Friday, October 24, 2008


Picture this. You and your significant other are embarking on a weekend trip to New York, and your Greyhound is leaving at 7AM. After assuring her you have indeed printed not one - but two copies of the tickets, you arrive at South Station with bags, snacks… and no tickets. Those are at home on the printer.

Everyone has a story similar to above - e-tickets which have been forgotten or lost along the way. And short of installing public computers (with printers) on every street corner, there’s no easy fix.

The Idea: c-tickets.

In layman’s terms, tickets purchased and/or printed in a cab.

Utilizing the touch screen/credit card payment technologly that already exists in many cabs, and in conjunction with novel inkless-printing innovation (such as Massachusetts-based Zink Corporation), passengers could browse travel or entertainment options and print their tickets immediately after purchasing. Similarly, they could access their email and print out tickets purchased beforehand. Since this Idea only calls for the addition of a printer to an already existing infrastructure, it would be relatively simple to put into Action.

To learn more about inkless printing, visit In a ZINK World.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Detergent can be a real hassle for the average homeowner, whether you oversud, run out of Tide mid-wash, or just simply don’t remember to fill the dishwasher dispenser at all. Regardless of your soap mishap, there must be an easier way to automate soap distribution and eliminate human error.

The Idea: detergent-dispensing washers.

Similar to filling a gas tank, one would be able to fill up a detergent reservoir for their dishwasher or washing machine. For every cycle, an appropriate amount of detergent would be released. This automatic distribution would save the consumer both time and money, as well as prevent them from the aforementioned slew of detergent-related frustrations. Further, it would benefit the consumer to purchase detergent in bulk, which would also prove to be quite cost-effective.

New washing machines would come with this feature: those with older models could choose to purchase an easy-install adapter.

Imagine waking up Monday morning, driving to the nearest gas station, and filling your tank with just enough gas to get to and from work. Now imagine having to repeat that process Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday... Every commute requires a trip to the pump.

However ridiculous sounding, that essentially describes our current - albeit antiquated - method of ‘fueling’ our washers. Drivers don’t fill their gas tanks with a one-tank/one-trip mentality; unfortunately, this is exactly the wasteful method we subscribe to when we fill our machines with a subjective amount of detergent, good for one load. People are continually plagued with dirty dishes and dirty laundry; why not make domestic life that much easier?

To see side-by-side comparisons of recent dishwashers, check out

Monday, October 20, 2008


On average there are 21,351 mining accidents in the United States every year- and that’s just the U.S. In addition to the fatalities, there are an enormous number of health problems, all of which are a direct result of this dangerous job.

The Idea: robot miners.

Currently, there are robots which clean our homes, replace our pets, and defend our country; thus, it is safe to say we'd be able to create a robot that can explore, drill, and retrieve elements from the earth. By doing so, we would turn mining into an extremely safe and efficient industry, eliminating thousands of deaths each year.

Opponents may argue that this would result in immediate unemployment for current human miners. However, this argument fails to account for the new positions which would be made available in the fields of robot, and robot factory, management. In addition, the overwhelming benefits to the former miners’ health - both mentally and physically - cannot be overlooked or undervalued.

To learn more about robots and robotic innovation, check out these links:

Marshall Brain's Robotic Nation Series