Ann Moore had seen mothers wrap their children in swathes of cloth to carry them while she served in the Peace Corps in West Africa in the 1960s. She never could get the hang of it. But after she returned and had a child of her own, she asked her mother to sew a backpack for her baby. After some tinkering, they came up with the Snugli, a sling that allows a parent to carry a child in front or in back.

Akhil Madhani watched his father perform heart surgery. He asked himself what you could do without making a big hole in the chest. He invented the Black Falcon, a remote-control robot that allows surgeons to manipulate tissue from outside the body.

Matt Capossi and Nathan Conolly loved to snowboard and wanted to share it with everyone. They invented a snowboard for people without legs.