Student Designs


SAFEWAVE is a robotic rescue buoy for beach authorities who are unable to employ professional lifeguards. It is designed to locate and rescue people from strong, dangerous and ultimately life-threatening rip currents. Guided by a laser pointer and sonar sensors, SAFEWAVE can quickly locate and reach the victim using powerful dual hydro jets. Just before the rescue, it inflates with compressed air to transform into a floating V-shape, which is easy to hold on to while being transported to shore. SAFEWAVE is intended to be located in dedicated rescue stands positioned at strategic locations along the beach.

Rip currents are responsible for 80 percent of drowning incidents in the United States. Many people are unaware of the dangers of rip currents and how to react if they get caught in one. Naturally, most people panic and try to fight the strong currents pulling them toward the sea, but they quickly become too tired. Unfortunately, during these types of emergencies, other people often try to rescue the victim only to find themselves stuck in the same life-threatening situation. Most of these drowning incidents could be prevented if a lifeguard was present, but lifeguards are expensive, and many beaches cannot afford to employ professional lifeguards.

Despite its technically advanced functionality, SAFEWAVE appears simple and approachable. Its design maintains some of the iconic expression from the original rescue ring buoys. The rescue stand it is housed on makes it easy to spot even from a distance, and the solar cells keep the batteries fully charged, ensuring SAFEWAVE is ready 24/7.

SAFEWAVE was designed with ergonomics in mind. The nonslip rubber-coated edges provide an excellent grip, making it easy to hold on to, especially in the front with the U-shaped handle bar. In addition, the strong red color of the rubber attracts attention, providing the person in distress a visual indication of where to grab. The inflated V-shape increases SAFEWAVE’s buoyancy and stability, making it easy to get into, unlike a conventional rescue ring. The fabric-reinforced air cushion and the neoprene material on the top provide a comfortable and shock-absorbing contact area for the body to rest on.

Its simple and intuitive semiautonomous functionality ensures that anyone can use it; no prior skills or training is needed. Simply place SAFEWAVE in the water and point it toward the person who needs to be rescued; the intelligent autonomous part does the rest. Importantly, the rescue is performed in a safe and complete way, avoiding the need for other people to risk their lives in the dangerous currents. SAFEWAVE simply makes beaches safer for everyone.


Designed by Philip Nordmand Andersen of Umeå Institute of Design

Contact: Philip Andersen -


ERO: Concrete Recycling Robot

The ERO Concrete Recycling Robot was designed to efficiently disassemble concrete structures without any waste, dust or separation and enable reclaimed building materials to be reused for new prefabricated concrete buildings. It does so by using a water jet to crack the concrete surface, separate the waste and package the cleaned, dust-free material.

Current concrete-demolition techniques require a lot of power crushing, separation and machinery, not to mention they waste a lot of water in order to prevent dust blooms during operation. Transferring waste material to recycle stations outside the city wastes time, the end result of which means that the materials can be reused only in very limited areas.

The challenge with this project was to separate materials concurrent with deconstruction. Concrete is usually reinforced with a metal mesh inside. Common techniques involve using brute force to pulverize the concrete, which creates a mixed mound of waste material that needs to be separated before it can be reused or sold as second-grade metal or as a filling material. In order to overcome later separation and ease the transport of materials, the process had to start with separation on the spot. It was a challenge to switch from brutal pulverizing to smart deconstruction.

One of the goals of this project was to provide a smart and sustainable near-future approach to the demolition operations that will facilitate reuse as much as possible. Today, operators manually control different sized heavy machinery, which consume a lot of energy to smash and crush the concrete structure into dusty bits. Water has to be sprayed constantly with fire hoses to prevent harmful dust from spreading. After the work is done, big machines scoop up the rebar and concrete mixture and transfer them to the recycle stations outside the city where the waste is separated manually. Concrete needs to be crushed with power crushers in several stages, the end result of which it can only be used for simple construction layouts. The metal is melted for reuse.

An autonomous fleet of ERO Concrete Recycling Robots is placed strategically within the building. They scan the surroundings and determine a route with which they will execute during the operation. Once ERO starts working, it literally erases the building. ERO deconstructs with high-pressure water and sucks and separates the mixture of aggregate, cement and water. It then sends aggregate and filtered cement slurry separately down to the packaging unit to be contained. Clean aggregate is packed into big bags, which are labeled and sent to nearby concrete precast stations for reuse. Water is recycled back into the system. The packaging unit provides ERO with vacuum suction and electrical power. Turbulence dynamos placed within the air suction route produces some percent of power that ERO needs. ERO uses less than what it gets. Nothing is placed in land fills or sent away for additional processing. Even the rebar is cleaned of concrete, dust and rust and is ready to be cut and reused immediately. Every bit of the load-bearing structure is reusable for new building blocks.

This project is an excellent solution for the complexity of today's demolition techniques, which consume a lot of energy to create a lot of waste. ERO simply turns waste into an asset.


Designed by Omer Haciomeroglu of Umeå Institute of Design of Design for Atlas Copco Rockdrills AB

Contact: Omer Haciomeroglu -



Life-on is a roof tile designed to accommodate each of the seasons and provide warming or cooling benefits appropriate to the time of year. The tiles are able to grow grass. During the summer months, the grass blocks sunlight and keeps the interior of the house much cooler than a typical roof. In addition, the grass helps with the absorption of carbon dioxide from the air, the release of oxygen back into the environment and the purification of the air; it also enhances the appearance of the house and the surrounding neighborhood. During the winter months, the grass gradually withers forming a barrier that can prevent heat loss from inside the house and saves energy.

Houses all over the world have roofing of one kind of another. Some materials are better than others in terms of energy savings. Some roofing materials are better during the summer, and some are better during the winter. Life-on tiles work year-round. Spring, summer, winter and fall, users can conserve energy because they won’t need to rely on the air-conditioner or heater as much in order to stay comfortable. Life-on ensures that the electricity consumption is low throughout the year.

One of the problems of traditional roof tiles is that the heat from the sun can pass through the tiles and into the house, causing the interior of the house to heat up and the user to turn on the air-conditioner. The same is true during the wintertime, except instead of the heat, the cold easily passes through, causing the user to turn on the heater. Life-on is designed to function in an opposite manner, ensuring a cool home during the summertime and a warm home during the wintertime, all the while helping the user save energy and save money.

Another important aspect of Life-on roof tiles is their durability. Most roof tiles are used for more than 10 years, so it pays to have a roof that will stay strong and effective for at least that long. Life-on is designed to be extremely durable and effective during the hottest and coldest times of year.

For the eco-minded, Life-on is beneficial in that it is designed to absorb carbon dioxide, release clean oxygen and purify the air. With Life-on, users benefit the environment and do their part in fighting global warming. In addition, environmentally friendly and nature-oriented people will benefit from the calming and relaxing feel of having a beautiful green grass roof.


Designed by Teng Xuan of Jiangnan University

Contact: Teng Xuan -



The eZtap in an innovative solution that improves the rubber tapping process. Rubber tapping is the process of collecting latex from a rubber tree. It works by making an incision in the bark of a tree, which makes it possible for the latex to flow freely down the side of the tree and into a collection cup. The eZtap was designed to enable users to save time and energy and to increase the amount of latex collected.
In countries such as Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Brazil, rubber tapping is an important part of the local economy. Rubber is a highly exported material used for a wealth of different everyday products. The latex collected through the process of rubber tapping is found in a wide variety of applications, including door and window profiles, hoses, belts, matting, flooring for the automotive industry, textiles, and gloves for medical, household and industrial purposes. The latex from rubber tapping is also used in toy balloons.
However, the rubber tapping industry is one of the few domains that hasn’t seen much change. The same methodology has been used for a long time, and there is a lack of innovation. The eZtap promises to improve the rubber tapping process and ultimately increase the profits of rubber plantation owners.

The eZtap features a knife that lends greater precision to the rubber tapping process. The unique blade shape facilitates efficient cutting that produces deeper grooves. The knife features an eco-plastic handle and a stainless-steel blade. In addition to the knife, it also comes with the eZtap bowl. The bowl, also created with eco-plastic, is easy to use and was designed with a smooth interior for easy rubber removal. With one simple turn of the embedded palate, the user can remove all the rubber in the bowl. Both the bowl and the knife feature ergonomic designs for a more comfortable, precise and efficient rubber tapping experience. Also, eZtap is lightweight and designed for easy portability.
The challenge of designing the eZtap was to create something that has never been done before, but at the same time keep the device simple, minimal and efficient. The eZtap is intended to be sold to rubber plantation owners throughout the world. Therefore, the design was focused on being easy to use and efficient so that the plantation owners could be more productive and profitable.


Designed by Justine Lotigie of DSK ISD International School of Design

Contact: Guillaume Penanguer -


Fire Escape Mask

The Fire Escape Mask enables users to escape from a fire by absorbing the smoke. It contains liquid medicine that is dispensed when the mask is pulled out of the package. The mask can effectively prevent toxic smoke from entering the user’s lungs, providing protection for people during a fire.

Designed by Jieyu Jiang, Zishuo Fang, Tengwen Hu, Shang Tong, Cheng Chi and Xiaoneng Jin of Zhejiang University

Contact: Jieyu Jiang -


Asthma Wellness Kit

The Asthma Wellness Kit is designed for asthma-prone users who want to lead an active lifestyle. The kit contains a mouth-worn product with a heat exchanger and peak-flow meter. The heat exchanger humidifies and levels inhaled air temperature to prevent dried out airways, while the peak-flow meter continuously monitors airway contractions and warns the user of a coming attack.

Designed by Cenk Aytekin of Umeå Institute of Design for Philips Healthcare

Contact: Cenk Aytekin -


HCV Test

The HCV Test is a blood-borne pathogen testing device with an integrated lancet and testing strip that folds into a self-contained sharps container. It works by squeezing the tabs on top of the test body, which releases a spring-loaded lancet that punctures the finger. The lancet release tabs are then used to squeeze blood from the puncture site onto the test strip.

Designed by Lonnie Mann III, Joy Christensen and Glenn Shaw of Southern Illinois University Carbondale

Contact: Joy Christensen -


Optical Stethoscope

The Optical Stethoscope enables doctors to visualize the internal sounds of the human body, such as a heartbeat or the movement of stomach fluids. Using the Optical Stethoscope, doctors can employ both their auditory and visual senses to make a better diagnosis. Additionally, in emergency situations, the device can help provide a fast and accurate diagnosis.

Designed by Seobin Oh and Joon Hee Kim of KAIST

Contact: Seobin Oh -


Aiding Cup - Medicine + Water

The Aiding Cup - Medicine + Water is designed to bring a safe and timely remedy to sick people who live amid difficult conditions, such as drought and war. It is a prepackaged kit containing medicine and clean water with which to swallow the medicine. It is made from recyclable plant fiber, and its quality is guaranteed for two years.

Designed by Shi Jian of Hunan University, Li Ke, Chen Yiling, Xu Wei, Ye Feng, Hu Yi, Wu Jia, Liu Yi, Wang Nianou of Zhejiang University and Cheng Zhang, Jin Tuo and Wang Lingen of Zhejiang Sci-Tech University

Contact: Li Ke -


Omega SprintMaster Starting Block

The Omega Sprintmaster Starting Block is a redesigned starting block that improves a runner's ergonomics, adjustability and comfort. It gives the runner freedom to adjust the footpads through a sliding rail, a rear dual LCD display to check on accurate measurement of its footpads and a sleek, unobtrusive speaker design that provides a better hearing position.

Designed by Jom Sirimongkolkasem of California College of the Arts

Contact: Jom Sirimongkolkasem -