight are Veena Sahajwalla. and recycling expert Chris Russell. Agricultural scientist and soon to be mother of four - And journalist, inventor Christine Kinninmonth. congratulations - Thanks, James. Welcome along. APPLAUSE Thanks, James. and cut your foot, it hurts. If you step on a nail and not put any weight on it. You have to bandage your foot and hurt their feet all the time. Horses step on things of taking care of them. This could be a better way are a common injury. Penetration wounds to a horse's hoof and time consuming to treat. And they're expensive or steel plates are used. Traditionally, bandages But bandages are easily soiled. are difficult to remove And steel plates to change the dressing. every time you need of plastic plate And so I've invented a new type from contamination which protects the wound and makes it easier to dress. cuts the plastic plate Firstly, a farrier or horseshoer to fit the horse's shoe. using polyurethane. The plate is then sealed to the hoof can contaminate the wound. This means no water or dirt is placed over the top, An ordinary horseshoe it's wearing it. so your horse will hardly notice dressing you simply unscrew the cap. To check on the wound or change the to do this. You no longer need an expert

your horse's wound clean and dry. My invention keeps and better for your pocket. Better for your horse Bryan Hilbert. Please welcome from Perth, APPLAUSE Hi, James. How are you? G'day, Bryan. Thank you. Thank you for coming in. part of a horse, And thank you for bringing of part of a horse. or at least a wooden version comes in this form. Now, your invention

What do you do with it? where a horse has an injury In a particular case apply this plate to protect us, or disease of the foot, we will to get access to it easily. to protect the wound, and enable us

if it's at the front, OK, so, you would work out is at the front of the foot? if the injury Yes. You'd cut out round there. round there. And if it was the back you'd cut out Right. Yes. And it can fit any size shoe. cut it out, and... And then you simply Use a jigsaw to cut the plastic. That's right, yes. And then you fit it on? to fit. It takes less than five minutes And the clever part about it is, when you change the bandage. well, show us what you do can do this themselves. Well, the owner or the veterinarian of opening the window And it's just a matter and taking the dressing out. in sterile fashion. Normally, I might do this off or anything either, would you? Yeah. And you wouldn't chop the leg and replace the bung. And put the dressing back on if you had a steel plate Now, normally, the whole shoe off. you'd have to take

Take the plate off. Start again. have to take the plate off. Well, no, not the shoe - you just And with the steel ones

on the outside with bolts, they actually have the plate which make it very cumbersome. holding the horse's leg. You need a spanner while you're And if you didn't have this, walking around on the bandage, you'd just have the horse potentially getting muck in it, getting dirty. OK. Well, come across. Sit down. Yes, absolutely. to sell these for? How much are you going $30? About $30. But it'd save a lot of time, and better for the horse? make the whole thing more efficient about five minutes to put on. Yes. Well, it takes, as I said, commonly in use now around the world Whereas the steel plate which is takes about an hour to make. or upwards to put it on. And most farriers would charge $150 To make it and put it on. Veena, what do you think? this plastic material My question is really regarding that you've got in there. Does it have adequate strength? deform during use? And would it, in fact, No, we've never seen one break yet. and it's withstood the force And it's polypropylene of the horse. of actually tonnes of weight restricted in there? Right. And is the air circulation Chris? No, air can get in and out.

anything to do with horses, Bryan, Yeah, I mean anyone who's had but clever idea this is. would know what a simple like this before. It's terrific. I've never seen anything with the shoe on, When you actually put this on the shoe for some reason, if the farrier has to change the plate off with it? do you have to take the re-shoeing operation? Or does that actually withstand the nails would come out Well, when he changed the shoe and it would come free anyway.

through the same holes. And then you just reapply it

No, just use the same one. Would you need a new one? about the thickness of this? Straight back on again. And what than you would get. It's a bit thicker the shoes on the other three feet? Do you have to adjust the height of the difference? Or does the animal not notice It doesn't make any difference. over the steel plate with the bolts. And that's the advantage with the old-fashioned one. The horse is probably up nearly 2cm Bryan, hi. Christine? to this, too, I think also the great advantage while it's wearing the bandage. is that you can exercise the horse applications you can't do as easily. Which I guess with the other fits exactly underneath the shoe? How important is it that the plate Could you not have a standard template which is a horseshoe shape, with dozens and dozens of holes around it? And so, therefore it does stick out a little around the sides. Does it really matter though in the context of a short-term wound? You could do it that way because the farrier just rasps it with his rasp. Sorry, how much of a hassle is it to cut it out? Well, if you've got a jigsaw, no hassle. Less than a minute. To cut it out. Summing up. Veena? Well, it's a great idea. You could possibly consider having this plate out of clear plastic, so you can keep an eye on the wound during the healing process. Yes, good point. Chris? Excellent. Simple and easy on the pocket for what's otherwise a very expensive operation, getting people out to do it all the time, tremendous idea. And Christine? It's original and it has a great market out there. So it does certainly come up with a lot of the plusses for me. Well done, Bryan. Thank you for coming in.

Please thank Bryan Hilbert. Thanks very much. APPLAUSE Now, some more thoughts from physicist, mathematician, big thinker and most impressively, man who made maths popular, Simon Singh. What role does he think that luck plays in invention? Now, when we think of inventors,

we think of people working for years and years and years. Struggling to make that great breakthrough. But sometimes some of the best inventions happen purely by chance. Purely by luck. There's a chap called Art Fry. Now, Art was trying to develop a super glue. And he'd worked for years and years trying to make this super glue. And he came up with some concoction and it was terrible, it was awful. It was the least sticky stuff you could imagine. But he noticed that if he put two bits of paper together he could peel them apart without tearing the paper. The Post-It note was born! He suddenly realised he'd made this breakthrough. And now Post-It notes are everywhere. All because of luck. Or, as it's known, serendipity. And another example of serendipitous invention is Viagra. Now, Viagra initially was a drug designed to encourage blood flow around the heart. And it was put on trial and people were given the drug. And it didn't really seem to work. But they noticed that the patients were very, very reluctant to send back their Viagra tablets. And there was a very good reason why. Because Viagra had another unintended effect. But my favourite definition of serendipity is as follows.

"Serendipity is like looking for a needle in a haystack "and finding the farmer's daughter." If you're very interested in British police work, intermingled with the behind the scenes private lives of the men and women who do it, then watch 'The Bill'. If, however, you've invented something, we'd love to hear from you. To get an application form to come on The New Inventors, go to our website. Write to us or fax us. The idea of making a computer out of wood seems silly.

But what about making wood out of a computer? Every year we chuck away thousands and thousands of old computers. Which is hard for the computers because one moment everyone is saying how wonderful they are, and the next thing you know there's a new model and they're out the back door on the scrapheap. But there is life after death for old computers. Ever wondered where printers and cartridges end up when they die? Or any electronics product for that matter. They go to the great electronics graveyard commonly known as landfill. So we developed E-wood, a recycled plastic that is produced from previously incompatible mixes of plastic waste. The items go through a series of shredders where metals are removed and toner powder is extracted

leaving only the plastic components. A grinder crushes this plastic to a fine flake which is then melted down in the extruder.

A vacuum extracts the toxic gases and pumps them through a device that neutralises them. The toner powder extracted earlier is added to this mix, acting as a bonding agent for the various grades of plastic. The recycled plastic is pushed out as a continuous board. This can be used in the same way as wood to make fences, decking, furniture or whatever you want. Please welcome from Melbourne, Steve Morriss and Dr John Scheirs. APPLAUSE Thanks for coming in. Thank you. Now, let's have a look at the life of a computer after we chuck it out. Usually landfill. Yep. Your process, you simply chuck it all in, chuck all those things in. And then at some point they're divided up. John, what happens?

That's right. This is a toner cartridge for example. And it's been disassembled but that's typical of electronic waste. It's got metals, it's got engineering plastics and various small component springs. They all have to be separated. The metals are removed. And we take the plastic and it's granulated to flake. What comes out is divided into three types of granulated plastics. And am I right in thinking you can mix them in different proportions depending on how hard you want this wood to be, what colour you want it to be, what else? Exactly - you can customise the mix to tailor the end performance products of the actual...of the wood. So, if you take more of this material, which is toner, you can give it better UV resistance and colour. This material adds flexibility. And this makes it stiff. So this is the hard engineering thermo-plastic. And it's not just all planks like this. In fact this is made totally, apart from the steel obviously, this is made totally out of E-wood. E-wood. This is E-wood. And other things that it's good for are what, things like wharves where it's in the water and...? Yes, where it's in contact with water. Baseboards on a house, replacing weatherboards that might be rotten. Anywhere where you've got termite problems like maybe Western Australia.

Fencing. OK. Come and have a seat. How much will you sell it for? It will be about the same price Or it already is about the same price as hardwood. And you can get that shape there for about $8 a metre. OK. Christine, what do you reckon? The end product is what interests me particularly. I know all the other processes are fascinating too. But the end product, you're calling it wood. Can you nail it? It can be fastened like normal wood with normal fasteners, nails, screws. It can be routed, sawed, drilled. It has all the typical wood properties. But it's more durable. It doesn't have a grain structure, so there's no preferential weakness. Now, I should warn you, Veena has done an enormous amount of research work into recycling. So, if there's a flaw she'll find it. What do you think, Veena? Well, guys, I guess I'm coming back to this whole point of processing this material. I can see that the clever thing you're doing here is you are basically able to get a mix of different types of materials. So, obviously you have to get your temperatures up to, say, about 200 degrees centigrade or in that ballpark.

And you're then allowing it to in fact to become a homogeneous mix.

How about the release of toxic emissions? Are you able to minimise that leakage that might be occurring from your system into the atmosphere? Yes, definitely. The extruder is sealed and vented. Through a vacuum extraction system, and that goes through a scrubber. So, the gases that are evolved are actually captured and neutralised. So, they're actually captured and made safe. Is it possible that you might actually have some toxins that are still remaining behind, for example, in the material? So that if you then look at a finished product, that you might have a scenario where you might be releasing some of these toxins at a later time? We've looked at out-gassing, what's known as 'sick-building syndrome'. So, we looked at out-gassing components. And they're no different, really, to normal business equipment or electronic equipment which are mainly made of high-impact polystyrene. Chris? When you get these toner cartridges, however, quite often they're used two or three or four times. Do you get them after they've been reused three or four times? Or do you get them direct from the manufacturer, who want to sell a new one straight off, how does that work? Both, Chris. We work for the manufacturers. And we also take cartridges that have been refilled previously. And you send out the ones that have only been used once for someone to refill, or do you automatically put them into this system? If the original equipment manufacturer has a refilling program, they will take them back for that program. But all cartridges have an end of life eventually. And remember, this technology's valid for many different industries. The whole of the electronics spectrum from mobile phones to laser printers. And then you've got the automotive industry... There's already a lot of products out on the market that are made out of plastic. You know, bollards and rails and all sorts of things made out of recycled plastic and we're told a lot about them.

What makes this so special and so different? Most of the other plastic wood products that are out there are made from single streams of plastics. Our big problem, and the need that this product fulfils, is the need to recycle heavily contaminated and mixed plastics. Summing up, Christine? I think it's a really interesting material, and I'm fascinated to see what uses you could put it to.

Love the fact that you're going to make some money out of it as well. (Laughs) That's nice of you! Veena? Look, it's such a clever idea. I mean, the thought of being able to recycle a whole range of materials and mixtures at the same time to come up with a wonderful homogeneous product, well done. And Chris? Yeah, one of the fascinations of being part of this New Inventors team is the tremendous recycling ideas we see, and this is right up there

with many that we've seen, absolutely tremendous, well done. Well done, guys. Thanks very much for coming in. Please thank Steve Morriss and Dr John Scheirs. APPLAUSE Thanks, guys. When you're young you're supposed to drink milk.

But often kids only want to drink flavoured milk. Which has a lot more sugar in it and of course is more expensive. But what if there was a flavoured milk that wasn't expensive and which didn't have much sugar in it?

And, strangest of all, what if it was shaped just like a straw?

I love milk. It's a great way to get calcium into your diet. So, I've come up with a new way of encouraging kids to drink more milk. At a fraction of the sugar of some flavoured milks. Sipahh is a drinking straw filled with flavoured beads. Each end has a specially designed filter that holds the beads in place while allowing the milk to be sucked up through the straw. As the milk passes through the beads the flavour is released. And you can choose from four natural flavours. Strawberry, banana, caramel and chocolate. My invention means lots of flavour without lots of sugar. So now everyone can enjoy a healthier flavoured milk. Please welcome, from Sydney, milk lover Peter Baron. APPLAUSE

Now, this just looks like a novelty straw. Doesn't it? It does. But if I pop it in and invite the panellists to do the same. You've got four flavours, haven't you? And have a drink... Don't mind us! CHRISTINE: That is so like chocolate milk. That is so like chocolate milk. Yeah. And what is happening, my understanding is these beads in here, as the milk sucks in, are basically flavouring the milk.

And dissolving as you go, mmm. Mmm. Mmm! That is so nice! Can we extend the show? Just hold up the straw and see what's left. So, what should have happened by the end? Oh, you should get between 250 and 300ml of milk with every straw. So, by the end of it, it would almost be completely dissolved? And this is the rather clever filter. Now, that filter allows the liquid to pass through but stops the beads?

It stops the beads, yes. And if a kiddie bit that open and ate it all... anything bad going to happen to them?

With the beads themselves? No. No. What's in them? Well, it will be ingested anyway. You've got only half a teaspoon full of sugar in there. You've got gluten-free starch. Yeah. We've got all natural flavours and no artificial colours. OK. Chris, what do you think? If you've finished? How have you been able to arrange to get that more even flow of flavours through the whole... I think you said 300ml, yes? It's all in the formulation. It's a gradual build-up of the ball. So we can control every part of the process.

And the way that the ball is structured, you have to allow for the fluid to pass through. And I know you don't like milk, do you?

Not quite! But this could be used with soy milk, it could be used with... We've even got one under way now which is using it with water. Christine? I've got a bit of a love-hate relationship with this,

because as a mother, my children are gonna love this. Look how excited we were when we were given it.

And it works and it's great. And I can see that I would have these in my handbag. And we would use them on travelling trips and things.

But it's 40 cents a pop. And you are throwing that out now, this piece of plastic. And I'm just wondering whether there was any way of recycling it, or is there any... Well, you can chuck it in the recycle bin. Does it get recycled? Yes. Yes. Veena? Coming to the mechanism as to how this works. I mean, if you've got now a scenario where milk has to actually flow through these beads, you've obviously introduced this extra resistance for the flow of milk through the straw. And that does make it a little bit harder for a child to suck milk through, particularly for a young child if they're trying to suck it through.

Do you think, then, that might make it more difficult and eventually a child kind of tends to give up on something if it is harder? Oh, I don't think so. I've never seen a kid say, "I don't want that thickshake, "it's too hard." And that's a good analogy, actually. Because a thickshake is a lot harder to drink through than one of these. Just finally, tell us about some of the other applications you're looking at for this. Well, I think that this is just the start. There's a really good point raised that at least this is a controlled dose. Where you've got powdered milks, as an example, kids will ladle these in, get them all over the place. This, you know exactly how much is going to be used. And because of that you can use them for medicines. You can use them for neutaceuticals. Particularly for people that perhaps have trouble swallowing or eating food? Absolutely, I mean, I don't think anybody, as an example, swallowing a tablet, that's not much fun. But if you can actually put all the good medical uses within a straw, then you can use it through a fluid which may be water, may be aerated water, it might be milk. Summing up. Chris? Yeah, look, I think this is very clever. There's going to be a lot of mums and dads who are going to be very pleased to get a way of doing it. But it also is making a healthier drink out of something which is very popular. Christine? I think there's a huge novelty value here.

And I think definitely people will buy packets of them, take them on holidays with them. And there's a big market in that travelling public. Veena? To be able to encourage kids to drink more milk is just a wonderful thing. And to provide that novelty and fun value to go with milk is a great idea, well done! It doesn't suck, Peter! Thanks for coming in. Please thank Peter Baron. I meant that in a nice way! APPLAUSE In a moment we'll find out which invention our judges will pick as tonight's winner. But first, while you watch this, I'm going to have another drink of milk. Ah! Tonight's winner will be in the running to be named our Inventor of the Year. Will it be the Sole Window for horses with sore feet? The wood that's made of plastic, E-Wood. Or the flavoured milk in a straw, Sipahh? Let's take a look at some criteria starting with you, Veena. Which is the most original? Well, I think if you look at the Sole Window there's nothing like that on the market. The whole simple idea, really elegant idea of being able to remove that lid, to basically tend to the wound and close it back just makes life so much easier. I think this is a really original collection of items tonight. Being able to get rid of something which previously the only alternative was to chuck it in the tip. Aren't I right in thinking, though, that the E-wood one, there's an original part of the process, but the process itself has been around for a while?

Definitely the originality comes in where you've got to be able to mix this whole range of materials to give you that homogeneous mix. But the originality is that it's a mixture of plastics in one piece, rather than having to split them up. And no-one's been able to do that before. What about design? The Sipahh and the Sole Window... It's got to be up there, doesn't it? Yeah, that Sipahh's very clever. The Sipahh has to head for design, I think. Because I think the Sole Window... There still are some design issues, I feel. I mean, I think it's beautifully designed except for that thing where you do have to cut it out individually for every single shoe. And I would've thought... I don't think it's that big a deal. I don't think that's going to be a problem. But the Sipahh, I think, in terms of design is very clever. Alright. Which one's going to find a market most easily? I think from a market point of view if you think about the huge need to be able to recycle all this e-waste that we are producing within that context. It's got win-win both sides. It's able to take care of the waste on one hand, then on the other hand also it's producing a valuable end product that can also be used. But I think in terms of need, I think the E-Wood really wins on need. The window, the shoe window for the vets and the farriers, it sounds as if that is a need that is out there. It is in that industry. A pressing need in that industry. Who's it going to be then? I've got no idea. I'll go first! Then I don't have to make a decision. You go first. I'm going to give my vote to the shoe window. Because he's come up with something which has a need in the industry. It is beautifully designed because of the easy screw-on, screw-off. No trouble there. And I think it really does deserve a vote. Chris? I think on the overwhelming need factor I'm going to go with E-Wood tonight, James. You're a recycling specialist but that doesn't mean you're going to vote for it necessarily. What are you going to vote for? Given all of those features, I'm going to have to go with the E-Wood as well. The winner is E-Wood. Steve Morriss and Dr John Scheirs. APPLAUSE Congratulations! Thanks, James. There you go. And you can have a sip of that if you like. Maybe later! Steve and John are in the running to be named our Inventors of the Year. What did you think? Which invention would you have voted for? If you'd like to have your say

you can vote in The New Inventors People's Choice Award. Pick your favourite from tonight.

Text 1 for the Sole Window, 2 for the E-Wood, 3 for the Sipahh: Thanks to our judges. Well done! APPLAUSE And a huge round of applause for the inventors, the stars of the show! Before we go tonight, comic actress Gracie Allen said, "When I was born I was so surprised "that I didn't talk for a year and a half." And that's a good reminder, isn't it, that there's one invention that's more important than the wheel, more useful than the car and more glamorous than the potato peeler. It's you. Goodnight. APPLAUSE THEME MUSIC We know that last week the panel picked Grant Sherriff from Yeppoon in Queensland and the Sheriff Cattle Feeder. What did you pick as the people's choice? There was the Callander Slide Hammer, the Sherriff Cattle Feeder And the Invisa-Beam bed monitor. And the winner is:

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