Can you invent something for an animal?

DePuy Synthes helps animals as well as humans

07 December 2021

DePuy Synthes, sponsors of the Brownie Inventing badge, tell us that lots of inventions help people.

Did you know that DePuy Synthes’ engineers help people to keep them moving? Not only do they make replacement hips and knees but also the tools that surgeons use to carry out the operations.
But that’s not all, they even help animals such as Nora the polar bear. Nora was hand reared after her mother abandoned her and in 2019, Nora broke her humerus bone (the long bone between the shoulder and elbow). The team at DePuy Synthes built specialist surgical equipment to help the vets carry out the operation that Nora needed. We’re pleased that Nora made a full recovery and is still going strong.

Animal inventions

You don’t need to invent surgical equipment to help animals, there’s so many cool inventions out there. Think of a retractable dog lead, which not only gives the dog the exercise it needs but also means that the owner can stop it running away.
Many animals are microchipped, another invention, so if they get lost they can be returned to their owners.
Some people keep exotic pets such as lizards. These normally live in hot countries, so how can you keep a lizard warm in the UK? Why, by a heating pad of course!
Imagine owning a cat and you’ll going to be late home; an automatic feeder will make sure that the cat gets enough food whilst you’re away. And don’t forget hamsters need exercise too, that’s why a hamster wheel is a great invention so they can run – normally during the night when you’re fast asleep.

What would you invent for an animal?

Do you own a pet or know someone that does? What would you invent for it to help make its life better? If you don’t own a pet, it doesn’t matter, think of an imaginary pet such as a unicorn. How would you help a unicorn? You may invent something such as an automatic brush which brushes its tail! It’s entirely up to you what animal you choose and what you invent.

Don’t forget

To remember the key steps to inventing, if you’re inventing something to brush a unicorn’s tail.

  1. Think of the problem you want to solve, for example the unicorn needing its tail brushed.
  2. How is your invention going to be used? Will a person be using the brush or will it be automatic?
  3. What is the brush going to look like?
  4. What tests are you going to be carrying out to make the brush better?

Check out the Have you got what it takes to be an inventor? blog.


To have lots of fun whilst inventing and to share your ideas with your leaders and friends in your unit to earn your badge.