Student projects honored in World Changing Ideas Awards

March 20, 2017 | 11:20 am

Two projects developed with resources at the Jacobs Institute, CITRIS Invention Lab, and Berkeley’s design ecosystem have been recognized in Fast Company’s first-ever World Changing Ideas Awards, which honor businesses, policies, projects, and concepts that offer innovative solutions to the issues facing humanity. The judging panel for the awards considered more than 1000 entries, looking for “the best combination of creative problem solving and potential to change our world for the better.”


QK4A7956-adjusted (1)Nabu, 
created by Rashad Karanouh and Charlotte Moreau, is a finalist in the student category of the awards. The project aims to put the power of translation in the hands of deaf people. Although roughly 70 million people worldwide use sign language as their first language, many communities face severe shortages of sign language interpreters. The team behind Nabu aims to close this gap with a seamlessly integrated wearable, empowering deaf people to express themselves efficiently and autonomously. Learn more.


QK4A8056-adjustedWheelSense, 
developed by Pierre Karashchuk, Corten Singer, and Tomas Vega, is also a finalist in the student category of the awards. WheelSense is a modular, open-source system that empowers visually impaired and movement-restricted wheelchair users to explore the world around them. Rooted in deep engagement with user needs, WheelSense takes a novel approach to autonomous wheelchair navigation by using haptic and auditory feedback to relay spatial information directly to the user. Aiming to serve a diverse community, WheelSense provides an accessible, customizable tool for navigating with newfound ease. Read one look at the process behind WheelSense.

See the full list of World Changing Ideas Awards honorees.