Malima Episode #13: Have a good night – and a cool glass of water!

Malima (New Directions in Innovation) is a Sinhala language TV series on science, technology and innovation. This episode was produced and first broadcast by Sri Lanka’s Rupavahini TV channel on 27 September 2012.

Malima: Episode 13 (first broadcast 27 Sep 2012) from Nalaka Gunawardene on Vimeo.

Produced by Suminda Thilakasena and hosted by science writer Nalaka Gunawardene, this episode features the following items:

• An interview with inventor Nalaka Chandrawansa, who has developed an energy-efficient fan that can be fitted under a mosquito net. It consumes less than 20W to operate, compared with table fans (average 45W) and ceiling fans (average 70W), accumulating power savings. And because the compact fan provides a more targeted stream of air that cools the sleeper on the bed, it also does not stir dust elsewhere in the room that sometimes causes health problems. This innovation has been grated a Sri Lanka Patent, certified by Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority and won a President’s Award in 2010. It is manufactured and marketed by the inventor himself. Details at:

• Introducing Sri Lanka’s indigenous technology: kedella karuwa, a simple tool for sweeping outdoors, which might have inspired the rake.

• A Japanese company has recently introduced the innovative ‘Grappa’ foldable shopping bag — which also doubles as a safety helmet in the case of a disaster. It is made of mesh fabric sides, much like a standard reusable shopping bag, but the bottom consists of hard plastic and expanded polystyrene (EPS), which is often found in safety helmets to absorb impact. More about this at:

• An interview with schoolboy inventor Therusha Chethana Fernando, a student of De Mazenod College, Kandana, Sri Lanka. He has developed a portable water cooler that can chill water to 5 degrees C below outside temperature without using refrigeration technology or electricity. Instead, the simple device uses a permeable clay container and a battery-powered small fan. With 3 litres of water filled, the entire unit weighs 4 kg, easy enough to carry around.