Inspiring Competition

NOTE: This post was written by ISTC staff member Elizabeth Meschewski.

Just a reminder that registration is now open for the 2012 International E-Waste Design Competition. Entries are due by 4:59 PM Central Time on November 1, 2012. Sometimes it is hard to think of a masterpiece without some inspiration. Below are several inspiring ideas that would fit well in our two competition categories: E-Waste Pollution Prevention and E-Waste Reuse

E-Waste Prevention

  • The Bloom Laptop: A laptop with easy to remove components to extend the product’s lifetime and allow for ease of recycling/upgrading components.  Autodesk inspired Stanford University students to design this new laptop for an ME 310 class project and the students who designed the Bloom laptop won Autodesk’s Inventor of the Month award in October 2010. They posted a testimonial on Autodesk’s website.  Gizmag published a short article and phone interview called, “The upgradable, recyclable Bloom laptop concept” by Ben Coxworth on November 5, 2010.
  • Last year’s International E-Waste Design Competition E-waste Pollution Prevention winner: Edentify. This is a smart phone app used to scan the barcodes of electronic products and present the user with information on various aspects of product life cycle, from the manufacturing to post consumer phases. Recycling information would be included, and consumers could see point values for different products. The idea incorporates games and rewards into the point system in an effort to “create awareness and inspire e‐waste prevention in a fun and immersive way.” This project was submitted by three industrial design students from California State University at Long Beach.

E-Waste Reuse

  • 62 Projects to Make with a Dead Computer (and Other Discarded Electronics) by Randy Sarafan. This book is full of ideas, some practical, others more for fun, and all of them creative.
  • Make Magazine often features articles about e-waste reuse.
  • Ready Made magazine is a DIY’s dream magazine with everything from food to accessories to furniture.
  • Last year’s International E-Waste Design Competition E-Waste Reuse winner: CardioReach. This project involved an electrocardiograph (ECG) device composed of components found in e‐waste. From the project description: “Our plan is to acquire smart phones through donation programs and re‐purpose them to become the CardioReach. The costs of developing our device will be minimal and significantly less than alternative ECG devices in developing countries. CardioReach will utilize the cellphone hardware for processing and transmission, while using some additional components for signal input and isolation. The software will include an open‐source code and the ECG leads and tabs can be obtained from a separate source. The price of the CardioReach will be adjusted so that it can cover business expenses and be less than competitive products such as the GE Mac 400, which costs $1400 as ‘used’ and is popular in Brazil, Russia, India, and China. The CardioReach technology is currently in early stage development, and a functional prototype is expected to be made by August 2011.” This team was comprised of a group of biomedical engineering students from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Other ideas can be seen on SEI’s YouTube page and the Competition’s Resources page.

SEI does not endorse any products mentioned above and will not accept exact replicas of the above ideas as entries in this year’s International E-Waste Design Competition.

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