Read the shortlist of for this category, which the Morph Folding Wheel by Vitamins, Design and Invention Studio won last year. This award is sponsored by Solus Ceramics
BLOOM SAFETY HELMET
The Bloom Safety Helmet weighs just 0.45kg and collapses into a compact shape, making it easy to carry or store in a basic emergency kit. Japanese company Toyo Safety designed the helmet for areas that are prone to natural disasters, such as earthquakes, and proposes that it be stored en masse in schools, hospitals and offices. The Bloom can be ready to wear in seconds and is assembled by pulling a string. As the yellow toggle is pulled outwards, it draws the back and front panels towards each other and the helmet expands in a movement similar to an umbrella. Bright colours help the wearer to be visible in an emergency situation.
Eone's founder Hyungsoo Kim paired up with industrial designer David Zacher in 2011 to create a watch for visually impaired and blind users that doesn't draw attention to disability. Users can tell the time by feeling the location of two ball bearings and mapping across the raised surfaces on the face – one ball bearing orbits a track on the outer edge of the watch as the hour indicator and another circles the face as the minute indicator. The casing and body are made from matt titanium. The minimal design of the watch has attracted a following among sighted users too – Eone's tagline is "designed for everyone".
CHAIR 4 LIFE
In March, Renfrew Group and the NHS debuted Chair4Life (C4L), a wheelchair for children that adapts as they grow. The brief was for a compact and lightweight chair with a generic framework for which third-party suppliers can provide accessories and components. The modular design reduces the need to renew the entire wheelchair as the child grows, and the inclusion of a vertical lift as standard allows face-to-face interaction with those standing. The wheelbase can be adjusted by the child to suit indoor or outdoor conditions – a wider, longer track and wheelbase provide stability when needed while compactness ensures manoeuvrability in smaller spaces.
Lockheed Martin's first viable exoskeleton suit for the industrial market is a light, mobile and affordable product intended for people handling heavy appliances. Adapted from technology developed for the military, the aluminium suit channels its own 13kg weight and that of the tool being used directly towards the ground, bypassing the human muscloskeletal system – the wearer has merely to manage the load. Its joints are designed to mimic those of the human body.
The Mars Orbiter spacecraft (or Mangalyaan) was built for India's first interplanetary mission, and is the fourth ever to reach our neighbouring planet. India is also the first nation to achieve Mars orbit on its first attempt. Launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Andhra Pradesh in November 2013, the spacecraft has been successfully orbiting Mars since September last year. Its primary objective is to showcase India's rocket launch systems and its spacecraft-building and operations capabilities, but it does carry five instruments on board that will acquire new information about the planet's surface features.