An Invention That Sucks the Water Out of Dry Skies Has Won This Year's James Dyson Award

By Kat Hannaford on at

What's in the water down under? This is the second year in a row an Aussie has won the James Dyson Award, with both designs also aiming to save lives -- albeit in very different ways. This year's winning product is Airdrop, a network of pipes that sucks water from the air and irrigates drought-stricken Australia with the condensation it needs to grow plants.

The Swinburne University of Technology student was selected from a talented shortlist of entries for the always-off-the-hook awards, and has won its designer £10,000 to develop his invention further, plus another 10 grand for his uni.

What I love most about the Airdrop is that Linacre studied the Namib beetle, specifically how it can survive in arid conditions by collecting the dew off its back. Using this research, the Airdrop device sucks water molecules from dry air, and then pumps them through underground pipes, cooling them in the process so they turn into condensation. From there, it's pooled at the roots of the plants, thus ensuring the season's planting wasn't done in vain.

Click through the gallery for a look at the two runners up prizes, one of which is from the UK, and Dyson's highly-commended awardee. [James Dyson Award]