It was seen that the works of founders of States, law-givers, tyrant-destroyers, and heroes cover
but narrow spaces and endure but for a time; while the work of the inventor, though of less pomp,
is felt everywhere and lasts forever.          - Francis Bacon Preface to a Treatise on Interpreting Nature

The Design of Everyday Things

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How to Design Breakthrough Inventions

A CBS interview of IDEO founder David Kelley

How to Build a StartUp

In this free online course, learn the key tools and steps for building a successful startup (or at least reducing the risk of failure).

Sunday, November 3, 2013

September 2013

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.  – Proverb

Teach someone to grow fish locally and you sustain a community and the environment.  Mr. Rob Wibbeler (secretary and treasurer of the nonprofit Indiana Aquaculture Association [IAA]) described fish farming in Indiana and the industry’s need for inventors.

The human population is growing exponentially and simple natural food sources can’t keep up.  As a result, the oceans are over-fished and the U.S. imports 91% of its seafood.  Innovators are solving this problem with aquaculturefarming fish, shellfish, and water plants.

Two popular aquacultural tools are cages and tanks.  Time magazine named the Velella Mariculture Project one of the best inventions of 2012 because, in 6 months and with almost no effect on the ocean, it turned 2,000 kampuchi (yellowtail) fingerlings into 5 tons of healthy fish.  The fish were kept and fed soybean products in 20-foot cages that were allowed to drift in the ocean near Hawaii.  The final food conversion ratio (FCR) was 1.6 lbs feed per 1 lb fish, compared to 1.9:1 for chicken and 6.5:1 for beef.  Mortality rate was less than 2%, compared to 15% for typical tank aquaculture.

Although mostly landlocked, Hoosiers can benefit from other forms of aquaculture, such as seasonal pond culture, indoor recirculating tank aquaculture, and indoor aquaponic tank culture (combines fish with water plants).  Pond culture in cages supports the farming of a variety of fish (bass, bluegill, carp, perch, tilapia, and trout; the largest yellow perch farm in the world is in Albany, IN.)

Fish farming works in Indiana, directly providing 169 jobs and adding $12 million annually to Indiana’s economy.  All 34 Hoosier farmers sell all the fish and shrimp they can produce.  All of them benefit from low transportation costs because fish can be sold locally and fish feed consists largely of two Hoosier crops – soybeans and corn.  But to become more profitable to farmers and more beneficial to consumers, aquaculture, especially tank culture, needs inventors who think outside the box.  Few tank systems have been tested because, so far, they have all originated in waste water treatment technology.  The industry needs: new modular designs that can be scaled to different sizes; less expensive and more efficient equipment; more efficient pumping, oxygenating, and cleaning water; and methods of preventing disease transmission among fish.

The Indiana Aquaculture Association helps fish farmers and those they serve by educating and bringing together chefs, consumers, educators, engineers, farmers, and manufacturers to improve the industry.  For more information about fish farm tours, aquaculture, and how it can benefit you, contact the Indiana Aquaculture Association (; 317-417-0090).  Thank you for your presentation, Mr. Wibbeler!

Patent Drawings by Richard McVicker

Some inventions patented by our members:

Bob Brand
3,179,907 Tuning system for television receivers
3,219,933 Television tuner switching system
3,241,072 Tuning control system
3,538,466 Television tuner cast housing with integrally cast transmission lines
4,503,740 Optical cutting edge locator for a cutting apparatus
4,503,896 Dog system for veneer slicer
4,601,317 Veneer slicing system
5,511,598 Veneer-slicer with remotely controllable blade angle adjustment
5,562,137 Method and apparatus for retaining a flitch for cutting
5,590,700 Vacuum flitch table with self-cleaning vacuum valve
5,678,619 Method and apparatus for cutting veneer from a tapered flitch
5,680,887 Veneer slicer with timing belt
5,694,995 Method and apparatus for preparing a flitch for cutting
5,701,938 Method and apparatus for retaining a flitch for cutting
5,819,828 Method and apparatus for preparing a flitch for cutting
5,868,187 Method and apparatus for retaining a flitch for cutting
7,395,843 Method and apparatus for retaining a flitch for cutting
7,552,750 Method and apparatus for cutting veneer sheets from a flitch

Rick Hanson
6,240,579 Unitary pedal control of brake and fifth wheel deployment via side and end articulation with additional unitary pedal control of height of patient support
6,253,397 Deployable siderails for a wheeled carriage
6,256,812 Wheeled carriage having auxiliary wheel spaced from center of gravity of wheeled base and cam apparatus controlling deployment of auxiliary wheel and deployable side rails for the wheeled carriage
6,264,006 Brake for castered wheels
6,507,964 Surgical table
D474,446 Sterilizable battery component

Bob Humbert
4,281,368 Keyhole illuminating apparatus

Ron Jackson
4,886,110 HVAC zone control system
4,943,039 Adjustable clamp
4,987,409 Level sensor and alarm
5,132,669 Level sensor with alarm
5,381,989 Adjustable spring clamp
5,944,098 Zone control for HVAC system
6,145,752 Temperature monitoring and control system
6,322,443 Duct supported booster fan
D347,596 Audible security alarm
D376,747 Door security device

Jerry McQuinn
D689,343 Universal Nutcracker

Richard McVicker
3,261,937 Three position snap switch utilizing interference blade means
3,319,477 Timer Escapement
3,332,704 Manually propelled treadmill vehicle
4,625,616 Thumb pick
6,309,076 Light barrier, screen or reflector
D240,237 Sculpture or the like
D356,653 Yard light
8389839 Thumb pick

Bill Pangburn
5,943,831 Device for Hauling Objects

Al Robbins

3,882,960 Ride quality control for surface effects craft
3,946,689 Air dynamo pressure regulation and modulation device for surface effect ships and air cushion vehicles
6,588,702 Lighter-than-air device having a flexible usable surface

Matt Thie
4,844,446 Multiple-compartment currency stacker-sorter
4,940,162 Rolled coin dispenser
7,298,280 Lighted fluid flow indication apparatus
7,617,826 Conserver

Richard Tucker
5,833,751 Powder coating booth having smooth internal surfaces
6,840,367 Material handling and manufacturing system and method
6,976,835 Manufacturing system and process
7,018,579 Manufacturing system and process

Don Walls
D707090 Torque key lever
RE36209 Door lock apparatus

Dave Zedonis
5,637,926 Battery powered electronic assembly for wheel attachment

Patent Document of the Month

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