Change the World Challenge
Fall 2012 Winners Announced
From earthquake protection to health monitoring, from vehicle collision prevention and helping
innovators to network, Rensselaer students once again combined their knowledge, imagination, and effort to develop winning ideas in the Office of Entrepreneurship’s semi-annual Change the World Challenge.
Created by Rensselaer’s 2011 Entrepreneur of the Year, Sean O’Sullivan ’85, to support entrepreneurship education and stimulate ideas to improve the human condition, the competition provides a $10,000 cash prize pool. The pool is shared by winning students and student teams who develop innovative ideas and inventions with the potential to make the world a better place.
“The ultimate goal of the competition is to encourage students to further develop, patent, and translate their winning ideas into life-changing inventions and technologies,” said Rob Chernow, vice provost for entrepreneurship and chair of the competition.
The fall 2012 competition received a record number of entries. “The large volume of submissions for this fall competition was like judging two normal semester events, not one,” added Chernow.
Because the Change the World Challenge has helped to validate their ideas, many students continue to develop their ideas and have won other national and international competitions. In early June, a $5,000 grand prize will be awarded to one “best of the best” entry from the fall 2012 and spring 2013 competitions.
The winning ideas from the fall 2012 semester cover a range of innovative devices, processes, and technologies. “As always, a large number of the entries represented great ideas. The winners typically reflect ideas that the students have worked on for a while and for which they have developed well-articulated and visually interesting proposals. And, they all excited the judges’ imaginations,” said Chernow.
The winners are:
Rotational-based Mechanical Adaptive Earthquake Protectors
Seismic devices that are adaptive and can change their properties based on responses of structures without the need for electricity or external power. Navid Attary ’13, graduate student.
Self-Testing Blood Bag
A blood donation storage bag that integrates test processing at a fraction of the current costs and time through a series of embedded chemical tests that react in contact with the donor’s blood. Dominic Gelfuso ’15.
A professional networking and matchmaking website utilizing a proprietary database and specialized algorithm to help identify and qualify complementary skills and build project teams for entrepreneurs, students, and professionals. Kevin Lyman ’15, Jonathan Silvestri ’15, Andrew Wright ’14.
Automatic 3-D Visualization
A software solution/app for computers and phones that enables users to virtually preview a product as it would appear within the three-dimensional geometry of their home and improving on the online buying shopping process. Michael Fede ’13.
BiVision Collision Prevention System
A system of physical sensors, an auditory warning medium, and a logic predictor integrated into a smartphone or GPS device. It will alert drivers and pedestrians of potentially dangerous situations and quickly recommend the best course of avoidance. Wesley Connor ’13.
KnowFlow Water Meter
A water flow powered faucet attachment with venturi meter to calculate usage, providing households with a wireless online record to monitor water used for
hygiene, cooking, cleaning, laundry, and more to help prevent waste. Mary Savannah Dalton ’14.
A stylized toy robot with computer software. It provides young children an interface with tasks/missions to solve by programming their own Probot and motivates them to explore, achieve objectives, and earn rewards. At the same time, it is a learning tool that can help interest them in technology and engineering. Kevin Lyman ’15, Jonathan Silvestri ’15, Andrew Wright ’14.
Adapts existing technology that enables cell phone users to identify and mark unsolicited calls with a one-button push on their phone and across the mobile phone provider networks. After being flagged a determined number of times, the unsolicited caller would be blocked from making outgoing calls. Dave Guglielmo ’15.
A modular aquatic installation designed to make a variety of small-scale, open-ocean operations such as aquaculture and research installations cheaper to build and operate. Environmentally friendly applications include fish farms, aquatic sea life nurseries, floating recreation, capturing samples for research testing. David Liu ’13.
Two interlinked modules, a smartphone app and an RFID tag that can plug into the memory card slit of the phone. It allows users, particularly those with chronic conditions, to manage day-to-day health, measures relevant medical values, monitors changes, and transmits data to first responders in emergency situations. Sidsel Ernstsen ’13.