Innovations and new designs for aid

Mićo Tatalović

Mićo Tatalović
News editor, SciDev.Net


It’s been an exciting morning here at AidEx2012, lively with lots of innovations and sales people keen to talk about their products (but also a few grumpy ones who don’t seem too keen to speak to media and appear to be here purely to make sales).

Here’s my list of some of the more intriguing innovations exhibited here.

LIFESAVER jerry cans that people can use to purify surface water: in an emergency, one can just fill the can with dirty water and it gets purified with all bacteria and viruses removed. A can will last for up to five years providing clean water for around 0.013 US cents a litre. A new, more compact design is being presented here, which can save space in transporting.

Huginn X1 drone, produced by Skywatch, is a unmanned flying vehicle with an installed camera. It can be used to transmit video and images in real time from a disaster zone back to rescuers who can then better plan the emergency response. It is designed to be used after only few minutes of training and by people with little technical knowledge; and its small size, speed and precise navigation system make it a “perfect tool for reaching otherwise inaccessible or dangerous areas”.

Compressed Earth Block Machines, produced by Leading Edge Group from the United States, is a petrol-powered machine that takes mud and soil and turns it into bricks for buildings. The machine can also provide business opportunities as the buyer could use it to make and then sell on their own bricks, which test better than industry standards, according to the company representatives here. The machine will make around 960 bricks per hour which can be built directly into the buildings on site.

Bubble Pure Air, created by a Spanish company ZONAIR3D, is an airtight bubble that provides sterile environment for medical operations in natural disasters or humanitarian emergency settings. It is an inflatable and easily transported unit (weighing around 100 kilogrammes) ready to be used in ten minutes. The aim is to reduce infections, and the unit is already in use in Brazil, Cuba, Mexico and South Africa.

This blog post is part of our blog on AidEx2012, which takes place on 24-25 October 2012 in Brussels.

One Response to Innovations and new designs for aid

  1. L.V. Wells says:

    Jerrycans sound brilliant. Sorry, I am a little ignorant of technology. The first thing I think of when I hear drones is missiles. Is Huginn a multipurpose device? As in, would it be used purely for humanitarian purposes or could it fire as well?

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