On 8th November 2021, the interactive exhibition of the 7th Global Grad Show opened its virtual doors. The event received 50% more entries than the previous year from graduates spanning seventy countries. This year saw female-led submissions outnumbering the male entries, and from the 2600 ideas submitted, 150 have made it onto the shortlist.
If you have read some of my previous articles, you know I love technology. I jot down ideas for inventions, doodling the designs on various bits of paper. Sadly I haven’t submitted my thoughts to any competitions or put them in front of any experts. The submissions from the students to the Global grad Sow have inspired me, so perhaps next year, I will do something about my ideas.
The students who entered this year’s Global Grad show have imagined, designed and made their ideas come to life. They have then submitted their inventions to be judged, so I must praise them for reaching this stage. I can’t write about all one hundred and fifty projects chosen, but I have picked out a few that caught my eye.
The Global Grad Show is the initiative of the Art Dubai Group that supports the world’s most promising academic talent. Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of Dubai Culture & Arts Authority and member of Dubai Council, the patron and A.R.M. Holding and Dubai Culture, are partners.
The four projects I have chosen to highlight are:
An electronic tool that enables people with disabilities to independently draw. Ellie Heath and Pete Barr, University of Brighton, UK.
Enayball is an electronic drawing tool that takes traditional art equipment, like pens and pencils, and makes them accessible. It enables anyone with a physical disability, including the most highly paralysed people, to independently draw physically. It is a joy to use and a gateway to increase autonomy, freedom of expression and resilience.
The product is attached to a wheelchair at floor level via an arm, and it sticks out in front and draws in synchronicity as the user moves their chair. It can be used by hand on a hard surface, supporting users with limited dexterity issues. Both applications use electronics to lift the pen off the drawing surface remotely.
Enayball holds tools (from 4-40mm in diameter) with an adjustable clamp. A compression spring grips the device firmly against the paper, ensuring a consistent line.
The artist chooses when to press the remote to raise or lower the tool. Enayball connects to the remote via Bluetooth controlling a servo and cam to create this movement. its shape is like an ergonomic mouse, meaning that the artist’s wrist is not flexed, so the strain is reduced, a velcro strap supports their grip. A removable arm means it can be used both on a wheelchair and by hand.
A pain-free glucose test for diabetics, based on the exhaled breath. Lingyan Zhang, Muling Huang, Weilin, Jiang, Cheng Yao, Yuqi Hu, Zhejiang University.
One hundred and twenty-five million people worldwide have diabetes, of which children account for 10%-15%. Incidence is increasing year by year, sadly. Traditional glucometer analyses blood glucose that requires blood taking is a painful daily to-do list for children who have the disease.
Unlike the standard glucometer, POPO analyses the level of acetone in exhaled breath. POPO will flash the red light and blow plenty of bubbles when the acetone level is low, meaning the blood glucose is higher. POPO will display a green light and blow a few bubbles when the blood glucose is normal and the yellow light without bubbles when the blood glucose is lower. It is a fun and pain-free way to analyses blood glucose for children.
A solar-powered robot that lives in the desert to plant seeds. Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation, U.A.E.
A’seedbot is a simple concept that takes its design from animals that live in the desert around the world. The A’seedbot’s have been created to resemble insects and sow seeds in harsh environments. Powered by the sun charging batteries, the A’seedbot’s are scattered across the land that needs sowing and set to work.
Each has thousands of plant seeds in containers, and as they crawl across the sands, they deposit their contents. The robots can then be collected once empty and reused.
A lower-body exoskeleton rehabilitation system for children with Cerebral Palsy. Pratt Institute, U.S.
I have had a lot of lower body trauma and still have metalwork inside me, so I know about the benefits of orthopaedic correction systems. I have seen outer body frames used extensively to repair fractures and realign bones, so the Mixo-suit had to be a project I recognised for its benefits.
Mixo is a lower-body exoskeleton for children with cerebral palsy. It focuses on knee and ankle-foot rehabilitation training, and the Mixo-item replaces the role of the therapist.
Consisting of two parts, one is the wearable soft exoskeleton that covers the limb and joint. An easy to use rehabilitation app is the second part controlled by a parent or adult; this moves the exoskeleton in a sequence to strengthen the joint.
The Global Grad Show – Where and How?
Global Grad Show, an initiative by the Art Dubai Group, is a programme for university graduates whose research and ideas offer solutions to help solve major social and environmental issues. 2021 is the seventh Global Grad Show bringing together academics from over seventy countries and six hundred universities.
Each year, participating graduate projects offer audiences the opportunity to enter a universe of academic ingenuity rarely seen outside the campus through the work of young minds addressing complex issues worldwide through their social impact innovations.
The entrepreneurship programme is part of the Global Grad Show, which is open to all applicants and offers startup-building training, mentorship, and network access to help graduates advance their projects towards implementation.
The Global Grad Show virtual showcase with the 150 projects in this year’s edition is available on their website at www.globalgradshow.com.
Read more lifestyle news, features, reviews and guides here.