NestFold, 2017 people’s choice winner for NASA’s Space Apps challenge

NestFold – “Unfold, Survive, Get rescued”

A few days back we were given the opportunity to attend the press conference of NestFold, this year’s people’s choice winner for NASA’s Space Apps challenge. This event is a global challenge organized by NASA. Participants from all over the world party together in order to compete through their ideas. With their ideas as a medium, teams strive to promote projects and solutions which could help solve various problems for the betterment of science and humanity.

“Unfold, Survive, Get rescued” That’s the moto of the whole idea behind the team and somehow self-explanatory. NestFold’s idea is to build a self-sustained shelter to protect people suffering from various environmental disasters and crisis. Its purpose is a fast deployment of a livable environment for people to be protected from the elements and any kind of danger during floods, earthquakes, landslides and large fires anywhere that might be.

The shelter is designed to counter all threats that the environment might expose in the area of operation, therefore many things were considered for its survivability and effective use. To protect people from surrounding fires, it has to be able to sustain extreme temperatures from the outside while the temperature inside remains stable. It has to be durable enough and shockproof so that in an event of an earthquake or landslide it has to survive crushing weights and protect people inside until rescue. And lastly, it floats so in an event of a flood not only can save people but also serve them a dry place to stay.

All this in a package that is compact enough to be airlifted and transported and yet be able to house people wherever is needed. That’s why it is designed with size and weight discipline in mind and a smart mechanism, so that it can be folded to fit in an airplane or helicopter. From there it can parachute in the effected zone and instantly expand to its original size, accepting up to 16 people plus 2 wounded for up to 6 days of shelter, food and water. The whole package is universal so any shelter can take the challenge of any of the threads above, and the best thing it’s reusable.

NestFold team consists of 17 people, mainly students as well as graduates from various studies of University of Cyprus, each one with their own knowledge and experience improved and shaped the team by learning from each other. The team started with vision to help the world and in progress this became the scope of everyone individually in the team. After their recent success, they have been invited by NASA to attend, on the 3rd of August, the launch of the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS-M) at the cape Canaveral in Florida and discuss with them the implementation and improvement of the idea.

During the press conference NestFold announced their victory at NASA’s Space Apps challenge and that they are actively looking for sponsors so that they will be able to visit Florida to collect their prize, visit NASA’s staff and proceed with the project and eventually help them develop and improve their idea that might eventually save lives around the world. They also explained the viability of their idea and the multiple uses that can perform and they look forward for the meeting with NASA’s scientists. The rector of University of Cyprus expressed his pride and support with a quote from a famous Cypriot artist Adamantios Diamantis “whatever others did with 100 we do it with 5 or 10, but we do it perfect and complete” and saluted the effort each one gave to the team. As for us we hope the best for the team and we support their effort in any way possible and we hope to see more from them and their life-saving idea.




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