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Student inventors make final preparations for Brainstorm competition

Brainstorm winner.
Mete Kural was the winner of last year's The Schoofs Prize for Creativity for his novel solar collection device. Larger Image

An All Terrain Wheelchair and a Vacuum Accelerated Sludge Consolidator are two of a record 24 student inventions vying for honors in the 2000 Brainstorm: Schoofs Prize for Creativity, to be held on Edison Day, Friday Feb. 11.

Now in its sixth year and open to all University of Wisconsin-Madison undergraduates, the contest awards cash prizes to those whose ideas are judged most creative, novel, innovative, patentable and likely to succeed in the marketplace. Students will also compete for the Tong Prototype Prize, awarded to the team that develops the best prototype of their invention.

Winners will be announced in the afternoon of Edison Day, the College of Engineering's annual celebration of Thomas Edison's birthday. Students will present their work from 7:45 AM to 12:30 PM in Engineering Hall lobby on the UW-Madison campus. At 2:30 p.m. in room 1610 Engineering Hall, Sandy Lieske, Research and Development manager with Hewlett Packard's LaserJet Imaging Group will present the day's keynote address titled "Welcome Back to the Garage-The Doors are Open." (Lieske is a 1980 graduate of UW-Madison's Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.) Judges will announce competition winners at 3:45 PM.

All events are free and open to the public. This year's entries include:

The All Terrain Wheelchair: a new design for an electric wheelchair including an extendible wheelbase and lower center of gravity. The Happy Wake Alarm Clock: a loud alarm clock that can only be shut off by lifting one's head, waving arms or making motion.

Dolmus: an alternative public transport vehicle that moves on a semi-cylindrical track by means of "surface effect" and a thrust fan.

Write Right Correction Pen: a ballpoint ink pen with a specialized liquid correction dispenser on the other end.

Built-in Marker Eraser: a marker with a built-in eraser for use on mark boards and transparencies.

Little Fingers, Co-axial Connector tool: a screwdriver-based design to simplify the attachment or removal of co-axial cable.

Easy-Inflator: a device to quickly and efficiently inflate automobile tires.

Dusting Mitten: a mitten designed for, but not limited to, dusting picture frames, electronics and furniture.

The Stair Crawler: a simple device designed to aid in moving heavy loads up stairs.

The Retracta-Bottle: a water bottle holder designed for rowers.

Closest Packed Array of Spherically Confined Two-Axis tracking Solar Collectors: a geometrical design that seeks to maximize energy produced per area covered.

The Driveway Bell: an innovative doorbell designed to warn of unexpected guests.

Safety Wakeboard Binding: a device to reduce common injuries suffered in the water sport, wakeboarding.

Vacuum Accelerated Sludge Consolidator: an array of evenly spaced vertical sand filters placed in a sludge tank. Water is removed by gravity, vacuum pressure along the filter area and positive pressure over the sludge surface.

Bevetech001 Universal Beverage Maker: a beverage maker incorporating extraction, mixing and froth-making capabilities into a single operation.

PERS, Passive Emergency Response System: a programmable home health care monitoring system that senses motion or the lack of motion and calls for help.

Feeding Motion Duck Decoy: a duck decoy designed to simulate a bird while feeding.

Hide-A-Ride: a device for storing mountain bikes on a ceiling or wall.

Autosander: a portable automated sandbag filling station.

Eden Juice: a system for mixing juice concentrate by the glass.

Bug Lamp 2000: a bug killer and light source for interior use.

TankMate: a device to aid farmers in applying anhydrous ammonia to their fields.

Ethernet Extension Cable: a means to encode and connect data uninterrupted from the source to the receiver.

Variable Prosthesis Cushioning Device using Electrorheological Fluid: a variable cushioning mechanism for a lower-limb prosthesis.

For more information, contact James C. Beal at 608/263-0611 or or