Inventions are more essential to our way of life than we realize. At least one scientific innovation has gone into making things like the food we eat to the clothes we wear. But over the years, people have also created some surprising and wholesome innovations that are incredibly useful. Unfortunately, they may often go unnoticed and not receive the credit they deserve. So, to bring some much-needed attention to such innovations, here are ten unusual inventions that are actually wholesome.
1. A man’s grandma was suffering from dementia and not drinking enough water to stay healthy. So, he invented “edible water” that tastes like candy to help such patients stay hydrated. The product is called “Pattinson’s Jelly Drops” and is also sugar-free.
In February 2018, a man named Lewis Hornby received a distressing phone call about his grandmother, a patient of dementia. The call informed him that his grandmother had been hospitalized due to severe dehydration. Hornby then realized that people with dementia were at risk of being seriously dehydrated since they often forget to drink water. He then set about inventing a unique solution to the problem, “edible water.”
Inspired by his grandmother’s love for candy, Hornby and his fellow inventors designed a sugar-free “sweet” that was 95% water and electrolytes. They also added candy flavors to the product to make it more attractive to older patients. Hornby then returned to the care home to test it on his grandmother, who proceeded to eat seven of these candies.
The team later named the product “Pattinson’s Jelly Drops,” after Hornby’s grandmother, and even received a £100,000 ($135,645) grant from the Alzheimer’s Society’s Accelerator Programme. In return, the Society gets 1% of the profits. (1, 2)
2. A dog owner made a “bumper” device to help their blind dog walk. The device has a small hoop that acts as a buffer between the dog and objects in its path, preventing it from walking into them. However, the owner clarified that this “Bumper Buddy” was not for sale.
In 2015, a video featuring a homemade walking aid for blind dogs went viral. The clip showed a dog named Buddy learning how to use the device to walk around the house. This “Bumper Buddy” has a small hoop that acts as a buffer between the dog and its surroundings, keeping it from bumping into obstacles.
The halo-like device is made out of a plastic hanger strap and attached to the animal using a customized harness. This way, every time the hoop bumps into a surface, it tells the dog to change its direction.
After Buddy went blind due to cataracts, he became too scared to walk around. His owners then decided to create the ingenious walking aid to help him explore places more freely and confidently.
Although this device is not for sale, Buddy’s owners hope that this little innovation will inspire more dog owners to help their pets. (source)
3. In 2014, a Californian eighth-grader named Shubham Banerjee built a Braille printer out of a Lego kit. When he realized that regular Braille printers are quite expensive, he wanted to create a device that would make the process more affordable. His model was built at just $350 when normal Braille printers can cost around $2,000.
A Californian eighth-grader set himself apart in 2014 by designing a Braille printer out of a Lego robotics kit. The student, named Shubham Banerjee, built the device as part of his school science project after learning that Braille printers can be expensive.
Banerjee’s research showed that a typical Braille printer, also known as “embosser,” can cost about $2,000. Since this amount is too high for many blind people, especially in developing countries, he decided to build a cheaper one. He then proceeded to teach himself the Braille system before building seven prototypes and one final version of the printer.
The final printer, called a “Braigo, is set up to scroll through the alphabets and print out tactile bumps on a roll of calculator paper. It uses a thumbtack for its printhead and costs about $350 in total to build, making it much cheaper.
4. The Cyclo-Knitter is a human-powered machine that uses a bicycle to knit scarves. Its creator, George Barratt-Jones, wanted to spread some joy and installed it at a railway station. Using this device, people waiting for their trains can knit scarves for themselves or others.
If you’ve ever had to wait long hours in the cold for a train, you can imagine how unpleasant it is. But with the help of the new “Cyclo-Knitter,” this no longer needs to be the case.
Inspired by his own experiences, a man named George Barratt-Jones decided to create an unusual scarf-knitting machine. He used simple wood and bike parts to make it and installed it at a railway station to allow other people to use it. He even posted videos and details of the project online, after which the machine went viral.
The device is simple to operate, much like riding a bicycle and needs just five minutes to make a scarf. This way, it helps people stay warm through light exercise and also gives them a fun experience that ends in a free scarf. (1, 2)
5. In 1963, Alfred Heineken created a new beer bottle that could also function as bricks to make houses. On his trip to Curacao, he noticed that the beaches were littered with Heineken bottles. So, he decided to make a new bottle that would function as a good building material for impoverished communities while also reducing waste.
Today, there are many examples of houses being built from recycled glass and plastic. However, this concept is anything but new.
In 1963, Alfred Heineken created a beer bottle that could also be used as bricks to build houses in impoverished communities. These bottles, called the “Heineken World Bottle, were rectangular in shape and had interlocking grooves on their surfaces. This then allowed them to be laid side-by-side and stacked into walls with cement.
The idea struck Heineken when he traveled to Curacao in 1960. There, he noticed that he could barely walk across the beaches because they were littered with broken Heineken beer bottles. He also realized that impoverished sections of the country had only substandard building materials to construct their homes. The World Bottle, therefore, would have tackled both these issues.
Also read: 10 Inventions That Were Developed Earlier Than You Think