Global winners announced in 2023 James Dyson Awards

The inventors of a MEDEVAC off-road ambulance, a hands-free IV device, and an E-COATING to reduce heat absorption in buildings, have been announced as global winners in the 2023 James Dyson Awards.

Poland’s Piotr Tłuszcz wins a special humanitarian prize for The Life Chariot, an off-road trailer ambulance for universal towing, that has been used by medics in Ukraine - Dyson

Selected by Sir James Dyson, each will receive £30,000 to support the next stages of their inventions.

Piotr Tłuszcz’s was inspired to develop The Life Chariot for MEDEVAC after watching the conflict unfold in Ukraine and the challenges presented by medical evacuations across challenging terrain.

The non-powered and hands-free Golden Capsule IV device, invented by Yujin Chae, Daeyeon Kim, Yeonghwan Shin and Yuan Bai, was inspired by the Turkish-Syrian earthquakes in February 2023, where medics moved through harsh environments carrying several IV packs in their hands.  

The E-COATING, invented by Hoi Fung Ronaldo Chan and Can Jovial Xiao, seeks to reduce energy consumption in Hong Kong where air-conditioning accounts for 31 per cent of total electricity consumption. The coating is created from recycled glass in a city where over 470,000 glass bottles end up in landfills every day.

In a statement, Sir James said: “Rather than grandstanding about the problems we face, these young inventors are getting on and solving them with technology and design. It’s their passion and determination to improve the world that makes them so impressive, and I hope the Award will give them a springboard to success.” 

Tłuszcz’s The Life Chariot attaches to any hook-equipped vehicle and increases the evacuation capabilities of rescue teams by adding room for one injured person on a stretcher and two more seats for medics or the lightly wounded. The initial two builds have been given to the Ukrainian Medical Military Unit and the Polish Voluntary Medic Unit of Damian Duda “W Międzyczasie” Foundation, having been tested in terrains such as mountain trails, forests, caves and mines.

“This year the James Dyson Award gives a special Humanitarian prize to Piotr, who has designed an ingenious way of recovering injured people from challenging terrain,” said Sir James. “The Life Chariot can be towed by anything – allowing medics to do their life-saving work with the resources they have at hand. It’s also brilliant to see his iterative design process continue in response to feedback from those using it on the ground.” 

Piotr is continuing to implement upgrades to The Life Chariot based on feedback received from frontline medics.

The Golden Capsule from a team of students at Hongik University in Seoul is an IV device that uses elastic forces and air pressure differences rather than gravity. This means that medics in disaster zones do not have to hold up IV packs while transporting patients, and electricity is not required to control the infusion rate.

Korea’s first global winners secure prize for The Golden Capsule, a hands-free intravenous (IV) device for use in disaster zones - Dyson

“[The] Golden Capsule offers a much more practical, hands-free solution, using a pressurised bladder, which can be positioned anywhere, such as strapped to the patient’s side,” said Sir James. “This slowly deflates, pressurising the drip into the patient, leaving medics free to perform other life-saving work.” 

The team will continue to conduct prototype improvements and user tests in collaboration with medical experts to ensure The Golden Capsule’s functionality in various emergency scenarios and hospitals.

E-COATING is created from recycled waste glass and can be applied to exterior roofs and walls to reflect the sun’s rays, thereby reducing the heat absorption of buildings. This reduces the amount of electricity consumed on cooling solutions like air-conditioning and mitigates the associated greenhouse gas emissions.

E-COATING is a sustainable exterior wall coating with a high cooling effect, reducing the environmental costs of air conditioning - Dyson

“Ronaldo and Jovial have come up with a clever way to turn waste into something much more valuable,” said Sir James. “E-COATING uses recycled glass to create a coating to put on exterior walls. This reflects the sun’s rays, and therefore saves a substantial proportion of the electricity needed to cool the building. It is a dual solution that is good for the environment and saves money.” 

The Award will support the team’s plans to advance E-COATING’s adhesion and ease of application. They will also investigate new E-COATING formulas for indoor use.