Ben Soroos 2nd year took part in the BT Young Scientist Exhibition 2018. Ben was one of 550 to be chosen to be part of the exhibition in January. The exhibition is broken up into four different categories:
1. Biological & Ecological Sciences
2. Chemical, Physical & Mathematical Sciences
3. Social & Behavioural Sciences
Ben entered the Technology Section in the Junior Individual Category.
Ben’s idea came from his passion for cycling, and the dangers that he has experienced due to unsafe passes by vehicles on the road. Ben’s idea is to make a device that is secured to a bike's handlebars and records video from any time a vehicle comes within 1.5 metres. The project is called SafeRide.
When an unsafe pass occurs, it will save the next 60 seconds of video and later self-analyse it for license plates. It will save all license plates detected, as well as all video, for later viewing from a local website where you can view previous or current rides. There will also be a button to save the previous 120 seconds of video, so cyclists can save video of other incidents that they witness. This video will be analysed and saved as well.
Ben’s aim is to lower the number of unsafe passes cars make past bikes. Using this device will make reporting unsafe passes easier.
It will use 3 Raspberry Pi’s and 2 Raspberry Pi Cameras, one of which will have a depth sensor. 2 Pi’s will be on the bike, and one will be used for later analysis and saving video to a hard drive. Everything will be written in Python 3.
From January 10th to 13th Ben was in the RDS displaying his project, during the week the interest and relevance of the project was easy to see. Everyday cyclists, RDS volunteers, and other students exhibiting all took a liking to the idea. Throughout the judging rounds Ben described his project excellently and showed his passion for improving the safety of all road users.
On Thursday Ben was visited by Minister Helen McEntee and Local TD’s Damien English, Niamh Smyth, and Shane Cassells who all understood the relevance and potential that Ben’s project had and expressed a great desire for the 1.5metre proposed law to be enforced to increase road safety. Ben was also visited at his stand by three members of the Road Safety Authority and a member of the Garda Síochána.
Media attention for Ben's project grew as the days past, with an initial RTE interview by Will Goodbody which featured on the 9 o’clock news on Wednesday 10th. Ben carried out a phone interview with The Irish Times who published a strong piece on the new proposed law of 1.5meters which can be found in the link below. An Interview with The Irish Independent in Saturday 13th January edition about the Young Scientist Exhibition.
Overall Ben had a great response and experience at the BT Young Scientist Exhibition.
Links to media items: