Thursday, February 15, 2007

Entrepreneurial Inventors

C\net reports that Nathan Ball, a mechanical-engineering graduate student at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, led a team that has invented a motorized pulley that will let paramedics and firefighters zip up the side of buildings.
Ball's Atlas Powered Rope Ascender can pull a firefighter loaded down with 80 to 100 pounds of equipment up a 30-story building in 30 seconds. By contrast, the stairs would take six to eight minutes.
Ball is this year's recipient of the MIT Lemelson-MIT Student Prize, a $30,000 student award for invention.

Past winners include Carl Dietrich, who designed a flying car that may ultimately be produced by his company Terrafugia, and James McLurkin, a robot expert who has since worked with iRobot, developer of the Roomba vacuum cleaner.

The Lemelson Foundation, created in the 1990s, has numerous initiatives in support of invention and entrepreneurship in the US and abroad, including the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance

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