Maker category judge, Tom Ward, Founder of Tech Camp, gives us his tops tips for the Maker Category! If you want to win that life changing prize of becoming an engineer for the day in LA with Belkin’s WeMo, Tom is one of the judges you’ll need to impress. See what he’s looking for in a winning entry!

Do you have any tips and inspiration for Maker Category entrants?

“Inventions are all about creating things that no one has ever thought of OR putting old inventions together to make life easier or better! Think about what would make your life better:

  • What would this invention look like?
  • How would it work?
  • What materials would you use?

If you can answer those questions you are ready to start preparing your entry!”

Have you ever invented anything?

“I love designing and making things with electronics. Many of them I wouldn’t call inventions, but I like to think they often accomplish things in an inventive way.  When I’m not running camps I’m often designing exhibits for science festivals.  We’ve just finished a fun one that has a giant ‘walk-on’ piano keyboard and a high voltage Tesla coil which allows people to play music  with lightning bolts.  We’re also working on “The World’s Largest Steady Hand Game” which is a version of the classic ‘buzz wire’ came but scaled up to 50 metres of copper tubing and is separated into 12 timed stages that turn the game into a race!”

What are some of your favourite modern inventions?

“For a bit of old-style technology but still one that is technically in the modern era, one of my favourites has to be the centrifugal governor – a beautiful solution to the problem of regulating the speed of an early steam engine. For a more recent example, the modern smartphone is a wonder of engineering.  As a child, our home telephone was not that much different to the first electromechanical designs of the turn of the 20th century – to see what this has morphed into over just a couple of decades has been amazing.”

Now you have some amazing inventor inspiration from Tom Ward, you’re about ready to invent, make or modify an existing invention for The Future8 Awards Maker category! Simply upload your idea with sketches and lots of info into the online application form as a PDF. If you’re ready and raring to go, ENTER now!!

If you just can’t get enough of robot making and electronic tinkering, hear more from Tom and find out more about Tech Camp!