Cover The Agapay exoskeleton | Photo: De La Salle University

These inventors have proven that science and technology continue to thrive in the Philippines. With support and recognition, their brilliant ideas could help alleviate many of the country’s problems.

If you’re a frequent user of social media, you may have come across articles that praise Filipino inventors who proudly present their works in the hopes of helping our country. Now more than ever, we must give our fervent support to the brilliant minds that encourage us to think outside the box. We can do so by frequently recognising their efforts, encouraging more visionaries to present their works, and reaching out to authorities who could fund these fruitful projects. 

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Solar Window by Carvey Ehren Maigue

Carvey Ehren Maigue is a 27-year-old BS Electrical Engineering student from Mapúa who successfully converted damaged crops into a solar window. His invention, AuREUS, was inspired by how the Aurora Borealis is formed. Aureus makes use of a substrate (a live substance that produces a chemical reaction) that converts UV light into visible light. 

For his work, Maigue was able to bag the prestigious James Dyson Award, which is given to students who excel in “designing things that solve the world’s problems". 

According to Maguie, his invention also aims to help farmers whose crops are affected by typhoons that heavily hit the country every year. He says, “Since the particles used in the substrate can be derived from waste fruits and vegetables, we are giving the farmers another way to recover their losses even if their crops get wasted.”

Related: Interview with Carvey Maigue, the Filipino Inventor of the AuREUS System

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Locally-Developed COVID-19 Test Kits by Dr Raul Destura's team

Just before the COVID-19 lockdowns were imposed, the name Dr Raul Destura was all over social media. He and his team from the University of the Philippines National Institutes of Health (UP-NIH) have created a low-cost COVID-19 rRT-PCR Detection Kit.

The kits received the approval of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last 3 April 2020. This means that these kits are allowed to be utilised for commercial use.

In an exclusive interview with Tatler, Destura shares how he and his team were able to come up with this medical breakthrough. “In the diagnostic world, if you know the genome sequence, you can design diagnostic tests.” 

Read more: On Being Dustin Hoffman: Dr Raul Destura Tells Us About His Breakthrough Test Kits For COVID-19

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The AGAPAY project by Dr Nilo Bugtai's team

The team of biomedical engineers from De La Salle University (DLSU), led by Dr Nilo Bugtai, has created AGAPAY, a robotic exoskeleton prototype with a biofeedback mechanism for rehabilitation of post-stroke and injured patients by assisting motor movements in the shoulder, arm, and hand.

AGAPAY aims to provide a cost-effective solution to production and works by utilizing a real-time biofeedback system that records neuromuscular activity using surface electromyography (sEMG).

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COVID-19 Budget Tracker App by Ken Abante

Ken Abante who works as a policy researcher at the Ateneo de Manila University knows how hard it is to track the government's COVID-19 spending.

Abante has developed the #COVID19PH Citizen Budget Tracker that works as a master list for how the government is spending money to combat and alleviate the effects of the disease. 

The tracker, which can be accessed through this link, can track the expenses used for PPE kits, food, subsidies, as well as expenditures under President Rodrigo Duterte's Bayanihan to Heal As One Act. “I thought perhaps there could be a clearer way of explaining this to the public, and since I had been in the finance department before, I felt that I could also lend a hand in that respect," Abante tells in an interview

Related: Tatler Heroes: Filipinos Leading The Fight Against Covid-19

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Ginhawa Ventilator by Dr Abundio Balgos' team

A research team consisting of pulmonologists and biomedical engineers, led by Dr Abundio Balgos of UP Manila, developed GINHAWA, a low-cost, compact, and effective ventilator that both adults and children can use safely. This project has the potential to help many patients who are severely ill due to COVID-19. 

GINHAWA, which features an embedded software protocol for self-diagnosis and patient data analytics, costs 42 per cent cheaper than similar portable ventilators intended for use in ICUs, emergency rooms and ambulances.

More from Tatler: Father's Day 2020: Tech Gadgets and Electronics That Your Dad Will Love


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Pili Seal by Mark Kennedy Bantugo

The 2021James Dyson award is given to Mark Kennedy Bantugo, a farmer's son who invented the Pili Seal. This new material is a sustainable sealant for aircraft integral fuel tanks to prevent fuel leakages. Unlike commercially available aviation sealants, Pili Seal is made from waste material particularly the waste of Pili Tree Resin which is otherwise known as “spent resin” or “de-oiled resin”.

Pili Seal is a two-component sealant. The waste of Pili Tree Resin acts as the base material for aircraft integral fuel tank sealant production. Through the mixing of the base and a hardener material, the sealant can properly function as a sealing material and is applicable for aircraft parts such as the integral fuel tank and components that are subjected to contact with aircraft fuels, lubricants, oils, water, and weathering.

In terms of application, performance and efficacy, Pili Seal is found to have exceeded data results of commercial sealants from over 20 property tests ranging from physical, chemical, mechanical, thermal to rheological.


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