In its patent portfolio, the University of Technology Eindhoven has an invention patented named “Gravitation Compensation using a spherical magnetic spring”. This patent is available for you to hack on. Patents hold great commercial value but without the right application and market it is just protected knowledge.

TU/e Innovation Lab, STARTUP/Eindhoven & Health Tech Yard challenge you to come up with new applications based on this patent. Any idea is possible, nothing is wrong. Use your creativity and surprise them.

The invention is about compensating motion limitations due to gravitation with magnets. In general, gravitation compensation systems can only control motion in a single direction (e.g. vertical /up and down) using for example mass/spring configurations. To compensate motion limitations in multiple directions (e.g. vertical and horizontal, or up, down, left and right) an extra joint is necessary.

A simple application can be found in a desk lamp, a static system. It moves up and down or left and right. You need two ‘joints’ if you want to make both movements possible.

With the gravitation compensation invention, magnets are oriented in such a way that one system can move way more freely. This invention has the advantage that movement in all directions is possible. So instead of two systems (spring and extra joint) only one system can do the job.

Current ideas for applications are to incorporate this in a wheelchair or as an arm support for people with reduced muscle strength so they can move their arm more freely than with current gravitation compensation solutions. These are healthtech applications but of course there are many more options to think of. Bring it on!

While patents are usually kept secret from the outside world, TU/e wants to make it available to bright minds to hack on. This is because we believe in the energy, creativity and drive of students and student entrepreneurs. It is a fun and original way of adding value to the patent. We have seen many examples of great innovations and companies driven by students. We want to keep stimulating this.

More detailed information can be found in specific patent databases such as Google patents and Espacenet. Search for “Gravitation Compensation using a spherical magnetic spring”, from Bob van Ninhuijs.

More information about the patent

First of all, they welcome all ideas. The winning team will have come up with an application for the patent that scores best on the following aspects:

  • Originality
  • Expected societal and economic impact
  • Estimated technical and economic feasibility

TU/e Innovation Lab and STARTUP/eindhoven are happy to support everyone who wants to explore and develop their idea further. Why not all the way into a startup?

Furthermore, health-related ideas can enter the Health Tech Yard program and benefit from this specific network, healthcare and business expertise and prototyping and validation facilities