IT’s often the simplest inventions that are the most brilliant.
Talented design and technology student Amy Lowe, 18, has proved that with an idea that could really make a difference to those children who have to take oral medication on a daily basis.
Amy’s design for her innovative A-Maze pill dispenser won her the Best of the Best award in this year’s ACE (Awareness of Careers in Engineering) Project.
And now major island-based engineering firm Strix has agreed to fund the European Design Registration of her design. Its patent attorneys, Dehns, have also agreed to support this by waiving their fees for the application – assistance worth nearly £2,000 and which should protect Amy’s design for 25 years and allow her to commercialise it, should she wish to do so.
Amy, who is heading off to the University of Dundee this week to embark on a degree in product design, came up with the idea for the A-Maze pill dispenser for her A Level Design and Technology project at Castle Rushen High School. She secured an A* in that subject plus two Bs in her A level results.
Speaking from her home in Droghadfayle Park, Port Erin, she said she was ‘completely shocked’ to win the ACE project award and to have Strix pay for it to be registered.
She said: ‘I did it for my A level project. A-Maze is basically for children that have diseases such as cystic fibrosis who have to take pills on a daily basis. It’s about making that a little easier by making it more enjoyable.’
The hand-held A-Maze dispenser, which is about 50mm in diameter, has three little acrylic tubing sections each containing a maze. The child has to manoeuvre the pill through the mazes before it can be dispensed. To add variety the sections can be switched around.
Amy said it was her goal to get her A-Maze dispenser into commercial production. ‘Hopefully, that’s the plan. I’m going to university this week and we are just getting the patenting process underway.’
Andrew Hewins, group intellectual property manager at Strix said: ‘We at Strix are delighted to be able to support Amy in registering this innovative and functional design.
‘We believe that fostering the development of Engineering and Design skills is vital for the island’s long term development and that schemes like this are a great way to encourage our young people to engage with the possibilities that a career in engineering can offer. We are also grateful to our partners, Dehns for their valuable contribution and look forward to perhaps one day seeing Amy’s ‘A-Maze’ available commercially.’
The Awareness of Careers in Engineering (ACE) Project, created under the Engineering Sector Skills Group, was launched in 2008. Each of the island’s secondary schools are invited to put forward the best D&T coursework from their GCSE and A level year groups. The 12 submissions from this year were put on display at Isle of Man Airport ahead of judging by a panel made up of Laurence Skelly MHK, Tony Wild MLC, Karen Conway of GE Aviation, David Waters of RLC Ronaldsway and David Parkes of Swagelok.
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Weather for Isle of Man
Monday 20 May 2013
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