LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - A trio of students at Lawton Academy of Arts and Sciences won a competition in Tulsa over the weekend for their entrepreneurship.
Anthony Nguyen, Jace Weaver and Logan Canada spent the past couple months working to get this helmet ready for competition. The three students were inspired to make a helmet after they participated in an engineering project back in October of last year, when they were challenged to make Fire Fighting with Rescue Robot.
"Helping the firefighters in this type of technology just means a lot to me because it means less people having to risk their lives to help other people," Canada said.
Prior to the Oklahoma Young Entrepreneur Awards, the three students surveyed fire chiefs at a recent convention in Lawton to see what would help them, and many of wanted better communication. Their helmet was built to address that need, incorporating a microphone and speaker system to let the firefighter easily talk to those outside the fire.
The helmet also features a camera that would allow operation commanders to see what fire looks like from the outside. The teens explained that a Raspberry computer powers the microphone, thermal technology and camera in the top of the helmet.
"It's really useful for this type of scenario because they're not able to take a huge computer in so focusing on size was a large issue, and raspberry PI is focused on that," Nguyen said.
Weaver said learning more about firefighters through their last competition made them want to do something.
"Hearing about what they go through every day, what problems there are, how easy it is to lose communication and all the stuff to go wrong."
The boys were awarded $2,000 for winning the competition. They said it took around $300 to add the gadgets to the helmet. The next step for them will be to contact companies who make helmets for firefighters to see if they'd use their design.