An idea that stemmed from the desire to help an elderly relative in the event of a fall has catapulted two young Tasmanian engineers on to an international stage.
Last week former Launceston College student Isaac Brain and his cousin Mitch Torok, from Rosny College, won the engineering category of the 2019 BHP Foundation Science and Engineering Awards with their aWear watch prototype.
Mr Brain said they developed the aWear watch to help Mr Torok’s 89-year-old great grandmother if she fell.
“Our main inspiration was Mitch’s great grandmother, who lives by herself,” he said.
“I did the software and Mitch did the hardware.”
The watch, which can also be worn on a lanyard or as a brooch, alerts nursing staff of status and location of the wearer by SMS.
This alert is triggered by an accelerometer, which analyses fall detection. Isaac developed the software and web development and Mitch built the hardware.
“We are doing more testing. We have dramatically improved the fall detection and made it easier for nurses to use,” he said.
“Mitch has redesigned the case, which will be produced through milling, and made it waterproof, thinner and smaller.”
The pair are now speaking with nursing homes about conducting testing with residents.
Mr Brain will put these skills to further use studying computer science at the University of Melbourne.
In May the cousins head to Arizona, USA, to share aWear at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair against 2000 other finalists from 80 countries.
While you’re with us, did you know you can now sign up to receive breaking news updates direct to your inbox? Sign up here.