Page last updated at 23:43 GMT, Wednesday, 7 October 2009 00:43 UK

Children draw own visions of 2020

The children have designed some detailed blueprints of their designs

Children asked to come up with ideas for life in 2020 have designed labour-saving devices, magic pencils to do their homework and, of course, robots.

Some 85,000 young inventors have submitted ideas to the UK's Intellectual Property Office, formerly the Patent Office.

The best of the ideas will be buried in a time capsule, to be opened in 2020.

It follows the Intellectual Property Office's sponsorship of The Science Museum's Cracking Ideas Exhibition.

The Cracking Ideas exhibition offers children a chance to see inside the famous home of Wallace and Gromit and some of Wallace's own inventions.

Ideas from children who visited the exhibition include a robot chef who can prepare any dish "on demand".

Magic pencils

Billy the Chef is made of recycled tin cans and has arms of disposable stacking cups.

As the roads get ever more crowded, Tyona Higgins, aged 14, has come up with an underwater solution. Her flotation device comes complete with a password activated navigation system and "super-vision" lights.

Caring for the environment was high on many youngsters' agendas with eco-friendly devices such as a solar-powered lawn mower and TVs operated by pedal power.

But one thing remains unchanged - the desire for children to find a quick solution to the burden of homework.

Pencils that do homework for you and paintbrushes that automatically paint masterpieces were among some of the ideas.

Lawrence Smith-Higgins, head of education at the Intellectual Property Office, is hopeful that one of the great inventors of the future could be among the youngsters.

"We'll dig up the time capsule to see how the cracking ideas shape up in a world that's sure to be different from today," he said.

The time capsule will be buried at the Intellectual Property Office on 14 October. The Cracking Ideas exhibition runs until 1 November.

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