It's our smallest Challenge yet! Well, in terms of how it works. NBD Nano is a company that specializes in using Nanotechnology to extract water, inspired by the effortless efforts of the Namib Desert Beetle. They have recently developed a type of surface that can do just that, but are still looking to applications. Your job is to come up with a creative and useful device that utilizes NBD's technology.
Without going into technical details, NBD relies on a surface of alternating hydrophilic and hydrophobic areas that pulls water out of the air and deposit it elsewhere, as seen in these pictures. Use the assumption that for every square meter of fabric, you can pull out an average of 3 litres of water per hour (under 70% relative humidity). The minimum amount that you can use is 1/2 litre, and consume no more than 100W of electricity.Nevertheless, there are lots of different uses. Think of mosquito nets in humid, tropical areas. Or window screens in your kitchen directly filling your drinking water tank. How about a simple design that utilizes a solar panel on one side and the fabric on the other, perfect for generating water in adverse and remote conditions.
For your best ideas, there are $2,500 in cash prizes. Challenge runs until November 28th, 2012. Let your ideas flow like water, so to speak!