Are your crops dying due to unseasonably warm weather and drought conditions? Airdrop has you covered.

Let’s assume for a moment that you grow crops. Food crops. Important food crops that provide sustenance for millions of otherwise starving people. Despite the rosy picture Farmville paints, your life is a hard one. You have to contend with insects, crop rotation schedules and worst of all, drought.

How are you supposed to water your cabbage if there’s no rain and those miserly Egyptians won’t share their irrigation techniques? (We’re also assuming you live inside the nightmares of Sid Meier.)

That’s where Airdrop comes in. Invented by Edward Linacre, a student at the Swinburne University of Technology, Airdrop is an “air harvester,” meaning that it sucks water straight out of the air and distributes it to your thirsty plants.

So how does Airdrop work? Cool Hunting explains:

With a deceptively modest design, Airdrop filters hot environmental air through a turbine, feeding it through a copper tubing system-with copper wool to maximize surface area-and into the earth where it cools and releases moisture. The dry air is then re-released into the atmosphere and the collected water pumped through semi-porous hoses to the plant roots. In his initial prototype, which was much smaller than the current design, Linacre was able to produce a liter of water per day.

As a result of his design, Linacre won this year’s James Dyson Award, an international design prize aimed at encouraging young inventors. Both Linacre and his university will receive £10,000 (nearly $16,000 USD) from the James Dyson Foundation.

More crucially however, this kind of idea is invaluable for developing countries that rely on sustenance farming for food, and Linacre’s clever, simple design means that Airdrop is both affordable and easy to replicate. “A lo-tech solution is perfect for rural farmers. Something that they can install. Something that they can maintain themselves,” Linacre explains.

So, what’d you do during college? Edward Linacre invented a device that will feed millions of people. That’s pretty impressive.

What’s that? You played a ton of Halo in between tacos and bong rips? That’s cool too … I guess.

Source: Cool Hunting

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