Cool Idea! Award Take a virtual stroll through our Cool Idea! Gallery Show in NYC

Previous Award Recipients

2014
Thruster-100
Thruster-100
Thruster-100 exploded view
Thruster-100

BlueRobotics, Thruster-100

bluerobotics.com

United States

The Thruster-100, a compact, low-cost motor and propeller unit designed to make aquatic exploration more economically accessible, has received a Cool Idea! Award. BlueRobotics, the company behind the propulsion system, seeks to provide a more accessible entry point for hobbyists, educators, students and professionals. Proto Labs granted gratis tooling and subsequent production runs for the product’s plastic parts.

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2013
Garageio
Garageio
Garageio exploded view
Garageio system

Alottazs Labs, LLC, Garageio

garageio.com

United States

Garageio, a system that allows users to control and monitor their garage door from virtually anywhere via smartphone, has received a Proto Labs Cool Idea! Award. The smartphone app communicates with the in-garage device to provide users notification on up to three garage doors when one is opened or closed, activity reports and an online portal to view when and who has accessed a door, alerts when a door is left open for too long, and enables users to open and close doors. Proto Labs provided gratis prototype casings and a subsequent production run of parts.

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December 18 — Entrepreneur
VOTO
VOTO
VOTO exploded view
VOTO in use

Point Source Power, VOTO

pointsourcepower.com

United States

Point Source Power’s VOTO, a handheld device that transforms heat into electricity for use in cell phone charging or LED lighting, has received a Cool Idea! Award. The device seeks to bring affordable electricity to developing nations. Electricity is captured with the heat produced from an everyday item — a cook stove — and then stored in the onboard battery for later phone charging or LED lighting use.

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November 19 — Co.Exist
FLOOME
FLOOME
FLOOME exploded view
FLOOME

2045Tech, FLOOME

2045tech.com

Italy

Italian company 2045Tech has received a Cool Idea! Award for FLOOME, a smartphone breathalyzer that provides users with accurate and reliable blood-alcohol readings. FLOOME’s patent-pending technology matches a vortex whistle with the same fuel cell ethanol sensor that is widely used in law enforcement breathalyzers. The collected data is sent to a corresponding smartphone app where the user can view their blood alcohol content, get an estimate of when they will reach the legal limit to drive, set an alarm to take a new test, view a graph of previous results, or call a nearby taxi.

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September 23 — tct
Everpurse exploded view
Everpurse exploded view
Everpurse
Everpurse

Dan & Liz Salcedo, Everpurse

everpurse.com

United States

Everpurse, a purse that features an integrated smartphone charging system, received Protomold injection-molding services as a recipient of the Cool Idea! Award. The system includes a wireless charging dock with an internal battery bank built into the wall of the purse, and an inductive charging mat that the purse can be placed upon when not in use to charge the internal battery bank. The Cool Idea! Award provided Everpurse with the molds and parts needed to help fulfill their Kickstarter orders and Proto Labs’ fast turnaround time assured quick time to market.

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Flipout Tantrum
Flipout Tantrum
A few of the Flipout Tantrum’s many positions
Flipout Tantrum parts

Joel Townsan, Flipout, Tantrum

flipoutproducts.com

United States

Flipout Screwdrivers has received a Cool Idea! Award for the Tantrum, an electric screwdriver designed for tight spaces. The Tantrum can be configured into 168 positions, giving access to spaces inaccessible to traditional power tools. The Cool Idea! Award provided tooling and a subsequent first production run of injection molded parts in preparation for the product’s Kickstarter campaign.

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June 18 — Gizmag
June 08 — USA Today
Assembled Maze-O
Assembled Maze-O
Maze-O parts
Maze-O fosters spatial reasoning and fine motor skills

Maze-O

facebook.com/Maze.O.Toy/info

United States

Maze-O, a colorful plastic maze building set received injection molded parts for initial working prototypes as a recipient of the Cool Idea! Award. Maze-O fosters spatial reasoning and fine motor skills in a fun way. The sets received via the award were used to market the toy to potential distributors at New York City’s Toy Fair 2013 in February.

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ReMotion prosthetic knee joint
ReMotion prosthetic knee joint
ReMotion prosthetic knee joint exploded view
ReMotion prosthetic knee joint in use

D-Rev, ReMotion Knee

d-rev.org

United States

D-Rev received a Cool Idea! Award for its ReMotion Knee, a low-cost prosthetic knee joint for above-the-knee amputees living in developing countries. The ReMotion Knee allows these individuals to walk stably on the uneven or unpaved terrain typical of the developing world. D-Rev was awarded Proto Labs services to produce knee joints for use in field testing.

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May 03 — Co.Exist
2012
iPourIt RFID reader holder
iPourIt RFID reader holder
iPourIt RFID reader holder exploded view
Configured iPourIt tap

iPourIt, Inc., iPourIt

ipourit.com

United States

iPourIt’s system that allows bar patrons to pour their own tap beer and wine received Protomold injection-molding services as a recipient of the Cool Idea! Award. iPourIt employs proprietary technology that provides customers the ability to fill their glass with the exact amount desired on their time, rate the drink, find nearby taps, reserve pints ahead of time, and even buy rounds for friends.

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April 09 — Gizmodo
March 20 — KTLA
October 22 — RFID Journal
Assembled IN3G Télétact
Assembled IN3G Télétact
IN3G Télétact exploded view

IN3G, Télétact

France

French company IN3G received a Cool Idea! Award for its Télétact device that connects to a standard white walking stick and brings additional navigational aid to visually impaired individuals by employing infrared detection and vibration feedback. Télétact uses sonar technology to detect obstacles in advance and relays that information back to the user in a way that gives them a better understanding of their environment.

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September 14 — Design World
August 15 — Develop 3D
SOLOSHOT motorized base
SOLOSHOT motorized base
SOLOSHOT motorized base and remote armband
SOLOSHOT exploded view

Soloshot, Inc., SOLOSHOT

soloshot.com

United States

SOLOSHOT, an object tracking system that combines with virtually any camera to track a single subject and capture video from up to 2000 feet away received Protomold injection-molded production services as part of their Cool Idea! Award. Ideal for sports enthusiasts looking for high-quality video footage of themselves, the SOLOSHOT employs remote and base units that are in constant radio communication, allowing the user to move anywhere within range and keep the camera focused on themselves.

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October 23 — Make Parts Fast
September 09 — Kiteboarder Magazine
August 28 — San Antonio Express-News
The Quadshot exploded view of parts
The Quadshot exploded view of parts
The Quadshot in action

Transition Robotics, Inc., The Quadshot

transition-robotics.com

United States

Transition Robotics, Inc. received a Cool Idea! Award with the Quadshot, an open-source, remote-controlled aircraft that combines the functionality of both a helicopter and an airplane. Equipped with gyroscopes, accelerometers, and microprocessors – originally developed for smart phones – the Quadshot is capable of high speeds and impressive aerobatics. The Quadshot can be purchased fully-assembled and ready to fly, or in one of three packages that encourage users to modify the electronics and software to custom-fit their desires.

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September 28 — Make Parts Fast
6dot Braille labeler
6dot Braille labeler
6dot Braille labeler exploded view of parts
Household items embossed with the 6dot Braille labeler

6dot

www.6dot.com

United States

6dot received Protomold injection molding services as a recipient of the Proto Labs Cool Idea! Award for their lightweight, handheld Braille labeler. The portability and intuitive nature of the labeler enables those without sight to better navigate their everyday environments. Additionally, since early Braille literacy has a positive correlation to employment among the blind and visually impaired later in life, 6dot hopes their device, that even young children can manage, will have an impact on improving the Braille literacy rate.

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March 13 — Interempresas
February 17 — Design World
February 17 — Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal
2011
SkyLight with smartphone
SkyLight with smartphone
SkyLight
SkyLight exploded view of parts

ANDY MILLER & TESS BAKKE, SKYLIGHT

www.skylightscope.com

United States

SkyLight, a device that connects any smartphone to any microscope, was created by Andy Miller and Tess Bakke to help transform global healthcare, telemedicine, science education and research capabilities. With SkyLight, people around the world are able to share images and videos via their smartphone. Healthcare workers in a third world country can capture and send diagnostic images to a trained expert able to make a vital diagnosis. As a Cool Idea! Award recipient, Proto Labs provided SkyLight with CNC machining for prototyping, followed by injection molding tooling and accompanying plastic parts.

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January 05 — Mashable
January 02 — Make Parts Fast
QuicKaddy
QuicKaddy
Matt Nestor

MATT NESTOR, QUICKADDY

www.quickaddy.com

United States

Matt Nestor received Firstcut CNC-machined prototype parts as a recipient of the Proto Labs Cool Idea! Award for his QuicKaddy Hex Key case. The case allows a hex key to be quickly pulled straight from the case without having to move other hex keys in the process since there are slots, not through holes, which are typical of most cases currently on the market. The keys are held in place by powerful magnets located in the body of the case. Nestor’s design allows tools to be organized and accessed faster and easier than existing hex key cases, saving the user time and increasing productivity.

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RoughRider wheelchair
RoughRider wheelchair
RoughRider side panels

WHIRLWIND WHEELCHAIR INTERNATIONAL, ROUGHRIDER

www.whirlwindwheelchair.org

United States

Whirlwind Wheelchair International’s lightweight and rugged RoughRider® wheelchair was awarded a Cool Idea! Award and received Protomold injection-molded parts for the key side panels needed for an initial U.S. launch. The RoughRider was originally designed for those with disabilities in developing countries as a low-cost, highly durable wheelchair that can handle rough terrain with ease. The RoughRider combines a revolutionary long wheelbase with a unique, high-impact/high-flotation wheel to allow users to safely descend curbs and short flights of stairs and to easily traverse obstacles in their path.

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December 09 — Core77
November 30 — Fast Company
r-one robots

RICE UNIVERSITY, R-ONE

mrsl.rice.edu

United States

Rice University received Protomold injection-molded prototyping and production services as part of their Cool Idea! Award for their “r-one” robotics project, designed to aid undergraduate engineering students research multi-robot systems at a low cost. The robots, developed by Professor James McLurkin and his students, have the ability to communicate with the user and with one another using an internal computer, motors, lights and sounds.

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November 23 — Electronic Design
November 15 — Core77
TruFlavorWare
TruFlavorWare
Don Ladanyi

DON LADANYI, TRUFLAVORWARE

www.truflavorware.com

United States

Don Ladanyi of Westlake, Ohio, was awarded Protomold injection-molded prototyping and production services to help launch his line of flatware, TruFlavorWare®, developed specifically for chemotherapy patients. TruFlavorWare is non-metallic, organic, taste-inert flatware, designed to make food taste better by eliminating the aversive “taste-reactive” electro-chemical reactions caused by metal knives, forks and spoons. Ladanyi’s product brings particular relief to cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy by removing the bitter metallic aftertaste that often occurs when trying to eat with standard metal flatware.

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Read the Case Study
September 30 — IdeaMensch
August 26 — Invention Addict
August 23 — Fast Company