Sound winners

The winners of the 'Obelisk' at this year's British Invention Show Awards were Tsung-Lung/Yang, Jen-Chun/Liao, Wen-Ban/Hsieh and Yun-Hsing from Taiwan for their Surround Headphone System, but British and other overseas inventors also did well with sound commercial products and ideas, and the Iranians presented a superb model of a proposed 'green' science city.

Typical of the British contingent was Laurence Cairns from Northern Ireland, shown in our picture, who manufactures and installs gates, and has come up with an ingenious device called the 'Dorlifta' which assists door hanging by lifting a door by just the right amount and holding it in position so only one person can do a job that normally requires two. Selling for £20 each, the idea won platinum in the British Invention of the Year category as did Bill Currie's self levelling wheelchair seat and Jeff Woolf's collapsible cycle helmet. Malaysians came in force with a whole raft of inventions that turn waste substances into useful products including a superior plastic film material made from waste starch from tapioca processing. This won a platinum award for Nor Fasihah Bt Zaaba and Hanafi Ismail from the School of Materials and Mineral Resources Engineering at the University Sains Malaysia in Penang.

But the most striking exhibit was an architect's model of a 'Persian Gulf City' which the Iranian government proposes to construct on the Island if Kish to provide a 'green' environment in which scientists and engineers could work on the environmental challenges facing the human race.

Tom Shelley

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Do you have any comments about this article?
I am a locksmith in London and have been using the cairns dorlifta for a number of years now, and I could not work without it! I have tried all the door lifters on the market,but this invention by Mr Cairns is the best. It allows both of your hands to be free to use the tools that you need to engage a new door where as before it would take two men, now my men can work independently, so we fit more doors in half the time it used to take us. Locksmiths and carpenters have been waiting years for something like this....The wait is finally over.

Comment Bill Currie, 12/05/2016

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