We really love green cars, but you know what we love even more? Practical green designs that make the world a better place. With the Ideas for Good competition, Toyota has merged the two into one by opening up five of the company’s most innovative technologies to be used by designers to create new products that improve the world we live in. After receiving hundreds of submissions, a panel of experts chose a winning design for each technology. This weekend the winners will convene at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA where they will work with CMU engineers and Deeplocal to make their ideas a reality in just two days. We’ll be reporting from CMU to show you the process from start to finish, but in the meantime, jump ahead for the low-down on all the winners!
A Better Bike Helmet
Stu from Phoenix plans to use Toyota’s THUMS (Total HUman Model for Safety) technology to create a better bike helmet. Stu bikes to work everyday, and he wants to make a helmet that realistically models the head, spine, brain, and neck to provide more comprehensive protection. Because there are no sufficient testing method or technologies designed for bicycle helmets, Stu will use THUMS, an advanced injury-simulation software, to study bike-specific head and neck injuries. He will zero in on specific faults with current helmets and point the way toward new helmets that would protect riders from traumatic brain injuries.
Power Plant Gym
We’ve heard of exercise equipment generating electricity, but Birken Schimpff from Bozeman, MT wants to take that idea to the next level. Using Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive technology, Birken proposes hooking up cardio equipment to turbines to generate energy. The cords of weight machines would be connected to similar devices to do the same. On a societal level, people who work out at gyms that use the technology would be able to get reimbursed by the power company by putting electricity back into their local grid.