The national stage of the James Dyson Award 2021 for young engineers and designers has concluded. Since 2005, the award has challenged inventive and enterprising students and recent graduates of engineering and design departments. This year, Russian candidates submitted a record number of applications – 38. Sverdlovsk, Tomsk, Komsomolsk-on-Amur, St. Petersburg, Moscow, Vladivostok – this is just an incomplete list of participating cities. Students, inventors and scientists represented the M.V. Bauman, Far Eastern Federal University, Komsomolsk-on-Amur State University and other universities.

The candidates’ projects in Russia were evaluated by an expert jury, which included: the editor-in-chief of the Popular Mechanics magazine Alexander Grek, the tech blogger of the YouTub channel about gadgets and technologies “Droider” Valery Istishev, the head of the “Technologies” section at RB.RU Elena Cherkas and the director by product Marusya in Group Anatoly Kulbatsky.

The national winners of the competition were Vadim Stozhik and Aleksey Rezepov, who developed the Braille e-book. For the implementation of their project, they will receive a grant of 200 thousand rubles from the James Dyson Charitable Foundation.

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Braille e-book

Braille e-book is a portable e-book for the blind and visually impaired people that displays embossed Braille on the screen. Despite the development of modern technology, visually impaired people still cannot comfortably read e-books. Today, only bulky devices that operate from an outlet can do this. Most often they are located in specialized libraries, which are not always easy to reach.

Braille e-book will help you solve this problem. Alexey and Vadim have created a design for a mobile device, and now they are preparing to test its electronic components. As conceived by the inventors, several books can be loaded into Braille e-book at once, and the gadget itself is light in weight and size. The system displays words and sentences on a tactile panel, displaying braille using raised dots.

National finalists

AUV Dagon

The Dagon is an autonomous unmanned underwater vehicle (AUV) capable of detecting and mapping oil spills. Leaks during the transportation and storage of petroleum products occur quite often all over the world and cause irreparable damage to the ecosystem. Therefore, it is very important to detect spills as early as possible and to accurately record their location in order to minimize damage and simplify the clean-up of water areas.

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James Dyson Award National Winners Announced (image 19)

Anton Tolstonogov, Dmitry Skalsky, Platon Pryazhnikov, Dmitry Stabrovsky and Ivan Chemezov have developed an automatic robotic buoy to search for spills near oil transportation hubs where environmental pollution is most likely. AUV Dagon will be able to work for about a month without recharging, “patrolling” a given territory and transmitting the coordinates of zones with an increased concentration of oil products. The system will consist of four modules with contactless communication and power transmission. They can be combined in different ways to get the desired set of functions. In addition, the modular architecture makes it easy to replace faulty components without returning the unit to shore.


Sensoria is an adaptive garment with built-in tactile décor designed to reduce stress in people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

James Dyson Award National Winners Announced (image 20)

Many people think that such people do not need specialized clothing. However, Anna Lychagina, together with the Siberian Design Center, conducted a study that showed that this is not the case, in particular, young people with autism have a need for certain clothes and accessories. As it turns out, loose-fitting clothing and tactile accessories have a calming effect on them and may be just about the only way to reduce stress in public. To open up this opportunity for them, Anna created a sweatshirt with wide sleeves, loose cuffs and a deep hood. For sensory unloading, tactile elements can be sewn on or attached with Velcro, which, if necessary, can be easily replaced. The project was the first step towards creating adaptive clothing for youth and children with WHO and disabilities.

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All three projects qualify for the international stage of the James Dyson Award 2021. The finalists will have the opportunity to win the main prize – 3 million rubles for the development of their projects – in the general category and in the field of sustainable development.

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