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(generated from captions) THEME MUSIC Tonight on The New Inventors - then gets right back up again. a windmill that falls over enters the space age. Flossing your teeth us all turn green. And something that could help CHEERING AND APPLAUSE Hello there. I'm James O'loghlin. was invented Also tonight, how cellophane on top of your car. Crazy. and a boat ramp you can put agricultural scientist Chris Russell, Tonight, our judges are

and futurist and author Mark Pesce. interior designer Alison Page

Welcome. APPLAUSE was a great invention. You know, the hinge without a hinge. Imagine opening your door pick it up and lift it. You'd have to actually you're carrying the shopping. Try doing that while I think doors, I think card tables. When I think hinges though, have I thought windmills. But never before of everyday farming life. Windmills are a part a windmill But to repair and maintain

can be very, very dangerous. has to climb up the windmill Because usually the farmer normally and do repairs himself. up to these heights of hinges and clamps The Tower Hinges are a set that make the job of erecting easy and safe. and maintaining a windmill are made from galvanised steel The hinges and clamps at the desired height. and are attached to each of the legs

The hinges are used as a template

into each of the legs. and are drilled to either side of the tower. A wire cable is then attached And then, well, let me show you.

quickly when nasty weather hits. But best of all, it can be lowered near Mingenew in Western Australia Please welcome from a farm of Perth and a bit inland. which is about 400km north APPLAUSE It's not a big place - Lee Shier. G'day, matey. Thanks for coming. maintaining in your time, hey? Now you've done a lot of windmill A hell of a lot, yep. and the wind's blowing, If you're up here the safest place to be. it wouldn't be Not really, no. It's very dangerous. through one once, didn't you? And you in fact fell Yeah, it let go. It just collapsed. Right. Hence your invention. or the bolt to hold it together You've got the pin that goes in there it just hinges and then once you take that out, in an ever so cute way. it over a little bit, is that right? But you'd sort of, you'd first pull Yeah. You pull it over centre. let it out with a winch Then you just either Back your tractor up, yep. or even back your tractor up. And down it comes. you can't do horizontal? Are there any maintenance tasks the whole lot there. No, no. You control when it's time to go, Fantastic, and then you just pick it up again. Drive off.

Is that bolt...? And then put the bolt in. the whole weight of the windmill. That's in high winds again holding comes down onto that. Right. The height of the windmill blow apart or anything? No. So there's no...? It's not gonna on the top of it. And you just do your nut up How much does it cost? And you can retrofit these, right? $600? About $600. Yep. It's amazing. For...? It's a fantastic thing. Come across and sit down. when you thought, Was there one moment them down on the ground?" "Hang on, why don't we just lie for cyclones. Yeah. I thought about that Yeah. Yeah, right. You're making these retrofittable Chris. to windmills. out of sufficiently strong angle Are most windmill towers built lower their own weight that you can actually Yes, yes. without bending or twisting them? have to beef them up? No. You don't think you're gonna

how many? In fact you've already installed Yeah, great. About 35.

them over that point of centre. And even when you're pulling isn't it, the lifting really? That's the hardest part, of that with your tractor, You know, all the sort of geometry of the tower is there a limit on the height that you can do that with? No. or the weight of the tower Mm. No, there's not. Lee, how big is the problem? There you go. this down in a year's say? How often are you gonna be lowering a blade off a windmill, It just depends. If you lose your problems. that's where you normally get your vibrations set in. You lose one blade and then you know, shaking loose. Then all your bolts start, Everything else starts rattling. hanging off a windmill tower It's very hard Yes. and try to do the bolts up. you just lower him down, Where this way and tighten up all your bolts. change the fan blade every time you drop it. Just so general maintenance several times a year So you could be doing it all the rest of it. to change the oil and windmills break down The main reason why most goes missing and it throws it in. is because of blade You know, your head and hub. You do your hub in then too. that you buy off the shelf Is this something yourself as a farmer and then install it a specialist? No. or is this gonna require and fit them on yourself. You just buy them

Mm. Very easy to fit. Yep? Yeah, great. Yes. If not, you'd come round and do it. somewhere near you. (All laugh) If they were Which they probably will be. Doesn't matter where you are. Is it really true then to safely lower a windmill? Yes. it only takes one person running as a spot or anything? You don't want anyone else It's always gonna be like that. of the windmill Does it change the capacity to stand up in a strong wind? Stronger? It makes it stronger. It does. to test them I've been up the windmill and it feels actually stronger. It's actually bracing it more. Yeah, OK. Summing up, Chris. Many farmers are very blase about farm safety and I think lag behind and this is one aspect you've really addressed here with this. I think good luck to you and I just hope we see it more universally adopted

to stop people having to climb around on the top. Look, towers have been hinged before but what's unique about this design is the fact that you've got a really wide front foot so that it lands on that spot every time and that's what's unique about it and I just think it's a heaps good improvement. Windmills are a big part of Australia's history but they're really gonna be a big part of the sustainable future of the country and anything that makes them easier and safer

is a great invention. Well done. Good luck. Thank you. You might be the inventor who's come the furthest to be here so thank you very much. Please thank Lee Shier. Good luck. Thank you very much. APPLAUSE HAPPY PIANO MUSIC OK. Hands up if the last time you went to the dentist, the dentist said, "You need to regularly floss your teeth." Now, if you did what you were told and started flossing every night, you can put your hand down otherwise keep it up. I still see a lot of hands. Well, all of you recalcitrant flossers, look at this. HAPPY PIANO MUSIC ET BEEPING Every time I go to the dentist, he threatens me and my wallet with horrible acts for the areas my toothbrush can't reach. So I finally tried flossing. But like everyone else found that even when I could fit my hand in my mouth, the floss still missed lots of nooks and crannies.

And it takes time most of us don't have. So for reluctant flossers, the Piccolo is an electric toothbrush with flossing probes to easily access and remove plaque. You just replace the brush head with the flossing probe and feel it rotate and thread its way between your teeth

flossing off plaque and removing any debris along the way. A little like the way a drill bit works,

the debris is then pushed and sucked from between the teeth into the probe's base avoiding going further into the gums. And before you know it, you're laughing all the way to the dentist. (Laughs) Munch! Please welcome from Sydney Eric Coates. APPLAUSE G'day, Eric. Now, you're not a toothy man, you're an engineering man. I am, yes.

Part of the thing - the floss is a straight line. Yes. But the insides of your teeth are sort of wiggly. Yes. But this... (Laughs greedily) This is it, right? Yep. Turn it on. Yes. And then... Notice it flailing around. Yeah, yeah. It's gyrating. That will get into every little bit, won't it? Absolutely. Nice and soft. That's the idea, yeah. Right. Just show on my false teeth how you'd do it. You put it up against the gap between your teeth and you advance it in. Yeah. And you see it flailing there. There it goes. Go again. One more time. Yes, yes. There you go. And it flails around and then it sucks it too. There's also a vacuum in there, a small vacuum pump. Can I have a go? You can, yeah. It all gets sucked down into the hole. Absolutely, yeah. Oh, man. It won't hurt, will it? No, no, no.

That's it. Then let go of it and it comes out again. Wow! They're the cleanest teeth I've ever had. They will be, yeah. Fantastic.

Great. Come across to the panel. Certainly. How much do they cost?

The complete cleaning station there, the bathroom station, is about 180 bucks. 180 bucks? And we're working on a much smaller model now for... We call it the Pocket Piccolo. It's for handbag use, overnight use. Now, before we get on, do you floss your teeth? Don't tell my dentist but not enough.

No. Do you floss your teeth? Religiously. Religiously? How's that, with a cross? She put the fairy God in me. Right.

There are other interdental kind of brushes out there. What's the main point of difference with this? OK. Well... Most products that are out there push. You have to push them in between your teeth and that compresses whatever's in there down below the gum line. So what that does is it makes the problem worse. Whereas you release and suck. This probe actually pulls itself in. There's no pressure. It screws itself in so it pulls itself in. There's a clutch in there that if it comes up against anything releases it so that you can't go in too hard. A clutch? Nice. So it pulls itself in and once it stops going in, the auger pulls the... The auger? What's an auger? It's a spiral and it shears the surface of the tooth and it shears the plaque. OK. I love the fact that you've kind of... You've put the electric toothbrush together with the probe.

Why wouldn't you just do that as an attachment 'cause we've all got our own ones. Wouldn't we just wanna buy that as an attachment? Unfortunately you can't do that because of the drive mechanism that pushes it forward. You can't simply attach it. You can retrofit it the other way around. If you buy that unit there which is about the same price... Yeah, you've done well with the pricing actually. It's easy to transfer. You've also got a vacuum in there. There's a small vacuum. It's one moving part. Eric, I am part of that small portion... Well done, Mark. Good on you. The only flosser on the panel.

Look at his teeth. Give the camera a big smile. Oh, aren't they great?

But it took me about a month to learn how to really floss right and to get used to it. So how long would it take me to learn with the Piccolo? Um, it wouldn't take that long but there is a skill to it. There's a feedback mechanism to your brain. It is slightly weird when you start. It is. You've gotta get used to feeling the position. The auger itself, is that just smooth or has it actually got little flutes on it? They're little flutes but they're reasonably sharp-edged

so that it shears the surface of plaque. Plaque is a multi-layer substance that bacteria live in and it's got a very cunning surface that protects the bacteria. You've gotta get through that surface. Summing up, Al. It's a really clever design because what you've done which is different to the other brushes is there's a wire, you've gotten rid of that wire that goes straight through the middle. So you've managed to keep the stability with getting rid of it which is great. We can torture ourselves instead of going to the dentist. Eric, I think you've made this really, really easy to use. I would say definitely for people with mobility problems who can't get in their teeth, you're gonna have a hit. You'll be smiling all the way to the bank. Thank you. If you've got flutes, I thought maybe instead of flossing,

you'd be fluting with a Piccolo. LAUGHTER I think with our ageing population,

it doesn't matter how many, how much holes you've had in your teeth, or if you've had none. You've still got this gum problem.

So that's a really important... Just open your mouth. You should floss. I should. Please thank Eric Coates. Good on you, Eric. APPLAUSE

I'm Richard. This is my wife, Dorothy, and she's my right arm. That's my son, Gary. He's my left arm. I got pretty crook at one time.

I had a few heart attacks and done my shoulder in. Mum just said to me, she said, "What's the point in it?" She said, "Why don't we just travel around and enjoy life a bit?" I said, "I'm not going without my boat. I gotta take a boat." And then I got thinking, "Well, maybe there is a way of doing it "and take all the hard work out of it?" So I just sketched a few things up while I was in hospital. Then when I came home, my son set me all up in the shed and I did it. My invention is a... I call it a boat rack and ramp because it's virtually a ramp and it's a boat carrier.

Gravity does it all for you. You crank a handle and it's in the water. All you've gotta do is put your coffee in, a bit of bait, say ta-ta to Mum, and away you go. And I'm serious about that. APPLAUSE He looks like a happy man, doesn't he? So everyone is going green, right? Or is everyone just talking about going green? One of the problems with using fewer resources at home is that it's really hard to work out exactly how much electricity or gas or even water you're using.

If only we could access all the info we wanted whenever we wanted inside our home.

You don't hide your speedo when you're driving. It's right there in front of you so you know when to slow down.

So as we're hurtling towards environmental disaster, why don't we have a way of knowing when to slow down our energy, water and gas consumption? Eco vision is a speedometer for resource consumption in the home. Through touch-screen technology, you're able to monitor exactly how much energy, water and gas your home and appliances are consuming. And put on the brakes if you're travelling too fast. Ecovision makes it easy for you to see exactly how you can do your bit to help save the planet. And all the time, keeping your lifestyle on cruise control. Please welcome from Elanora on the Gold Coast Steve Miller and Rick Maddox. APPLAUSE Hello, Steve. Hello, Rick. Thanks for coming in.

You guys teamed up about four years ago on this? Yeah. We were friends on the Gold Coast. We still are friends... That's good. We both come from an engineering background. We saw a challenge ahead and we took the challenge.

Fantastic. And, um, this is it. But it sort of draws its information from all the little metres of gas and electricity and water and sucks all them and uses them. And brings them into the system. It can do some really neat things. For example, I've often wondered which uses more power - boiling a kettle or putting a kettle on the stove? It can tell you. It can tell you exactly that sort of thing. So show me. Here's a day's worth of data.

You see electricity usage at the top of the graph. That's it across there. Absolutely. Am I right? All these little things are the fridge going on and off.

Fridge going on an off. What's that spike?

People boiling a jug, using a toaster. Right. The dishwasher at the end of the day. Yeah. And here, that's the electricity that's coming in, right? That's the solar generator. If you've got solar power. Absolutely. You've got your net. What else have we got? We've got... We can get more information on water. Show you during the day in Brisbane, in Queensland, it's been quite a big issue. So that's your cumulative use of water across the day. By the end of the day, you can look at your family and say, "We've used 120..." That would be 120? Litres per person. "Can we get it down to 115 tomorrow?"

Absolutely. Right. That's exactly what it's about. Man, that's lovely. Come across and sit down. Um, how much will they cost? At the moment, the controller and the Ecovision screen is costing around $2,000 to $3,000 but it's a volume gain. Once we get enough out there, we want to be well under $1,000. Right. Interesting. Um, Mark. So you have now all the sensors in the house for your energy, your gas usage pouring into the Ecovision. Is the Ecovision connected out to the power companies

so that you can know what the power company might be doing? Absolutely. We've designed this so that communities can pick up the data and aggregate that through a server and that can also go further upstream to the utilities. So the usage can actually be shared across a number of participants. Now if we get to a point where we really have to start to cut down our carbon emissions and our energy use as a result of this

and if a system like this is spread out maybe in homes everywhere across the nation, what does that mean in terms of the energy usage? What that means is that people can actually become a big player

in the whole cooperation of demand across the network.

So they can play their part to reduce the energy usage by saying, "Yeah, I do wanna subscribe "to reducing my energy under these circumstances" or, "I've got a difficult situation. I can't do it at the moment." So in real time, they'll bargain with the utility about the energy. According to their circumstances at that time.

You mentioned you can fit your own targets in there

for what you want to achieve. Can you actually hook those up to the system?

I'm thinking with my older children, I'd like it so they shut the ruddy thing off.

The ruddy thing? Everyone knows that heaters are expensive to run and plasma TVs. So the shower just turns off halfway...? Exactly. Turns the lights off and, you know, all that sort of thing. Do they know that you're using language like 'ruddy' when you talk about them? I am on the ABC. Absolutely. We have a controller that sits behind this which can do all sorts of intelligent things. And one of the things...

An example there with children. We'd like to see a situation where people may be able to say, "You take care of your own bedroom and your electricity and so forth "and if you do better, you'll get a bit of a bonus". Some of that bonus can be real cash, can't it? If you're feeding energy back into the grid or trading in those greenhouse... That's right. And that's gonna be, you know, somewhere in the future. How well does the retrofit work? Because most of our housing stock is existing.

Retrofit needs to be... We need to do more work on the retrofit. We do have, we're going for new homes at the moment to refine the installation process and make sure all of the issues are sorted out there. And to make sure we understand what metres and components we need to work properly. And to understand what we're gonna need for the retrofit market.

So gaining a bit more intelligence but it's not far away. Alright. Summing up, Mark. Look, the Ecovision is something very much like it is going to be a principal feature of all the homes in the 21st century. You guys have made an amazing attempt. It might be all the way there. I think, you know, you're gonna see as we start to pass laws which directions we need to go in and you've got a head start. Chris. This is definitely the way of the future. I think you've really gotta attach it to the hip pocket to make this really popular because once it's attached to the hip pocket, people will use it. Now that we're also switching our lighting. We're programming our lighting and also our window coverings.

It would be a really good idea to add that to this platform so that everything is controlled because they are environmental things as well. Absolutely. Good luck, guys. Who knows what sort of plane you'll be driving in 10 years. Please thank Steve Miller and Rick Maddox. Thanks very much. Thanks. APPLAUSE

So, who will tonight's winner be? Whoever it is will be in the running to be named our Inventor of the Year. Will it be the easy to repair lie down and stand up again Tower Hinge? The probing and cleaning into all those hard to get at places Piccolo? Or the domestic electricity, gas, and water monitoring Ecovision? Ah, Mark, let's start with you. Which one do we need the most? They're all answering a need.

The Tower Hinge is saving life and limb. That's a very immediate need. The Piccolo is really dealing with the fact that people don't floss even though they've been told for years. And the need there is that there's a public health relationship between the quality of your gums and how long you live and how much you're gonna have to pay in medical insurance...

Yeah, I dunno. I reckon the Ecovision's got the most need though, don't you? The Ecovision is an all or nothing proposition

because if you don't get an entire nation invested in it,

then you don't read the enormous savings of the grid management which is the real potential there. But you've gotta make a start. Exactly. We've gotta force ourselves to be more conscious of the resources we use.

We've got to do that and this is a start on that. And it gives us greater individual but also the collective control. I think you've still got the individual control without the collective but the potential of the collective is so amazing. I think the hinge tower, or windmill system, is... I mean, it's cheap as chips and yet this can completely change the safety involved with servicing those windmills. I think it will get cheaper too as he mass produces as well. Look, it has been around before. People will write and say, "We've got one of these."

People do have these things but what he's done is make it virtually bulletproof in terms of the way it finds its position again and also the retrofittability is so important. But of the three inventions, that has the smallest overall market because Piccolo could be in every bathroom in Australia. The Ecovision needs to be in every home in Australia.

With legislation, it probably will be. But how original is Piccolo? The idea of using an auger flighting to get the debris out from between your teeth. It sounds aggressive and terrible. And you wouldn't think you could make it work but when you think of the logic of pulling its way through the teeth and removing that debris... I think originality wise, that is absolutely a winner on originality. I don't think it's the winner on originality. I think that the Ecovision is a unique bundling of all of those metres together. And also it's the interface. That's been the big problem. With...Joe Public being able to understand what they're doing. And look, I was able to use it, Chris.

You know. Hello. Foolproof. This is an interesting night tonight because we've had three very interesting inventions and two in particular very big market ones. I'm gonna give it to the Piccolo though tonight. Really? Because I think that has got a big market. It's a unique approach and it's a really important potential problem with our ageing population. Either of you disagree? It's a neat little design but I am gonna disagree. Sir Francis Bacon said, "Knowledge is power." Knowledge saves you power with the Ecovision. I'm gonna give my vote to that. Right. Mark. It's all about you. They're two absolutely great inventions

and they're both really well designed. I have to admit that there's something about the Piccolo that just says this is going to be really important and it's going to be something that will become a basic dental tool the same way that dental floss is so I'll give it to the Piccolo. There you go. The winner, Eric Coates and the Piccolo. APPLAUSE Congratulations. That's for you, Eric. Thank you. In the running to be named our Inventor of the Year. What did you think? If you'd like to have your say, vote for The New Inventors' People's Choice Award. Pick your fav'.

Thanks, judges. Well done. A huge round of applause for our four inventors tonight. The quote tonight from American singer and actress Pearl Bailey. She said, "You never find yourself until you face the truth." Goodnight. APPLAUSE We know that last week, the panel picked Stephen Walker and his Edge Pinning Head Tool. But what did you pick as the People's Choice? There was the UPheels, the Edge Pinning Head Tool and the Tarpsafe. And you picked the UPheels. Closed Captions by CSI

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