Invention

It’s time for a little trash talking

By GREGORY ZELLER // Like millions of other suburban homeowners, Julia-Ann Bodine has had it up to here with raccoons. Specifically, she’s fed up with the mess, sanitation issues and other headaches created every time the masked rodents party down in an outdoor garbage can. Like many of those millions of other frustrated humans, Bodine’s tried most commercially available solutions – deodorant sprays, stick-on fresheners and a host of pest repellents – and found them…


Design Edge up for top toy honors

By GREGORY ZELLER // Friends up high in the Walt Disney Co. and a digital upgrade have revived a popular children’s product from a decade ago – and earned the Long Island invention a prestigious award nomination. Storytime Theater, an interactive multimedia storybook device invented by Design Edge CEO Matt Nuccio, is back, super-powered with a state-of-the-art digital projector, a smart-device interface and content spanning today’s most popular titles and brands, from “Frozen” to “Star…


Mary Putre hopes to shovel all the way to the bank

By GREGORY ZELLER // “Snow hurts,” says Mary Putre. And it’s not just because she has two surgically repaired shoulders. Every Long Island home and business owner knows clearing snow and ice is backbreaking stuff. For Putre – a veteran inventor with a garage full of successful products – one snowstorm too many finally triggered her “has to be a better way” moment. The problem isn’t just the ice and snow, according to the New…


A lot more than pipe dreams for ULC Robotics

By GREGORY ZELLER // Two steps ahead of “the next big boost to the U.S. economy,” there is ULC Robotics. The “big boost” in this case is robotics, and the bold prediction comes from Greg Penza, the president and CEO of the Hauppauge-based R&D firm, who sees robotics as the next great economic evolutionary step after the PC revolution of the 1980s and the buildout of the nation’s cellular systems, which occurred largely in the…


There’s no beach it fears to tread

By GREGORY ZELLER // Forgive John Cornwell for not coming up with a snappy name, just yet, for his first invention. It’s a portable, lightweight cart that’s strong enough to carry coolers and umbrellas and rides on a tank-like tread that conquers sandy beaches like an M1 Abrams. The clever innovation fairly screams with name potential – The Sand Shark! The Shoreline Transportatron 3000! Shell on Wheels! But Cornwell’s a busy man. He has a…


Increased philanthropy? It’s in the cards

By GREGORY ZELLER //  An innovative approach to gift-giving could dramatically increase the funds flowing to regional charities this holiday season. Sag Harbor-based Donors Unite Management Corp., in partnership with the Long Island Community Foundation, is introducing a choose-your-charity gift card and associated website, set to launch around Thanksgiving. While gift cards that allow recipients to pick their causes aren’t new, Donors Unite has added a unique twist: Instead of giving recipients a small list…


Eddie Cross wants to avoid fall cleanup

By GREGORY ZELLER // Eddie Cross got the drop on his first-ever invention 15 years ago, when he took a tumble inside a local bank branch, slipping on a wet floor and flopping to the floor. He wasn’t seriously injured, but the spill certainly got the wheels turning. Cross’ breakthrough moment came years later, while the Nassau University Medical Center maintenance mechanic was dealing with a flood inside a new NUMC facility, hauling drying equipment…


Newport award for local light design

In a bright advance for boater safety, an innovative dome light for powerboat and sailboat cabins created by two Long Island companies has been honored by judges at the Newport International Boat Show. The Largo Tri-Color LED Dome Light, named best new navigation product at the prestigious Rhode Island showcase, was honored for its customer value, safety and aesthetics, according to judges. Hauppauge-based design-and-development ace Intelligent Product Solutions partnered on the Largo with Holbrook’s LED…


Carolyn Schwartz and the road taken

By GREGORY ZELLER // Poems By Carolyn got its start churning out rhymes for bar and bat mitzvah candle-lighting ceremonies, along with the occasional Sweet 16 sonnet. Fifteen years later, Carolyn Gilbert Schwartz’s professional network includes major regional event planners, and her business list has swelled to include startups and national corporations. And poems are just the half of it: Penning everything from marriage proposals to snappy website content, the entrepreneur has thought about changing…


ULC Robotics wins industry game changer award

Hauppauge’s ULC Robotics has been recognized with a Game Changer Award for its unique cast iron joint sealing system, called CISBOT, which operates underground to repair and reinforce joints in cast iron pipelines, with little excavation and without having to turn off gas service. No surprise the system is a growing hit with gas utilities in the United States and abroad. Game Changer Awards are bestowed by Robotics Business Review, with help from Robotics Trends and the International…


ClipFix aces field test, cranks up manufacturing

By GREGORY ZELLER // Commack startup ClipFix, which peddles an easy DIY solution for busted modular plugs, has aced the first of two planned field tests – and that’s good enough for company principals, who’ve placed a 50,000-unit production order that should be ready to ship by mid-October. ClipFix targets the tiny depressible tabs that snap into place when RJ-45 modular plugs are inserted into a port or wall jack, connecting monitors, modems, phones, printers,…


Shedding a little light on bothersome servers

By GREGORY ZELLER // A few things inventor Celestina Pugliese has learned since she launched her company in 2010: There’s always something to worry about Being a registered woman-owned business is huge Appearing on television is nerve-wracking but potentially ginormous There’s a Four Seasons hotel in Bora Bora Rapper Fifty Cent owns his own vodka brand It’s really annoying when restaurant servers continuously ask if you’re ready to pay the check Actually, she knew that…


Happe-ness is a grit-free beach drink

By GREGORY ZELLER // Inventor Jeanne Cilmi is not reinventing the wheel. But her Happe Holder still dreams big. Standing 8.5 inches tall on four sturdy legs, the portable, elevated cup holder aims to keep beverages out of the grass and sand when you’re picnicking at the park or beach – a modest goal, Cilmi admits, though not an unimportant one. “I’m not curing any major illnesses here,” she said. “Just making a day at…


Getting a leg up on physical therapy

By GREGORY ZELLER // You’re doing your physical therapy all wrong. That’s not a stretch, says Nassau BOCES physical therapist Mary Ann Malizia, who claims a common exercise performed daily by tens of thousands of athletes and patients – and by the PTs, trainers and chiropractors assisting them – is done incorrectly, bad news for anyone recovering from leg injuries or hoping to prevent them. Most people stretching their hamstrings or calf muscles prior to…


Prototyping and production, right here on LI

By GREGORY ZELLER // Long Island tinkerers needn’t look to other domestic regions or overseas when they want to prototype or manufacture their designs – there are Island-based options that can turn their dreams into real-world products. Manufacturing services are “within very close reach” of Long Island inventors, who “don’t have to go elsewhere, especially overseas, to take an idea on a napkin to production,” according to Arto Cinoglu, vice president of Bohemia-based Dart Manufacturing….