- Henry Evans, a quadriplegic and former colleague of InvenTeam mentor Chris Tacklind, inspired development of the InvenTeam's "Laser Finger."
- Attached to the user's hat or glasses by magnets, the remote control operates through a solar cell, which recognizes the pulsing laser and feeds information into a tiny computer, allowing the user to turn on a light or the television.
- The InvenTeam was able to develop the Laser Finger with the support of the Tech Shop, OK International, Microchip, and SolidWorks.
- The device is equipped with an accelerometer, which senses when the wheelchair tips at a 45-degree angle.
- Currently, the device communicates with a computer, but the InvenTeam is researching development of a Bluetooth component, which would send the GPS location of the wheelchair to an emergency contact via text message.
- The InvenTeam is pursuing a patent for some of the aspects of the device.
- Other applications for the device are rollover detection for cars and capsizing alerts for boats.
- As part of its research, the InvenTeam distributed a series of surveys about dry-erase markers to teachers at its high school.
- The InvenTeam used SolidWorks software to design its prototype.
- The InvenTeam used polyester-fibrous material to hold ink rather than absorb it.
- Since the InvenTeam's prototype was not created to scale, it plans to build a plastic mold similar to the size of a standard Expo marker.
- According to an InvenTeam student presenter, "Thirty-one percent of all drivers fall asleep at the wheel at least once in their lifetime, which causes 100,000 accidents annually."
- Many have developed alarms to wake drivers as their heads tip, but this method is often too late.
- Honda created the Video Lane Drift Monitor, which monitors lane markings with a camera and senses when a driver begins to drift out of a lane; however, it doesn't wake the driver.
Referred to as a "teenaged Rumplestiltskin," Jordan Sand may not weave straw into gold, but this Ellendale, ND student has invented something that has equal potential for the farming community. Sand, winner of the 2001 Lemelson-MIT High School Invention Apprenticeship, has found a way to turn non-income producing raw materials into a valuable resource: paper.
One of Sand's first inventions is a solar distillation device to purify outdoor water.
The Northampton High School InvenTeam invented Auto-Oar, a device that eliminates
the need for wrist strength during the rowing motion. This will create a more efficient
rowing stroke for adaptive rowers who lack wrist strength or have limited fine motor
skills. Auto-Oar transfers linear motion into rotational motion to automatically rotate the
oar from a perpendicular position relative to the water to a parallel position, called “feathering”
Entering the engineering field as a Jewish man during the Great Depression, Jacob Rabinow was advised to seek another career—but his tenacity and love for inventing drove him to pursue his dreams. Rabinow was recognized as the 1998 Lemelson-MIT Lifetime Achievement Award honoree for rising above his obstacles and succeeding in a life-long career of inventing that benefited a range of industries and people.