By Linh Nguyen
To improve and raise awareness on IP rights, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) celebrates World IP Day every 26 April. This year, the theme was “Intellectual Property and Youth: Innovating for a Better Future” showing the link between IP and youth with the recognition of the huge potential of young innovators, Gen Zs and millennials as the creators and entrepreneurs of the future.
Growing up in a borderless, connected world and being nurtured with scientific passion, eagerness for knowledge, creativity, energy and “can do” spirit, the young generation is a promising and untapped source of innovation and change. Echoing the importance of youth-led innovation and inventions, KASS successfully organized a virtual panel discussion with industry experts entitled “The Rise of Young Innovators: Recognize, Empower, Go Beyond” on 20 April 2022.
As we continue to be inspired by this year’s theme, let’s look at several impressive innovations created by young Vietnamese innovators in recent times:
1. Mobile Isolation Helmet
WIPO granted the title of “IP Youth Ambassador” to three young Vietnamese inventors on 29 November 2021. This was the first time that students from the Asia-Pacific region were awarded this title by WIPO. The three young inventors are Do Trong Minh Duc (16 years old), Tran Nguyen Khanh An (15 years old) and Nguyen Hoang Phuc (14 years old). Their invention won the gold prize at the 5th international innovation competition (iCAN 2020) in Canada.
Their invention, named the “VIHELM mobile isolation helmet”, was designed and innovated upon the principle of the powered air purifying respirator (PAPR) which has the disadvantage of limited-time wearability, and thus rarely used for disease protection. VIHELM provides a continuous flow of filtered and purified air, and is equipped with a ventilator to prevent condensation inside that could affect the wearer’s vision. The helmet is further equipped with built-in gloves made of special materials at the bottom that allows users to scratch or rub, or even eat and drink while keeping the respiratory tract isolated from the outside. As a result, users can wear the helmet comfortably for long periods of time without needing to worry about itching or heat, while the risk of infection is reduced by up to 99.9% according to the experimental evaluation of the research team. Currently, VIHELM has been sold in the US, European and Vietnam markets.
2. Robotic arm for the disabled
Last year, a “Robotic Arm for Paralyzed Arms”, an invention by Pham Duc Linh and Nguyen Duc An – two 17-year-old students from the Bac Ninh province – won the third prize at the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (Regeneron ISEF) 2021, being the sole project of Vietnamese students that was awarded a prize in the competition.
According to the young creators, there were many ideas, models and products relating to robotic arms using brain waves, muscles or voice to control them, however, those available were not suitable for people with total arm paralysis or a short proximal arm. Their solution addresses the matter by using the feet, or specifically, the toes, to control the arm.
With the main components of the invention being two control boxes – both worn on the lower leg and connected to a sensor positioned above the big toe to receive the curvature signal, the user moves the toe and the curvature signals are processed to transmit a wireless signal to control the robotic arm. The innovative arm also enables the user to feel force signals on the fingertip via the vibration motor and further integrates the functions of wrist rotation and elbow flexion.
3. Composition for treating Early Mortality Syndrome (EMS) in shrimps
A group of Vietnamese students won a gold medal at the ” EIFFEL International Grand Prix for Invention Innovation 2021″ in Lyon (France), an international event to foster industrial cooperation and sponsorship contracts in the areas of Industry 4.0, modern technology, automation, industrial machinery, environment, and metal.
This group of five students, comprised of 17 to 22-year-olds, successfully developed a chemical composition made from essential oils, herbs and medicinal plants for the treatment of acute necrotizing pancreatitis in shrimp. The invention impressed international judges with its practicality and impact on environmental protection. With this success, the inventors will continue to conduct research in addition to registering the relevant intellectual property and launching products in the market with the desire to facilitate the recovery of the local economy following the pandemic.
4. Deep sea diving robot
Tran Viet Lan took the second prize at the National Science and Technology Competition for high school students by creating a diving robot to support hydrogeology research. With the objective to decrease the risks for researchers conducting research under the sea, Lan successfully created a robot weighing about 20 kilograms with the ability to dive to a depth of 50 meters. The robot also features data collection support, 3D mapping, and environmental monitoring. The robot recognizes objects by AI, monitors environmental parameters through a sensor system, and collects samples as needed.
The innovation uses a diving engine as a mechanism to force the robot down as opposed to pumping in water to weigh it down. This helps to increase stability and flexibility, as well as provide easy access to different terrains on the seabed. The robot can be monitored by the user remotely via an app on a mobile phone or computer and follows a pre-set route that has been mapped out before returning to the starting position. The young innovator continuously upgrades his robot to adapt to the high water pressure, reduce size, improve identification/recognition speed, and create a database of specimens and terrain for analysis and research.
The stories of young Vietnamese innovators above come with the inspiring message that “youth and innovation can create a better future”. Here at KASS, we make it our mission to support and guide young innovators and entrepreneurs to realize their ambitions and endeavours to build a better future. If you need help, please reach out to us at email@example.com!