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50 Game-Changing Innovations in Robotics, Home Technology and Medicine

Winners of the Edison Awards are chosen by a panel of more than 3,000 business executives.
50 Game-Changing Innovations in Robotics, Home Technology and Medicine
Image credit: Monty Rakusen | Getty Images
Entrepreneur Staff
15+ min read
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Every year, the Edison Awards are given to world-changing innovations in a variety of categories. Winners are chosen by a panel of more than 3,000 business executives including past award winners, academics and leaders in the fields of product development, design, engineering, science and medical.

The following are the 50 winners of this year's gold award (descriptions provided by winners).

Aerospace innovation

Communications, sensors and logistics: Laser communication for aerospace communication networks by Mynaric

Mynaric is a laser communication company which develops and manufactures laser products allowing for high data rate and long-distance wireless data transmission between moving objects in space and the sky, and the ground.

Electric propulsion: Alice Aircraft by Eviation Aircraft

Alice is an all-electric aircraft designed to take nine passengers up to 650 miles at a cruise speed of 240 knots. It's state-of-the-art technology leverages an IP portfolio that includes thermal management and autonomous landing, as well as distributed electric propulsion, airframe design, industry-leading battery technology and cutting-edge composite body frames.

Applied technology

Artificial and human intelligence: Pointillist by Pointillist

Pointillist is the first customer journey analytics platform, designed for CX and marketing teams, that discovers and optimizes customer journeys in minutes rather than weeks -- without the help of data scientists. It directly ties customer journeys to hard metrics like revenue and churn and orchestrates personalized engagement.

Clean manufacturing: MELD additive manufacturing technology by MELD Manufacturing Corporation

MELD is a technology for metal additive manufacturing (AM) offering superior performance and flexibility to any other process. Unlike competitors, MELD is a no-melt process and requires no vacuums or chambers, providing users with unique material choices and the power to take AM to environments previously impossible.

Cybersecurity: Awake Security Platform by Awake Security

Awake's mission is to deliver the secure foundation for the automated and connected workplace. It uses artificial intelligence to combine data with deep security expertise. This helps identify the true attack surface, isolates threats that today go undetected and enables rapid response.

Next gen computing: IBM Quantum/Q Experience by IBM

When IBM unveiled IBM Q, an industry-first initiative to build quantum computers for business and science, the team ensured the technology would be made available to everyone.

Portable productivity solutions: Tactical Welder by UltraTech International, Inc.

The Tactical Welder is a battery-powered welding system that is entirely portable and produces more power than anything like it on the market. The Welder works off of a single battery pack capable of generating 300 amps.

Robotics: Hadrian X by FBR Limited

The Hadrian X construction robot is a fully automated 3D robotic bricklaying system capable of building a house in two days. Hadrian X uses FBR's Dynamic Stabilisation Technology, which corrects for environmental factors in real time enabling precision robotics in large scale outdoor applications.

Technology market solutions: Multicloud Manager by IBM

IBM Multicloud Manager is an open technology that provides a single console for companies using both public and private cloud capabilities with existing on-premises business systems

Threat defense and security: Atropine Autoinjector by Joint Project Management Office -- Medical Countermeasure Systems (JPM-MCS)

Adapting Agile methodology and novel partnerships accelerated delivery of a new Atropine Autoinjector to treat troops exposed to nerve agents. Overlapping Iterative and Incremental Development and collaborations enhance readiness for military and first responders against deadly chemical threats.

Athletics, sports and recreation

Advanced design: PowerDolphin by Powervision Robot Corp

The PowerDolphin is a dynamic and innovative streamlined design with a robust body featuring state of the art hardware for scientific research and outdoor fun in any body of water.

Sports analytics: Statcast by Major League Baseball

Technology has changed what we know about the game of baseball and Statcast gives viewers a more informed and intriguing perspective to enhance their experience. In stadium data capture implemented by MLB that tracks high resolution player and ball positional information provides brand new metrics presented in a visually engaging way on television and other mediums

Consumer electronics and information technology

Employee management and services: Spoke by Spoke

Spoke provides a simple, integrated ticketing system and knowledge base. It learns to answer the simple stuff on its own and who to send the more complex issues to. The more you use it, the better it gets. Integrations with chat apps like Slack means Spoke works the way employees already do.

Hearing technology design: Eargo Max by Eargo

Unlike traditional, behind-the-ear aids, Eargo Max is a rechargeable hearing aid that fits discreetly inside the ear. Patented Flexi Fibers (soft, medical-grade silicone) suspend in the ear canal for a natural sound experience, and amplify sounds within the line of sight (versus surrounding noises).

Personal robots: temi the personal robot by temi

Temi combines smart display abilities and a sound system with autonomous navigation to connect users to their friends, smart devices and video communications, hands-free. Temi sees its surroundings and users to deliver an unparalleled human-robot experience with day-to-day usability.

Smart devices: INNER REFLECTION by Elliptic Labs

INNER REFLECTION is based on unique, innovative, AI-driven software technology that improves and expands the capabilities of a smart speaker/personal assistant, making it more useful to users. Powered by ultrasounic virtual sensors, the product is aimed at device OEMs and enables their devices to detect and react to human presence and respond to gestures.

Consumer goods

Advanced image capture: doubletake by NexOptic Technology Corp.

Doubletake utilizes a patented Blade OpticsTM lens system, which supports doubletake’s powerful long-range focal length ability in a thin, compact device. It uses two 12 MP cameras, one wide-field and one narrow-field, that allows the user to zoom in and out rapidly. At under 2 pounds, less than 3.5 inches thick and IP67 rated, it’s ideal for long-distance and turbulent journeys. It is the next generation of binoculars.

Home solutions: Day2 by Unilever

Day2 is the world’s first dry wash spray: an air-o-sol which revives clothes instantly, so they look, feel, and smell just-washed -- no machine needed. Combining the latest in fabric care technology with a premium hardware solution, each bottle saves a wash-load and eases the burden on the planet.

Personal care: ClipDifferent Pro by ClipDifferent

The ClipDifferent Pro is an automatic fingernail clipper that trims nails safely and effortlessly, regardless of physical ability. With the simple touch of a button, it can restore independence for those with limited vision, motor dexterity, arthritis and a host of other disabilities.

Personal protection system: B'zT by B'zT

B’ZT is a smart t-shirt that has a washable chipset pre-embedded in the clothing. When a child wearing one of our shirts wanders off, the B’ZT App issues alarms to prevent any missing child.

Wireless charging: Cota by Ossia

Cota safely delivers targeted power without wires, charging pads or line of sight, opening new paths to innovation for companies and communities, providing a way to fulfill the promise of the Internet of Things, and eliminating the negative environmental and safety impacts of wires and batteries.

Energy and sustainability

Environmentally friendly solutions: AGT Hybrid Greenhouse by Ancon Development Corporation

A patent-pending design uses the cool air drawn from the earth to naturally cool and moderate the greenhouse temperature. This can significantly reduce energy consumption and bills by up to 80 percent. For new greenhouse constructions, this means a vastly reduced carbon footprint for cities.

Smart climate control: LG DUAL Inverter Smart wi-fi Enabled Window Air Conditioner by LG Electronics

LG is the first to offer variable-speed compressor room air conditioners in the U.S. These models constantly adjust speed, maintaining desired temperature and greater energy efficiency of 25 to 40 percent, depending on the model. LG is the first to earn the 2018 ENERGY STAR Emerging Technology Award for the product.

Smart lighting: View Dynamic Glass by View

Natural light is needed to live a healthy and productive life, but the ordinary window is not optimized to provide it. View’s smart glass windows let in natural light and views, and enhance mental and physical well-being by reducing headaches, eyestrain and drowsiness. They also reduce glare and heat, improving the energy efficiency by up to 20 percent.

Solar advancements: ENGAGE PV Polyolefin Elastomers by The Dow Chemical Company

ENGAGE PV Polyolefin Elastomers (POEs) are high performance resins designed for photovoltaic (PV) encapsulant films. ENGAGE PV POEs have superior electrical resistivity and weathering stability that enable affordable renewable energy by increasing the reliability and lifetime of PV systems.

Health and wellness

Food tech solutions: Food Freshness Card by Natures Natural Solutions LLC

The world’s newest product and technology to assist with the $1.2 trillion problem of food waste. The U.S. Patented Food Freshness Card works inside and outside of a refrigerator and extends shelf life anywhere from farm to fork. Used by Supermarkets, on pallets for shipments and in the home.

Mental health digital resources: Objective Zero App by Objective Zero Foundation

The Objective Zero App instantly and anonymously connects the military community via voice, video and text to a nationwide network of support comprised of their peers, mental health professionals, and civilians as well as wellness resources and tools to prevent suicide.

Industrial design

Comfort designs: Octaspring Aircraft Seat Cushions (Economy & Business Class) by Vanema

Powered by Octaspring Aerospace technology, these seat cushions create a comfortable sitting experience through dozens of individual comfort points, ergonomic zoning and 8X better breath-ability all while saving up to 30 percent of seat cushion weight, contributing directly to lowering CO2 emissions in-flight and on ground.

Innovative services

Internet of Things: NearSky by CIMCON Lighting, Inc.

The NearSky platform is a hub that connects different devices using wired and wireless interfaces. Leveraging the existing streetlight network and adding devices to it instead of building a new one, enables cities to achieve the vision of a Smart City. The platform is comprised of the NearSky 360 sensor hub and cloud-based NearSky StreetVibe information hub.

Living, working and learning environments

Edutech: The zSpace Laptop by zSpace

zSpace delivers spatial content enabling experiential learning through student-centered activities aligning to core and career and technology education curricula. Students can lift, examine and manipulate virtual simulations from the screen to gain a deeper understanding of STEM concepts.

Training simulators and industrial safety: Fire Rover by Fire Rover, LLC

The Fire Rover is the only fire elimination solution that fights incipient fires & explosions that combines: automated thermal detection, remote human verification and remotely operated on-site suppressant/elimination.

Materials science and engineering

3D printing machines: Vulcan I by ICON

ICON built the first permitted, 3D-printed home in America with nonprofit New Story using the Vulcan I mobile 3D printer. The gantry-style printer will be printing the first community of 100 homes in an underserved population in 2019 with the goal of printing each home for $4,000 at about 650 square feet.

Automotive materials and manufacturing: BiPolar+ 3D Structure Solid-State EV Battery Pack by ProLogium Technology

An EV battery pack made of inlay (core material of ProLogium solid state battery cell) with 3D structure package tech. This game changer design provide EV battery pack with 70 percent cost, 50 percent volume, 80 percent weight and an intrinsically safe promise to users.

Coating and packaging materials: TF-BOPE XUS 59910.08 by The Dow Chemical Company

XUS59910.08 is a newly developed bimodal polyethylene product which enables the production of stiff/tough/clear BOPE films on a commercial tenter frame line. It promotes down-gauging and recyclability of packaging materials, which help to reduce the carbon footprint of packaging industry.

Lubricants: AtomLube All Purpose Grease by NanoMech, Inc.

Retail aisles and every maintenance shops are swarming with products with no clear distinction but drawing consumers with attractive packaging. This overwhelms busy professionals and maintenance groups often leading to confusion and major shutdowns. Market research revealed great opportunity if SKUS can be reduced with a universal product.

Tools of tomorrow: Vibram O.B.M. by Ironclad Performance Wear

Ironclad and Vibram partnered together, integrating Vibram shoe sole technology into the palm of an Ironclad engineered glove. This resulted in a glove with unparalleled durability, grip, and fluid channeling characteristics, which can be used in a wide variety of industrial safety applications.

Media, visual communications and entertainment

Experiential art: Smartify by MOBGEN | Accenture Interactive

Using AI, users can receive rich information about scanned artworks through audio, video and augmented reality. App users can also save favorites into a personal collection across venues and share with friends. The idea for Smartify grew out of a human need to create meaningful connections with art. Making stories behind art more accessible and reframes the use of devices in galleries as engagement rather than distraction.

Studios and holograms: HYPERVSN by HYPERVSN

Seeing is believing! 3D holograms floating in mid-air? This is something that no one expect to see. With a new interactive ability this becomes a game changing way to communicate and get your message across. Super bright, full HD resolution, portable, no glasses required!

Medical/dental

Advanced surgical instruments: LessRay by NuVasive

LessRay is a hospital O.R. radiation reduction and workflow enhancement platform that integrates with traditional mobile C-arm systems, used to take x-ray images of the patient’s anatomy during surgery. The platform improves low-dose x-ray quality, anatomical visualization and O.R. workflow.

Cancer therapy: QGel Assay Kit for Colon Cancer Organoids by QGel SA

QGel takes cancer tumor-biopsy cells and grows them in miniaturized environments of customized QGel formulations, designed to mimic the complex biological environment of the patient’s body. We then test many drugs to find which will work best for that patient, before treating the patient.

Dental treatments: Invisalign Treatment with mandibular advancement by Align Technology

Invisalign treatment with mandibular advancement is the first clear aligner solution for Class II correction in growing tween and teen patients. This new offering combines the benefits of the most advanced clear aligner system in the world with features for moving the lower jaw forward while simultaneously aligning the teeth.

Diabetes management: Guardian Connect CGM System by Medtronic

The Guardian Connect system is the first smart standalone CGM system to help people with diabetes using multiple daily insulin injections (MDI) outsmart high and low glucose events. The system uses the power of real-time sensor glucose data, advanced algorithms and customizable, predictive alerts to notify people when sensor glucose levels are predicted to go too high or too low -- up to 60 minutes in advance.

Diagnostics: Pattern System by Herbst

The Pattern System transforms the way we identify and treat human infections by reducing the lab time to identify the pathogen and perform antibiotic susceptibility testing from two days to just two hours. The Pattern system uses microfluidics and artificial intelligence to optimize patient outcomes saving millions of lives each year and changing the course of healthcare.

Lab advancements: 3M Petrifilm Rapid E. coli/Coliform Count Plate by 3M

Quality assurance professionals can use this sample ready, two-in-one indicator test for E. coli and total coliform monitoring in an actionable time-frame of 18 to 24 hours. The ready-to-use solution further enables processors to obtain accurate results reduce inventory hold times and protect consumers.

Medical technology and tools: iN: The World's First Cognitive Patient Care Assistant by Inspiren

Inspiren’s passionate team of practicing nurses and technologists creates iN: the first cognitive patient care assistant utilizing AI, computer vision and machine learning. iN analyzes the real-time physical and digital environment of patients to eradicate harm caused by human error.

Patient experience: Tablo Hemodialysis System by Outset Medical

Outset Medical is rethinking the dialysis market, which has seen little innovation in decades. Tablo functions like a dialysis clinic on wheels. It was designed to reduce costs and complexity while improving the patient experience -- expanding the how, when, and where dialysis can be provided.

Surgery robotics: Monarch Platform by Auris Health, Inc.

Auris Health is ushering in a new era of medical intervention with its Monarch Platform. The Monarch Platform is an innovative flexible robotics platform designed to dramatically improve patient outcomes, enhance physician capabilities and lower costs to the healthcare system.

Social innovation

Artificial intelligence: Project Debater by IBM

Project Debater pushes the frontiers of AI research to facilitate intelligent debate between machine and human. That interaction can help create well- informed arguments leading to better decisions.

Humanitarian technology: We Care Solar Solar Suitcase 3.0 by We Care Solar and Arrow Electronics

The We Care Solar Suitcase is a highly-efficient solar energy system powering emergency obstetric care in developing countries. The portable, easy-to-use device includes medical quality lighting, fetal monitors, cell phone and battery charging capabilities and headlamps with rechargeable batteries.

Transportation and logistics

Autonomous vehicles: QuadSight by Foresight Automotive Ltd.

The QuadSight quad-camera stereoscopic vision system offers unparalleled obstacle detection capabilities for autonomous vehicles by fusing visible-light with thermal imaging. The system detects obstacles of any shape, form or material, under all weather and lighting conditions.

Passenger protection: Guardian Optical Technologies by Guardian Optical Technologies

Guardian Optical Technologies has developed breakthrough, patent-pending sensor technology for occupancy detection in vehicles, encompassing 2D, 3D and motion analysis in a single sensor designed to enable automobile manufacturers to produce safer, more convenient “passenger aware” vehicles at a lower cost. OEMs will be able to consolidate many sensors in to one Guardian sensor.

Transportation technology: Seakeeper 2 by Seakeeper, Inc.

The Seakeeper 2 eliminates up to 95 percent of boat roll for boats 27 to 32 feet and runs solely on 12-volt DC power with no need for a generator or AC input. It is 22 percent smaller and 20 percent lighter than our previous smallest model and can be installed on deck level, inside a customized leaning post.

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