Mech Eng Innovation Scholar wins national design prize

A recent graduate of the University of Bath, Andrew Taylor, was the winner of the prestigious Blackwood Design Awards 2017/18 in the Best New Concept category

Andrew Taylor, Winner of Blackwood Design Award 2017/18, Graduate University of Bath Mech Eng.

Andrew Taylor, Winner of Blackwood Design Award 2017/18, Graduate University of Bath Mech Eng.

The Concept is an innovative design for assistive glasses which could revolutionise the way in which visually impaired athletes train and compete.

Andrew Taylor, a 24-year-old Mechanical Engineering graduate from the University of Bath, came up with the invention while in the final year of his design project.

The glasses track an athlete’s position in their lane and running direction which is then translated into an audio signal. Depending on where the runner is on the track, the audio gets louder which allows them to maintain a steady line around the circuit.

The Blackwood Design Awards was first launched in 2013 as the Blackwood Student Design Competition, and won by Bath SETsquared alumni company Mountain Trike. Since the annual contest has grown to become an international competition attracting designers, engineers and inventors from all over the globe. The award aims to reward and promote great designs and concepts that have the potential to change lives. Last year’s winners in two categories were a stair climbing wheelchair and a headset computer mouse for hands-free use.

Talking of his inspiration behind the headset, Andrew said;  

“In 2016 during the Paralympics, I started to think about this product when I was watching some visually impaired running event and I decided to design a product to help. I’ve always been interested in designing products for people with disabilities because they have a unique set of requirements, so I created this product to see how technology could be used to meet their requirements.”

I'd highly recommend entering the award if anyone from the current cohort has a suitable entry. Blackwood flew me up to Edinburgh for the award giving and the judges have been incredibly helpful and enthusiastic throughout the process.”