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Taiwan wins 65 medals at Paris invention fair

PARIS -- Taiwan has been awarded 65 medals, including eight gold, 12 silver and 45 bronze, at one of the world's most prestigious invention fairs on Saturday in Paris.

A folding traffic cone from Asia University, Taichung, which was a gold-medal winner at the Concours Lepine International Paris 2014, also won special prizes from both the Ministry of the Interior and the French National Police, which is the first special prize received by Taiwan since it began participating in the fair 5 years ago.

Seven other gold-medal entries included a multi-functional power generation control mechanism, a rotary internal combustion engine, a colored protection shield, a facial mask made of snow wood ear and a rebuilt Ocarina, a wind musical instrument, which could be used as a container.

One of the most popular items was the “Dragon fruit (Pitahaya) tire mending liquid and pump system,” which was made of an extract from Dragon fruit rind and nanofibers.

Hsieh Wen-yuan, a locksmith and former instructor at Central Police University who invented the tire mending system, told CNA that he learned from his 20-year service with the police that many deaths in car accidents are due to flat tires.

Replacing a tire is cumbersome, and women drivers often cannot replace tires by themselves, having to call for help, he added.

The tire mending liquid can work in temperatures as high as 55 degrees Celsius and as low as minus 40 degrees, and one only needs to pump the liquid through the tire valve and refill it, which created a permanent seal.

Hsieh's demonstrations drew large audiences. His mending system was awarded a bronze medal and received a CE marking by the European Union, and is expected to launch in May, he said.

Another item of interest was the “stretchable staff for selfies” by Wang Yung-ming, an instructor at Lunghwa University of Science and Technology, which allows users to extend their cameras farther than their hands' reach to shoot a “selfie” photo.

The item, which sold out at the fair, received more than 10,000 orders at the exhibition and won a silver medal.

The 42-member Taiwanese delegation, displaying 65 items, was led by Hsu Yi-chuan, director of the Center for Design and Brand Research, National United University.

There are 553 items from 15 countries on display at the fair this year. Taiwan's delegation has participated in the fair since 2010.

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