The BHS Great Engineering Kids Of Tomorrow (GEKOT) robotics team received some great news from the Razor scooter company. Razor, the worldwide leader in scooters, has optioned GEKOT’s patented collision-warning system and has given the green light to developing a more powerful version that may be added to future city scooter systems. As part of the deal, Razor sent the team a bunch of electric scooters, some for the students to take home and some for future development.
The GEKOT FIRST Lego League (FLL) robotics team consists of fourth and fifth graders from East Hills, led by Coach Dan Champoux. For the collision-avoidance technology, all of the original members of the team who developed the system over the past two years are named as owners of the technology through GEKOT Incorporated and have shares in that company. That way, any potential future profits will be shared among them. The student owners are Elias Cengeri, Lucas Chin, Honor Hutchison, Kate Konoya, Julia Mahoney, Keira Mahoney, Avani Nandalur, Mihir Shah, Julia Xiao, and Evan Welch.
Local law firm Harness Dickey has continued to graciously provide its services to help the team finalize the patent for the device. In June 2021, the application was added to the US Patent database as US 2021/0171144-A1. According to Harness Dickey patent attorney and principal Michael Doerr, “The application is still pending, meaning that it has not yet been granted as a patent yet. But, the pending application has been published and is now publicly available to anyone searching the Patent Office’s records. Once the application issues a patent, the Patent Office will then make a second publication of the patent itself.”
Razor has identified some additional advanced technology development needed for the collision warning system to move to the mass market, so Coach Champoux has enlisted more than 40 Oakland University engineering students. A Razor representative even flew out from California to join the meeting. “We shared the requirements document plus illustrations of what that might look like,” said Champoux. “Ultimately it will be up to these student engineers to prototype a solution from the high-level requirements with the features we want to add.”
Until then, the GEKOT students will thoroughly enjoy their scooters and turn their attention to the newest challenges of this year’s FIRST robotics competition. Most of the original team members are now in the next higher level of robotics on FIRST Tech Challenge teams, but a new crew of robotics students on the GEKOT FIRST FLL team is hard at work designing solutions to this year’s game involving transportation systems. Already, the newest GEKOT team is looking at creative solutions to resolve food insecurity in underserved communities -- possibly using, of course, electric scooters.
For more information, see the GEKOT website.