UNSW industrial design graduates shine a light on tech

Take a peek at the impressively high level of ingenuity on display at UNSW's 2012 end-of-year industrial design exhibition.


Michelle Starr

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1 of 19 Michelle Starr/CNET Australia


Take a peek at the impressively high level of ingenuity on display at the University of NSW's 2012 end-of-year industrial design exhibition.

From 15-22 November, the University of NSW (UNSW) has been exhibiting the finest work of its graduating Industrial Design students — an impressive demonstration of inventiveness, ergonomics and tech.

2 of 19 Michelle Starr/CNET Australia

Guard Danger Zone Indicator

Fiona Lee

This clip-on device allows professionals in the mining and industrial industries to monitor exposure to harmful substances, with the ability to identify both short-term exposure limits and the time-weighted averages of long-term exposure. Its sensors include noise, vibration, UV, temperature and gas for CO, CO2, O2, dust and fumes, programmed to comply with Australian occupational health and safety standards. When an environment reaches dangerous levels, the device will alert the wearer — but continuous monitoring, readable on the LCD screen, means that workers can keep a constant awareness of their safety.

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Angela Lam

Pets can get anxious when left home alone for hours, but it's often unavoidable when pet owners have to work. PawsyWalsy is a device that soothes both pet and owner. It does several things: firstly, it dispenses balls for the pet to play with. It also incorporates an aromatic diffuser to either mask the smell of pets or emit a calming pheromone (such as Adaptil). A small camera allows the owner to video call the device using a smartphone to check up on the pet visually, and a speaker at the back plays music and ambient sounds to soothe worried pets.

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Eugenius Lai

This is a strange one, but super clever: it's sort of an anti-speaker. When placed on a surface, it analyses the vibrations from ambient noise — such as traffic noise or loud neighbours — and produces a negative sound wave to cancel it out. It can't completely cancel out those noises, but it does claim to be able to reduce them quite effectively.

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Rob Cervetto

By converting audio input to vibrations, Musia aims to provide the hearing impaired with the "emotions and memories associated with music" without actually hearing it. Via audio jack, the signal is transferred to a wearable vest, where it is translated into a series of vibrations across the wearer's back and shoulder neural pathways — treble through the top, and bass through the bottom — effectively mapping out the music into physical space and sensation.

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Nitzan Cohen

Designed for airport use, Scoot2Go is a system for sharing mobility scooters that gives disabled travellers autonomy, independence and mobility. It's a self-service kiosk where users can go to rent a scooter, eliminating wait times for wheelchairs and assistance, and freeing up airport staff — while allowing the user to move freely around the airport as they like. Potential other applications include shopping centres, museums and hospitals.

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Will Scott-Kemis

With all the comms in one small, wearable package, Harc is a radio earpiece for emergency personnel. It supports both VHF and UHF radio bands — but that's not all it does. The compact unit also contains a camera and mic for capturing video — which would be useful in many police and emergency situations, especially for protecting against accusations of wrongdoing or analysis when an operation goes awry — and a GPS for geolocation in emergency situations. Harc also monitors the wearer's stress and fatigue levels via a non-contact EEG sensor.

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Patrick Gates

What if you could diagnose car problems by analysing the exhaust? That's exactly what Exhaustics does. The filter fits into a car's exhaust pipe and takes readings of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, oxygen, nitrous oxide and carbon particulates. These readings are then sent to an on-board diagnostics scanner, which can display in real time problems that the vehicle might be having, and vastly reduce the time spent on diagnosis by a mechanic.

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Jonathan Biet

Lightweight and portable, Sled is a safety bollard that can be folded up and placed in a car's boot — but portability is only one of its advantages. Adjustable tripod legs allow it to be erected on almost every surface, while the LED display allows for maximum visibility with a minimum of power, with an aim to keep road workers as safe as possible.

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Lumina Apparel

Janniche Aarøen

Safety clothing needn't be ugly, Aarøen believes. That's why this line of safety jackets for scooter-loving women look just like normal jackets. Embedded in the fabric, though, discreet LEDs flash and blink, making for much higher visibility in low-light or foggy conditions; and pockets contain D3o fluid, a substance that hardens and absorbs force upon impact. Two layers of fabric are used: a wind- and waterproof outer membrane, and a 600-denier abrasion-resistant nylon inside.

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Alfred Boyadgis

One step closer to Robocop. Although Forcite is super light, thanks to its AIM+ Kevlar composite shell, that's just the icing on a tech-filled cake. Inside is a GPS, intercom system, megaphone and LED torch; but its biggest advantage will be to traffic cops. It contains an automatic number plate recognition system that can check registration, speed and outstanding warrants on vehicles via 4G long-term evolution (LTE), displayed almost instantaneously on a HUD inside the helmet on the wearer's peripheral vision.

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Shanshan Wang

If you need to breathe via Oxygen cylinder, getting out and about is going to be a trial: current cylinders are large, heavy and unwieldy — especially for sick people, and even more especially for children. Wang's version is made of super-lightweight epoxy carbon fibre, which contains a liquid oxygen cylinder refill. The case is secure and sturdy, but easily portable and easy to refill, while a digital interface allows the unit to maintain its own condition, venting autonomously when necessary.

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Julian Chow

Arthritis is incurable, but the pain can be managed. Arthrodoc uses a combination of low-level laser therapy and extracorporeal shockwave therapy to provide temporary, drug-free relief from musculoskeletal pain. It's not self-administered, though: via an internet connection through a tablet or PC, the user's medical practitioner can prescribe and administer treatment remotely, both allowing the patient not to make a journey to a clinic while in pain, and freeing up clinic resources.

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Bike Volt

Thomas Wilson

This simple-looking frame is an intriguing way to store a bike out of the way while keeping it secure. The bicycle is clamped inside the double frame, with silicon arms threaded through the wheels to prevent damage to the bike. An electronic lock secures the bike, which is then raised up on the central pole to a safe height where thieves can't reach it (if it's out in the open) or where it'll be out of the way (if stored in a garage).

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Sam Whipp

If you live with diabetes, you know that it can be annoying to manage. Gluco aims to make testing glucose levels simple and relatively painless. You still need to feed it blood, but everything is managed simply and quickly, and can be managed one handed in a few seconds. One smooth, upward slide prepares the lancet and dispenses the test strip, and analysis only takes a few seconds, with the reading displayed on the device's LCD screen. You can then send to and store your readings in the paired smartphone app, which can be used for enhanced monitoring and planning.

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Marco Tallardia

What if you could have a cardio examination without all the wires? Pulse+ is a wireless Holter monitor that uses printable textile circuitry and a tidy electrode configuration that is both tidy and comfortable. It does look like a good improvement on all those messy wires.

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Stephen Mesa

Search-and-rescue (SAR) missions are often carried out in regions that are outside the range of our current telecommunications networks. This means that SAR teams have a hard time communicating. SARComm is a portable unit that supports both radio signals and internet communications. The device contains a radio repeater, which receives radio signals and retransmits them at a greater signal strength, allowing it to overcome line-of-sight barriers such as mountains or buildings. It also contains a wireless modem that can create a wireless hotspot, allowing emergency personnel to communicate by using smartphones, tablets and laptop computers.

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Anne Karen Aanoli

We've seen electric-solar hybrid cars before; but, as designer Aanoli argues, why do they always have to look like such mum-and-dad cars? Inspired by the World Solar Challenge, she has created a vehicle that is both environmentally conscious and looks sleek and sporty.

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Ox Hot Box

Pip Connolly

What if you could have a warm pie out of one compartment in your lunch box, and then a cool drink from another? Ox Hot Box was designed for people who may not have access to a kitchen at lunch time. It has two 650-millilitre food containers, a sandwich press with room for two sandwiches and an insulated section that keeps items cool. In addition, the two removable containers can be warmed using silicone heaters between the container walls. Sounds like it would make for a perfect picnic for two, as well.

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