Sizzling & Shaking : 2 new ‘I’ve got an idea’ Fund Awards

In selecting these latest award winners from the many fascinating applications we receive, we’ve again chosen to fund ideas which are DIY based where individuals or groups are building and testing their technical ideas themselves rather than outsourcing the development to a specialist company. This means that we can fund more projects with the limited money we have available as outsourcing software, hardware or content development tends to eat up anyone’s funds fast.

But the main reason is that we know, from our own experience, that building the idea yourself is more fun and the best way of evolving it, gaining new knowledge and skills and learning what works and doesn’t work. Having fun collaborating and experimenting through hands on doing is where the spirit of this particular fund lies.

The Fund is still open until the current pot runs dry.

Portable Solar BBQ

Victor Galadimawa is a Mechanical Engineer with a Masters degree in Thermal Power. His idea is to use optic filters combined with an Infrared emitter to construct a high-power, fast cooking, solar powered barbecue grill which is compact and portable enough to replace the current single use, charcoal grills. The latter have become very popular. They are often left littering the countryside and causing fires and the charcoal they use is often sourced from Africa.

Victor’s idea is that “the total incident solar flux into my solar barbecue grill’s concentrator is first concentrated and then converted into heat in a collector. This heat is then converted by an integrated infrared emitter in the grill assembly into infrared radiation suitable for grilling.”

The benefit of Infrared is that it penetrates the food and heats it more quickly and effectively.

Victor will use his Idea Fund award to purchase environmentally safe and biodegradable components and 100% recyclable materials required for this prototyping phase.

His solar thermal experimentation will be both challenging and fun and we wish Victor every success with his potential product and, hopefully, some great tasting BBQ sausages to enjoy at some point.

Biodegradable, bee friendly, percussion eggs

Christian Blackmore-Wynn is a Design Teacher who also sings and plays in the band The Legendary Snake Snake Snake. As they have no drummer, the band hand out percussion eggs (like the colourful ones you get in primary schools, etc) to the audience who then become the rhythm section of the band. Christian says it works really well as interactive,
audience participation but they are concerned over the number of percussion eggs they give out which end up discarded.

Current percussion eggs are either made of a polymer or wood which has been coated in a varnish and are filled with small metal beads. Neither option is environmentally friendly nor sustainable. They are sold in the hundreds of thousands globally every year to schools, colleges, bands and promotional events. Christian says they are rarely used more than a few times and are not recycled or have any other use. They go into landfill.

Christain will use the award to experiment with creating outer percussion shells from recycled paper and card pulp or from food waste such as orange peel or ground coffee with wildflower seeds mixed into it. He then wants to explore if the important ‘percussion’ noise inside the shape could be be produced by larger wild flower seeds. This will need exploring to discover which combination and size of seeds gives the best and most authentic sound.

Through his job, Christian tries to inspire his students and spark their
creative juices so is keen to involve them where possible in the experimentation and design.

The Idea Fund award will cover the cost of a range of pulp producing equipment, grinders and blenders, moulds of varying shapes and sizes, drying racks, wild seeds, producing test examples. Material research into a range of natural and biodegradable pulps. Research into manufacturing techniques to include tradition mould making but also modern applications such as 3D printing. Making or purchasing a Dehydrator for food peelings and ground coffee. Making or purchasing a hydraulic press machine once a successful mould and process has been established.

We wish Christian, his band and his students every success with this endeavour. It will certainly involve plenty of problem solving, experimentation and fun and hopefully some great new sounds and later maybe wildflowers in unexpected places for the bees.

About Alison Kidd

Research Psychologist
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