Nick’s inventions look to make a difference

After finishing his studies at Loughborough, alumnus Nick Robinson (Ergonomics 1976) has gone on to have a long career in invention and innovation.

Over the years, Nick has submitted several patents aiming to make a huge contribution to a variety of areas including engineering and climate change.

Here Nick shares examples of recent projects:

“My academic paper: "Towards Human Centered Society: Equality, Diversity and Inclusion", was published in September 2021 for an eGov and CEDEM initiative, Council of Europe, University of Granada, in Europe. In the paper I raise social, democratic, and economic structural paradigm changes required and propose Digital Social Modernism.

“Between 2018 and 2021, my UK Patent, "Flight Control System", GB2586900, a proposal for more intuitive, human centred aircraft control system that is easy to fly was published pending grant. It is applicable to UAVs, and to commercial jets - including addressing the cockpit and pilot situation awareness design flaws in the Boeing 737 max.

“I presented and published "Driver Inattention and Integrated Control-Displays" to the CIEHF Annual General Meeting 2015/16. This included aspects such as the yoke steering control and forward central pillar-free driving position. They are being adopted in today’s EVs, including Tesla.”

Nick has had a huge involvement in Green Energy and told us about his visit to NASA where he presented one of his inventions:

“I'd tried my hand at a number of day jobs, including teaching, but this was the main chance, I was going for it. I was headed to NASA at JPL's Minority Business Diversity Programme with a video of my invention - the beginnings of my compressed vortex ring blower!

“It was to mark the start of a long and tenuous relationship with the US, including an offer of support to 'co-invent' an offshore tidal and low head kinetic flow generator in 2008. I'd also been turning my engineering design interests into developing wind turbine test models, which attracted the interest of local politicians, and I was encouraged to stand for election to the City Council. Together we succeeded in attracting green energy investment into the Humber Region.”

When asked what influenced his thought processes for his inventions, Nick responded:

"Reading philosophy has helped me escape the paradigm thought traps as most of my inventions seem to have been disruptive to the Oil and Gas and Transportation Industries, and authority."