Summary of Ideas Fair Projects
NEMO Equipment Inc. is a high end outdoor equipment brand which makes tents, sleeping pads and sleeping bags for everything from car camping to arctic mountaineering. NEMO’s mission is to “inspire a love of adventure and encourage participation in outdoor activity through great product design.”
NEMO’s philosophy about products is “design like you give a damn”, and that’s what we do. Innovation and attention to detail are at the core of everything we make. Sometimes innovations are large like using air-beams in tents, sometimes they are subtle like creating a way to use less foam in a sleeping pad in order to reduce weight but it’s always a meaningful and creative improvement.
NEMO’s suggested projects are listed below. They all relate to “outdoor sports”, including but not limited to, mountain biking, surfing, rock climbing, trail running, backpacking, kayaking, skiing.
CMSART (Central Massachusetts Search & Rescue Team) is a completely volunteer organization comprised of skilled men and women from the locations through out Eastern and Central Massachusetts. Since 1992, our members have volunteered their time, money, physical comfort and safety to save lives and promote wilderness safety.
We operate as a civilian asset to Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, state, and local agencies, providing skills in search tactics, navigation, search organization and planning. We also participate as "ground pounders" and navigators for line searches, hasty searches, k9 teams and evidence searches.
We face many issues that present opportunity for products and services. Areas include: Communications, Navigation, Safety, Survival, Subject Location and Rescue.
Competition Cycling Device: Finding The Sweet Spot
However, the impact of athletic training inputs can be measured with a variety of existing devices, from speedometers to heart rate monitors to powermeters. While the measurement of instantaneous power (in watts) applied to the pedals dominates training philosophies in cycling today, they do not consider how far the bicycle can mechanically travel under the influence of power. This is strange. With the gigantic engineering investment in gearing choice presented to the rider, which one provides the best mechanical advantage for forward movement? The answer today is entirely determined by vague rider choices of "the sweet spot". Tachometers measure sweet spots, golf clubs have sweet spots, even a baseball bat is engineered for that sweet spot. Yet, each rider makes very subjective (and often permanent) choices about which gears are best in a given condition. Without immediately visual feedback about the distance traveled with the gear currently in use, the rider often experiences "oops, bad gear!" when making attacking accelerations, or responding to grade, altitude and geography. The result is getting ‘dropped’ by the pack, or having to ‘dig deep’ athletically instead of maintaining consistent effort afforded by gearing.
The concept: Develop a standalone feedback device which detects the input of gear ratios to provide optimized gearing selection for the individual rider, given varied conditions. Similar to the concept of an automatic automobile transmission, the device will sense gear selections currently in effect, and match them to simultaneous training data (heart rate, power output) and environmental factors (altitude, grade, course design) to predict/recommend a gear shift to the rider. Athletically, the rider will finally have a comprehensive measurement system of biological, environmental and training markers to match human performance with mechanical advantage. When combined with a wide variety of GPS-enabled course mapping software, the rider could select gearing for individual courses based upon predictive algorithms, and athletically optimize his race day by matching recommendations of his personalized ‘automatic transmission’.
The commercial impact? With knowledge of optimized gearing, the rider is very likely to consider regular purchase of new gearing options, along with the shop-based service components of maintenance and installation. Furthermore, customized gearing developments will drive the gear manufacturing industry to produce a wider range of product, or interchangeable custom product, to meet the user-driven need to find the sweet spot.
The definitive study guide for the physics of bicycle gearing is www.sheldonbrown.com.
In the Learn to Farm Program at The Farm School, adult students come to the farm for a year — from October through the following September — to learn to farm. Throughout the year, every day and every way, students farm. Growing food for a 175 member CSA (Community Supported , vibrant Farmers' Markets and a 50 member meat CSA, and managing 150 acres of productive forest land are at the core of life and learning on the farm. Here students learn to farm by farming.
The creativity crisis has affected agriculture as much as any other sector in today’s economy. Creativity, ingenuity, keen observation skills, and the ability to innovate and improvise are integral to the success of the next generation of small farmers. They are at the core of what and how we teach.
How You Can Make a Meaningful Impact
Two scale-appropriate inventions that could have a profound impact on the productivity and economic viability of small-scale vegetable farmers are: a Small- Scale Mechanized Salad Greens Harvester, and a Mechanized Root Crop Seedling Thinner.
Small-Scale Mechanized Salad Greens Harvester:
Mechanized Root Crop Seedling Thinner:
Bartlett Tree Experts was founded in 1907 by Francis A. Bartlett and is the world’s leading scientific tree and shrub care company. From its nearly 100 offices worldwide, Bartlett helps both residential and commercial customers, and government agencies maintain beautiful, healthy trees. Francis A. Bartlett's fundamental purpose for establishing the company that bears his name was to provide quality care and good value to owners and managers of landscape trees and shrubs by means of a basic, four-step plan:
Bartlett Tree Research Laboratories:
We have at our disposal a modern, fully equipped laboratory with an extensive library, an education center, an arboretum containing about 2,000 species of trees and plants, several working test plots, and even a bird sanctuary. The Bartlett Tree Research Laboratories is capable of evaluating plant samples, culturing and identifying disease-causing organisms, identifying insects and performing complete soil analysis services. Staffed with scientists in fields such as plant pathology, entomology and botany, the labs advise our arborists on the latest advances in arboriculture for the benefit of our customers.
With the introduction of various new insect pests every year the industry is becoming more dependent on hydraulic sprayers to control the defoliating pest.
Your challenge is to devise a system that will control the spray and increase the chemical spray efficiency.
An interesting article in yesterday’s Boston Globe 9.9.12 concerning the loss of the ancient Chestnut trees in Great Britton. The trees are under pressure of a defoliating insect that lays eggs on in the leaves of the tree. As the larvae develop they destroy the leaves throughout the canopy causing the trees to be damaged by a secondary infestation of Phytophthora canker. These combined pests have caused the loss of thousands of valued Chestnut trees.
Perhaps you may see an opportunity to develop a system that can be beneficial to the trees and to the environment.
HKD Snowmakers and Snow Economics, Inc. is a long-standing family run business founded in 1991 and based in Natick, Massachusetts, U.S.A. Since inception, Snow Economics, Inc. has installed snowmaking products at more than 420 ski areas around the world. All of the products developed and manufactured by Snow Economics, Inc. utilize energy efficient HKD air and water technology.
HKD Technology is in operation in the U.S.A., Canada, Korea, Japan, China, Austria, Switzerland, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Norway and New Zealand.
Snowmaking Technology and associated on-hill challenges will be presented. One particular issue related to snow distribution seeks an innovative solution. The challenge is to develop a new gun, accessory, or other product that can address snowmaking distribution.
Mechanical Harvesting is a common management method used to address nuisance aquatic plant growth, such as Water Chestnut (Trapa natans) in river and lake systems. Harvesting equipment and methods haven't changed much in decades, but there are several well known shortcomings that may warrant a fresh look at possible re-designs or other modifications.
Aquatic Control Technology has been conducting harvesting and other plant management methods for almost 40 years. Our presentation will start with some background on aquatic plant management and then delve into harvesting equipment and projects, specifically outlining some of the challenges and limitations of the equipment currently available.
Background: The Achuar are an indigenous nationality of about 8,000 people living in roughly 70 communities spread throughout 800,000 hectares of pristine, biodiverse rainforest located in the Ecuadorian Amazon. They have long resisted environmentally damaging industries like oil extraction, mining, and commercial logging, and have instead embraced a development model based on ecotourism and the conservation of the forest and the resources it contains.
Because there are no roads into Achuar territory, gasoline is flown in by small planes, resulting in prices over four times the national average and making transport of people and goods prohibitively expensive. Furthermore, the few gasoline and diesel motors that do exist in the territory contaminate the delicate ecosystems, drive animals away from the communities and ecotourism installations, and undermine the Achuar’s ecological development model.
Fundación Pachamama is a non-governmental organization located in Quito that has partnered with the Achuar for 15 years on sustainable development, health, and conservation projects. In addition to our on-the-ground work in Achuar territory, we work nationally and internationally to promote policies that help create a environmentally sustainable, social just, and spiritual fulfilling world.
The Challenge: In order to promote sustainable development in Achuar territory, the lack of affordable transportation needs to be addressed. Traditional transportation options like roads and fossil fuel-powered boats do not meet the needs of the Achuar nor do they reflect their commitment to protecting the forests they live in.
Achuar territory has plentiful sun and a vast network of slow-moving, interconnected river ways. Because of this, and its unique cultural and social qualities, Fundación Pachamama and the Nacionalidad Achuar del Ecuador (the Achuar governing body) decided in 2011 to explore the possibility of solar energy powered boats. Initial studies led to a pilot project, which in turn lead to a grant from the Foreign Ministry of Finland, for $285,000 USD, to implement a locally-owned, solar-powered, public transportation system on the rivers of Achuar territory. The initial plan calls for about seven boats and a series of recharge stations.
The plan is in the early stages of development, and we need help to solve the many challenges that this project entails; to figure out what kind of boat work best for these conditions; what kind of with electric motors will be durable and powerful enough to power the boats; how the recharge stations will transfer the electricity to the boats, what business model will ensure the sustainability of the system; and how to train the Achuar to successfully maintain and operate the system. Students who work on this project will be participating in a highly visible and innovative project that will be replicated widely if successful. And they will be working with the Achuar in their historic struggle to conserve their territory.
Qualifications, Preferences, and Assets: We are looking for expertise in naval engineering, photovoltaics, electrical engineering, community development, and business development. Spanish language knowledge is a big plus.
Time constraints (if any): The design phase of this project begins in September and goes until February of 2013. During this time, teams could work from campus. During January break, teams could visit Achuar territory to help in the initial implementation and construction phases, which will last until June. During summer break, students could live in the Achuar communities and help them adapt to the new technologies.
The North Face is a company founded on the principal of making the best gear in the world to help people get out and explore the world. Our desire is to create a global movement of outdoor exploration. By doing this we get more people outside and in turn create a new generation that cares about protecting the environment.
We have funded many programs that help get people outside. From micro grants to youth outdoors groups to our running, skiiing, and climbing competitions around the world. (See our Planet Explore site and Endurance Challenge site for examples). One of the things we've been asking ourselves recently is: Are there products that may go beyond our typical offering that we should be creating to inspire more people to get outdoors? If so what would they be and how would we approach it?