Taiwanese won 65 medals — eight gold, 12 silver and 45 bronze — at the Concours Lepine International Paris 2014 in France on Saturday.
A 42-member delegation brought 65 items to the exhibition, one of the world’s most prestigious invention fairs.
A folding traffic cone from Asia University in Greater Taichung, which was one of the gold-medal winners, also won special prizes from both the French Ministry of the Interior and the French National Police, the first special prizes received by Taiwanese inventors since Taipei began sending delegations to the fair in 2010.
The other gold-medal winners included a multi-functional power generation control mechanism, a rotary internal combustion engine, a colored protection shield, a facial mask made of snow fungus and an ocarina which can also be used as a container.
One of the most popular items was the “dragon fruit tire mending liquid and pump system,” which is made of an extract from the rind of dragon fruit and nanofibers. It won a bronze medal.
The inventor of the tire-mending system is Hsieh Wen-yuan (謝文苑), a locksmith and former instructor at Central Police University. He said that he had learned from his 20 years of service with the police that many car accident deaths are related to flat tires.
Replacing a tire is cumbersome, and women drivers often cannot replace tires by themselves, he said.
His liquid can work in temperatures as high as 55oC and as low as minus-40oC. The liquid is pumped into a flat tire through the tire valve and creates a permanent seal.
Hsieh’s demonstrations drew large audiences.
The system has received a CE marking by the EU, and is expected to be launched commercially this month, he said.
Another item of interest was the “stretchable staff for selfies” by Wang Yung-ming (王永銘), an instructor at Lunghwa University of Science and Technology. The device allows users to extend their cameras farther than their hands’ reach to shoot a “selfie” photograph.
Wang won a silver medal for the device, which sold out at the fair, and received orders for more than 10,000 more.
This year’s delegation was led by Hsu Yi-chuan, director of the Center for Design and Brand Research at National United University.
There were a total of 553 items from 15 countries on display at this year’s fair.