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Pawsing to take a shower

The doormat of the future will do more than clean your shoes: it will wash your dog as well if Rebecca Findlay has her way, writes Michael Shaw.

The 11-year-old from Corby in Northamptonshire came up with the idea for the Imagination Beyond Limits competition, in which young people designed devices they believed should be in household use by 2020.

She won the under-12 category with her dog-cleaning doormat. But Rebecca was unable to attend the awards at the Science Museum in London - because her family could not find anyone to look after their dogs.

The winning devices were mocked up in computer images by Ben Campbell, a professional illustrator employed by the competition's sponsors, Siemens, the technology company.

This week Siemens announced it would work with the leasing company Wyse and the eLearning Foundation charity on a scheme to help schools provide pupils with laptops at little or no cost.

Under the Access 4 Students programme, which starts from September, schools will provide their pupils with top-of-the-range laptops at a cost to parents of around pound;5 a week. Poor families may be subsidised with grants.



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