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2008 Gadget Guide: 11 Socially Responsible Inventions to Save the World

Devices to pump and filter water, protect against disease-carrying insects, and more

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IDEO's Aquaduct water filtration bicycle:

The Aquaduct is a pedal-powered bicycle designed to transport, filter and store water in the developing world. As the rider pedals, a pump attached to the pedal crank draws water from a large holding tank through a carbon filter, depositing it in a smaller clean-water reservoir located hear the handlebars.....[ More ]

Motor Development International's compressed-air vehicle:

The car runs on a rear-mounted six-cylinder engine powered by electronically injected compressed air . (It can achieve 75 horsepower and can get the car up to a top speed of 96 miles, or 154.5 kilometers, per hour.) Designed to seat six and get 106 miles (170.6 kilometers) per gallon, the car weighs 1,874 pounds (850 kilograms).....[ More ]

SunNight Solar Enterprises Corp.'s BoGo Light:

The BoGo Lights are solar-powered LED flashlights with photovoltaic panels that gather energy during the day and store that energy in the flashlight's battery for use at night. Each eight-hour charge will deliver between four and six hours of continuous light.....[ More ]

Kennedy & Violich Architecture, Ltd.'s Portable Light Reading Mat:

This invention is a luminous reading mat ( still in prototype phase ) that integrates high brightness solid-state lighting (HBLEDs) and flexible photovoltaic (solar cell) technology in a textile that weighs less than eight ounces (227 grams).....[ More ]

Vestergaard Frandsen Group's ZeroFly and PermaNet:

ZeroFly is a sheet of plastic laminated with insecticide that can be used to create temporary shelter for refugees and other displaced individuals while reducing the risk of diseases such as malaria that are spread by mosquitoes.....[ More ]

Vestergaard Frandsen Group's LifeStraw:

LifeStraw is a powder blue plastic tube--in fact far thicker than an ordinary straw--that contains filters that clears typhoid-, cholera- and diarrhea-causing microorganisms from water, making it potable.....[ More ]

Pump Aid's Elephant Pump:

Clean, safe water is a scarce resource in Africa, so Pump Aid (a charity formed by three teachers living and working in rural Zimbabwe) is helping communities throughout that country and Malawi install its efficient, easy-to-construct Elephant water pump.....[ More ]

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