101 Uses for Bubble Wrap, No 55: Use it as a covering for prosthetic limbs
Every year, Sealed Air runs a competition for the most imaginative new uses for bubble wrap packaging. The inaugural contest, in 2007, was won by 15-year-old Grayson Rosenberger of Nashville, Tennessee, who astonished judges with his idea, which wasn’t just creative and clever, but also immensely practical.
Grayson used a heat gun to mould sheets of bubblewrap around metal prosthetic legs, to create a covering with a musclelike shape and tone. A few cosmetic adornments and you end up with an artificial yet lifelike leg, that can be used in developing countries (where people are unlikely to be able to afford the more high-tech versions available elsewhere) to allow amputees to blend more seamlessly into society.
Grayson’s idea not only won him the Sealed Air competition (and the accompanying $10,000 prize), he was also given a Da Vinci Award for innovative development and research in adaptive and assistive technology and was inducted into the National Museum of Education’s Young Inventors Hall of Fame.
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