InVenture finalists hold media event

Photo by Noah Bryant

The six InVenture Prize finalists are hard at work preparing for the March 14 finale at the Ferst Center, on March 7, news media was given the chance to talk to the finalists and preview their projects.

Gaitway, a transportable set of parallel bars designed and built by Nora Johnson and Veronica Young, hopes to become a new solution for pediatric ambulatory therapy.

Gaitway is significantly lighter than other parallel bars, can fold to fit into the back of a minivan, and is able to support the weights of children from 15 months to 10 years old. Gaitway’s flexibility makes it potentially more attractive to physical therapists who need to carry equipment to the homes of children of a variety of ages.

Capable Cane, a project by Jeffrey McMichael, hopes to target walking problems the other end of the age spectrum faces.

Improving on previous canes that unfold into small chairs that often are unsturdy, the Capable Cane unfolds into a four-legged chair that resembles a lawn chair.

McMichael hopes to market his product to the 6.5 million people in the United States that the CDC estimates use a cane, walker, or crutches.

However, since the design also doubles as a lighter version of a lawn chair, he believes Capable Cane could also be sold to a general audience.

In the future, McMichael hopes to shave down weight by replacing some the aluminum pieces with molded plastic and add height adjustability features, which some senior citizens asked for when he discussed his product with nursing home residents.

CauteryGuard, created by Jack Corelli, Hunter Hatcher, Dev Mandavia, Devin Li, all biomedical engineering majors, improves the standard design of the high-temperature electrocautery devices used in 80 percent of surgical procedures, according to Dev.

CauteryGuard fixes common electrocautery dangers by using a spring to automatically retract the hot filament into its casing after usage, allowing it to cool unexposed. The team has already managed to reduce the design’s form factor to the regular size of a electrocautery device, and hope to be able to push their manufacturing cost down to less than 30 cents above competing products’ cost.

CPR+, from David Ehrlich, Ryan Williams and Samuel Clarke, is a CPR mask that guides untrained users through the entire
CPR process.

The team hopes to position CPR+ as a complement to automated external defibrillator (AED) systems, which treat patients that suffer heart attacks. However, AEDs that guide users through emergency care can cost thousands of dollars, while the team plans to bring the price of CPR+ down to $100. The CPR+ team plans to sell CPR+ to school systems, where good placement and timely use of rescue devices can save children’s lives.

PickAR, a project by Wenqi Xian, Sarthak Srinivas and Cheng Hann Gan, uses augmented reality enabled by the Microsoft HoloLens to increase the efficiency of order picking, which is the act of moving products between different areas of a warehouse.

After putting on the HoloLens, a warehouse worker is able to see a 3D overlay over the warehouse shelf that shows a path of green arrows between the pick-up and drop-off locations. The team is also adding the ability to track item numbers by using the HoloLens’ front-facing scanning on product barcodes.

Because order picking takes up 60 percent of warehouse operating costs and 80 percent of order picking is manual labor, by speeding up human workers, warehouses could see dramatic savings.

InternBlitz is the only project with no hardware component, but having already launched its beta for Tech students, it’s also the only one with a current user base. Created by Murtaza Bambot and Nathan Dass, InternBlitz is a website that allows students to apply to internships in the same way they would to colleges: in one central hub.

The team wants to keep InternBlitz free, saying that you “shouldn’t need money to make money,” but they hope to monetize the product through data analysis of internship-hunting behavior to help recruiters learn how to find the best candidates for their respective companies.

The projects will compete for $45,000 in prizes at the March 14 finale. The first- and second-place winning teams will also receive free U.S. utility patents and acceptance into Tech’s Flashpoint startup incubator program.