Most expected patents of 2021

In 2020, the Federal Service for Intellectual Property received 1.5% fewer applications than in 2019. The 2020 report has not been released yet but we know of hundreds of unique and fascinating inventions. Invest Foresight made a list of extraordinary and truly genius patent candidates. 


Drone hunting device by Rosatom 

In November 2021, Rosatom engineers announced their new creation, an “explosive” net that can cut drones apart in mid-air. The designers are currently polishing off their first prototype and preparing for first trials.

The device contains a shell of closely placed metal blocks with explosives and metal weights inside. The metal weights are connected by flexible cutting threads. When shot, the blocks explode in mid-air and form a net capable of cutting drones apart.

It is expected that the device will be able to fight small drones or manned air bombs more successfully than munition due to having a larger control zone.

Stratosphere aircraft for intercontinental travel

Thanks to scientists from the Kazan National Research Technical University, Russia may soon adopt aircraft for intercontinental travel via the stratosphere.

According to the patent, the stratosphere aircraft will consist of fuselage, wings, head and tail control panels and a rocket engine operating on oxygen. The final stage with an oval wing connected to the ends of the aircraft wings will be equipped with two gas turbine engines. The stratosphere aircraft is expected to be able to fly between continents at supersonic speeds.

Compared to similar foreign designs, the Russian aircraft boasts a higher useful load and a shorter takeoff time. The closest competitor of the Russian stratosphere aircraft is Skylon, a British multi-use unmanned spacecraft planned for launch in the mid-2020s.

Flying at subsonic and low supersonic speeds, Skylon’s engine is less energy-efficient. The British spacecraft is also heavier and may require extra assistance with acceleration during takeoff.

Russia’s nasal spray against COVID-19

The Immunology Institute of the Russian Federal Medical-Biological Agency has received a patent for a nasal spray and inhalation liquid designed to neutralize SARS-CoV-2. It was named MIR-19 (MIR is the abbreviation for Russian “small interfering RNA”). It is not yet another vaccine, but a radically new treatment method.

The idea to use a nasal spray against the coronavirus is not new and is considered promising by the scientific community. British, Swiss and Chinese researchers are currently working on nasal sprays that protect from the coronavirus and are used to treat it. So far, there have been no officially registered sprays designed to combat the virus on the market yet.

“It is an attractive treatment method because it is non-invasive, convenient and the active ingredient can be delivered directly to the respiratory passageways. But the problem is that the deeper it goes, the more obstacles it will meet, especially during the acute phase of the disease. This part of the respiratory system contains many immune cells — the mucosal system — and it prevents the medicine from getting into the cells,” says Ilya Yasny, head of scientific research at the Inbio Ventures pharmaceutical venture fund.

Ultra-precise wearable magnetometer by Sber

SberDevices, a subsidiary of Sber, has received a patent for an ultra-precise magnetometer designed to conduct research of neural interfaces. Theoretically, the technology will allow for controlling various devices with the power of thought. Among the additional features are the possibility to diagnose diseases, search for mineral resources and study geomagnetic fields.

It is a mobile device that can operate at any temperature unlike the ultra-sensitive versions that must be stored in special room with a temperature of about -200°С. At the same time, the new device, while being cheaper, is much more sensitive that the existing magnetometers. The main disadvantage is that all of its functions exist only in theory. It is only possible to use this technology as part of the smart home system that is being actively promoted by Sberbank.

Anti-spy technology by Apple

The phrase “for your eyes only” now has a new meaning: Apple has applied for a patent to cover the creation of privacy eyewear. The technology allows for keeping anyone from seeing what’s on a screen without the aid of a specific tool. Theoretically, it is an excellent way to protect information when using a smartphone in public.

As Patently Apple notes, the patent, while focusing on the creation of various FaceID profiles for the visually impaired, studies a new type of private screen. The patent does not state any name of Apple products. Instead, it relates to electronic devices in general, including smartphones, smart watches, laptops, TV sets and car displays.

The drawings in the patent show a new functionality of a device that looks like a smartphone. The technology will scan the face to see whether the user is wearing the privacy glasses.

Scientists find a way to protect steel from seawater

Many kinds of equipment that is susceptible to corrosion are used in the sea and offshore, as well as in shipbuilding. Such equipment can be made from corrosion-resistant steel which, in addition to iron, includes chromium, nickel and molybdenum.

Scientists have developed a coating that meets all the necessary requirements and can protect the upper layer of the material and provide full adhesion. If there is no friction, carbide grains almost have no impact on durability, and when there is, they mechanically protect the upper layer. The enhancing of the surface layer of the material is often more viable and effective that increasing the efficiency of the metal part itself.

However, experts explained that this solution has its disadvantages because the very thin nanometer-scale protective layer that can appear naturally, like aluminum oxide on aluminum parts, is destroyed during friction. To avoid that, it is necessary to protect it and at the same time improve the hardness on the surface layer.

By Christina Firsova

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