In 2016 alone, 39 children died in the US because they were left inside a car in sweltering conditions. Despite the problem gaining widespread attention within the last decade, it seems the numbers are not drastically reducing.
A Child Solves Adults’ Problem
Last year, 10-year-old Bishop Curry V came up with a concept for a device which can help to prevent hot car deaths after he had heard about a baby dying in a hot minivan near his home. As an older brother to his 1-year-old sister, he decided to take action and help to prevent such tragic accidents from occurring in the future: "I heard about babies dying in car seats, and they could have grown up to be somebody important," Bishop said. Bishop has named his device “Oasis,” which attaches to a car seat and can detect if a child has been left in the car. It then blows cold air on the baby to prevent the child from overheating and alerts police as well as the parents by text that the child is trapped in the vehicle.
With the help of his father who is an employee at Toyota, Bishop V met with Chuck Gulash, a senior executive engineer at Toyota’s Collaborative Safety Research Center (CSRC) in Michigan, and together they started working on the device. The boy also had a crowd funding campaign to raise money for prototyping and finishing the design of Oasis.
Enter 3D printing
After two months, Bishop V received a provisional patent, and his campaign finally achieved the goal of $20,000. 3D printing played a role and was used to produce some details of the lifesaving device. It also reduced the prototyping phase and made it possible for the 10-year-old child to design the invention himself.
The ins and outs of Oasis’ construction remain a secret, but the boy took part and presented his invention at the Center for Child Injury Prevention Studies’ annual conference in Plymouth. Specialists from hospitals and universities concluded that the device has great potential and it seems that the device will be available soon, as claimed by Bishop’s father: “Bishop is more motivated than ever to make this important device accessible to parents and caregivers. We will work hard to do this by or before 2018.”
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