Popular Mechanics Breakthrough Awards 2006

Full Belly Project Peanut Sheller While searching for information on Dean Kamen’s water purification system in Honduras (Thanks Aman), I came across the the Popular Mechanics Breakthrough Awards for 2006.

Winners with appropriate tech applications are:

  • Michael Bowers, James McBride and Sandra Rosenthal for research on brighter, whiter LEDs.
  • Jock Brandis, co-founder of the Full Belly Project for his super duper peanut sheller. You can crank out 125 lbs an hour. Cost: $75.

For the sake of thoroughness and comparison, here are the winners in the environmental, cool, but oh so pricey category.

  • Richard Bourgeois and the General Electric Electrolyzer Team built a “prototype electrolyzer [which] cuts the equipment cost of using electricity to grab hydrogen from H2O… The result? A kilogram of hydrogen — the energy equivalent of roughly a gallon of gas — costs $3 instead of the current $6 to $8.”
  • The climate energy Micro-CHP system provides both heat and power. The big problen, the price: $13,500.
  • Martin Eberhard and team designed the The Tesla Motors Roadster, a $100,000 electric sports car can go 250 miles between charges. Si belle qu’elle me fait souffrir.

I’m poking fun at them, but prices will go down. Think how much the first supercomputer, which has only a fraction of the computing power of your jankiest PC, cost in the 60’s and 70’s.