Winners of Irish leg of Dyson competition make final 20

H-FLO will now vie for €35,000 prize, judged by renowned inventor James Dyson

Kelly Lane, Shane O’ Driscoll, Arran Coughlan, Gerard O’ Connell and Kacey Mealy are part of the  team of engineering students from Cork Institute of Technology who invented the HydroFLOcean.  Photograph: Gerard McCarthy

Kelly Lane, Shane O’ Driscoll, Arran Coughlan, Gerard O’ Connell and Kacey Mealy are part of the team of engineering students from Cork Institute of Technology who invented the HydroFLOcean. Photograph: Gerard McCarthy

 

The winners of the Irish leg of this year’s James Dyson Award have been named as one of the top 20 finalists for the global awards.

HydroFLOcean (H-FLO) is a new device designed to prevent workmen getting trapped under water. Designed by a team of engineering students from Cork Institute of Technology, the idea was inspired by the deaths of two workmen, TJ O’Herlihy and Bryan Whelan, who were killed in Limerick last year when the platform on which they were working collapsed into the River Shannon.

H-FLO separates workers from the platform when the device is submerged in water. Using the same inflation device employed in life jackets to activate a gas canister, it forces the device to split in two when underwater, separating workers from the platform.

The project will now compete with 19 international inventions for the €35,000 award. The shortlist of 20 inventions was drawn up from a list of more than 100 finalists from each of the 22 countries that competes in the James Dyson Award.

Among the other inventions are a Braille computer tablet for blind and partially sighted users, a jaundice management system for premature or full-term babies, and a smart contact lens that helps with diabetes management by monitoring glucose levels.

The winner will be chosen by James Dyson, along with two runners-up, and announced on October 27th.