Calling on nature to solve a Nasa problem.
We explored tenets of biomimicry; learning from the sea anemone and gecko to assist in the elimination of human excreta in space.
Please upload your story using the document and/or video fields below.
Please upload your story - link to video
What is your innovation?
Our innovation helps astronauts eliminate fecal, urine and menses waste hands-free in a hermetically sealed space suite for up to 6 days. An integrated collection and transport system in zero gravity environment is compatible with existing waste elimination paradigms. We propose an inflatable seat that is built into an undergarment, resembling padded biking shorts. When the astronaut is in the correct posture for elimination, the seat inflates creating a stable platform for the elimination system to attach and dock to the inflated seat. The elimination system locates the portals through RFID sensors. When the elimination process is completed the self-cleaning tentacle cups retract into the elimination system and disconnect. Seat deflates.
What is your innovation -- supporting information (optional)
Fill in the following one-sentence “mad lib”: A inspired my innovation of B; B is important because of C and has made D impact.
Biomimicry inspired our innovation for an in-suit waste management system. Having a smart, internal system that comes together on demand and ensures safety reinforces peace of mind.
What was the motivation behind your innovation?
What motivated us to move away from an inflatable rectum plug was to create a sense of wellbeing for the astronauts on their long journey. We didn't want the constant reminder of being attached to a toilet. Instead, a soft system which operates on demand.
How does your story bring the "Wow Factor"?
Our story brings the wow factor because we took our cues from nature to make it a comfortable and dignified experience. Also, having a detachable elimination system will give the astronaut peace of mind. We used technology in a novel way that is passive, and not encumbered by gravity.
Anything else you want to share?
This project was co-created with Dr. Peter Angelo.
Name of the incentive challenge related to your story.
Space Poop Challenge
URL to the incentive challenge (if available)
Fill in the following one-sentence “mad lib”: The A challenge sought submissions to B. I accomplished this goal through C.
The Space Poop Challenge sought submissions for a waste management system that happens in a hermetically sealed suit and hands-free. We accomplished this goal by creating a system that can attach, detach, inflate, deflate and self-clean on demand.
If you convinced someone at a cocktail party they should enter an incentive challenge, what would you say?
It's a win-win. You get your idea out there, if it gets noticed, that's a win. If it doesn't, it's still a win because you worked on something that matters, you've learned something new and it could lead to other opportunities. You just never know.