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Two Paul Duke STEM Students Gain Recognition at National Invention Convention

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Kumar and Susskind pose in front of the ICW sign at Nationals.

Recently Rohan Kumar and William Susskind, two rising seniors from Paul Duke STEM High School (PDHS), championed great success at the National Invention Convention at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. 

However, the journey to get to Nationals was far from easy. First Kumar and Susskind had to compete in the Inventure Prize Competition at Georgia Tech, a statewide competition where their invention DoorBully was nominated to compete nationally through Invention Convention Worldwide (ICW).

Susskind and Kumar accept their awards on stage during the awards ceremony

Susskind and Kumar accept their awards on stage during the awards ceremony.

ICW is a program that seeks to teach students to solve problems and become critical thinkers. The program aims to prepare students across the country to be able to meet the needs of and excel in the 21st-century STEM-related workforce.

However, ICW takes a contrasting approach to STEM, combining science, technology, engineering and math with invention and entrepreneurship. ICW has 135,000 students participating in their program annually, making it a giant in student-based STEM. 

ICW hosts a national convention annually that showcases student inventions from across the nation, which have already competed and been successful at statewide and local competitions. This year, the convention was held June 7-9, showcasing over 338 inventions from 20 states. 

DoorBully’s creation

The creation of DoorBully started at PDHS through Problem-Based Learning taught in every class, teaching students how to use the Engineering Design Process. 

Dr. John Mobley, an Engineering Teacher and Makerspace Manager at PDHS, has known Kumar and Susskind for three years. Once the students identified the problem of school safety, Mobley helped sponsor them while they designed their product.

“As Lead Teacher, my main objective was to provide tools, feedback and support during the Engineering Design Process,” said Mobley. “The Makerspace at PDHS also provided a safe workspace for William and Rohan to prototype and iterate at school.”

With Mobley’s assistance, the students went through all the parts of the design process: brainstorming, ideation, prototyping and communication. 

Prototype of DoorBully
Prototype of DoorBully

“In planning DoorBully, we were alarmed by local statistics on gun violence and active shooter incidents in Gwinnett County,” said Kumar and Susskind. “We researched existing classroom safety solutions and found them non-compliant with fire codes.

“This drove us to independently design DoorBully, an innovative system that automatically locks down classroom doors, provides visual indicators for teachers, integrates with a website for first responders to monitor door statuses and utilizes microphones to pinpoint an active shooters location, thereby enhancing safety for students and educators.”

DoorBully’s triumph

Once DoorBully gained recognition as an outstanding invention at the state level, Kumar and Susskind traveled to the Henry Ford Museum to compete with hundreds of other students.

Kumar and Susskind give a presentation about their invention at the Henry Ford Museum.
Kumar and Susskind give a presentation about their invention at the Henry Ford Museum.

“Being at the state and national competitions felt great,” said Kumar and Susskind. “It was cool to represent our school and community and to be around other students who cared about making a difference. Seeing how my peers tackled big issues with new ideas was eye-opening. The whole experience felt like we were all on the same team, trying to do something good for the world.”

Nonetheless, the boys did much more than enjoy new experiences throughout the different conventions they attended.

During the national convention, the students won a third place within their age category. Additionally, they also won the Patent Application Award sponsored by WilliamHale Law Firm, helping to guide them to obtain a full patent and paying for the application with a cost of around $20,000. 

Moving forward 

Now, the students are transitioning from the prototype of DoorBully to a product that they can bring to the market. This is made possible through the Patent Application Award which is crucial in allowing Kumar and Susskind to move forward with their product as young inventors. Further, the two students have worked to implicate DoorBully in schools around Georgia in hopes of widening DoorBully’s reach and impact. 

“Encouraged by their parents, teachers and supporters, William and Rohan have reached out to schools and school districts in Georgia and have already begun to get lots of interest in their product,” said Mobley. 

The students’ story is an uplifting one, proving that when young minds put in impassioned work towards something, they can often achieve it. With that, Kumar and Susskind left a piece of parting advice for anyone who feels inspired to start problem-solving and inventing.

“I would tell anyone aspiring to invent or create not to be afraid of failure. It’s a natural part of the process and often a steppingstone to success,” said Kumar and Susskind. “Through our own journey with DoorBully, we experienced numerous setbacks.

“However, each failure was a learning opportunity that contributed to our growth and progress. Embrace failure as a teacher and use it to refine your ideas and strategies.”

Contact Kumar and Susskind about DoorBully at quicksecurellc@gmail.com. Learn more about ICW at inhub.thehenryford.org/icw.

Zoey Schlueter is a senior who attends Greater Atlanta Christian School and has lived in Peachtree Corners her whole life. She enjoys written journalism inside and outside of school and plans on pursuing journalism in college.

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Public Safety

Seyond Collaborates with Curiosity Lab and Peachtree Corners to Deploy Traffic Safety Tech

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Peachtree Corners, one of the United States’ first 5G smart cities, announced a collaboration with Seyond, a global provider of image-grade LiDAR technology.

Through this collaboration, Seyond will deploy and validate its LiDAR solutions in a real-world environment in an effort to create safer streets and smoother traffic flow for both vehicles and vulnerable road users (VRUs) in the city.

Seyond’s LiDAR solution is already deployed within Curiosity Lab’s smart city ecosystem and at a select intersection in the City of Peachtree Corners.

These locations use a combination of Seyond’s LiDAR, OmniVidi Perception Service Software Platform and Blue-Band Integrator AI to provide a real-time 3D mapping of the areas, with both vehicles and pedestrian object detection.

These combined technologies collect data that can be used to implement traffic and VRU signal solutions to make intersections safer and more efficient, while also protecting citizen privacy.

The collected data from Seyond’s data and Blue-Band’s analysis can be used by Peachtree Corners to adjust traffic signals, pedestrian crossing signals, intersection design and more to address specific safety and efficiency needs.

“Curiosity Lab’s shared public domain available for testing, deployment and validation is one of the many characteristics that attracted us to collaborate with the organization,”

“By collecting data from high-volume intersections across vehicular and pedestrian traffic, we will be able to improve the quality and reliability of detection results, which can help validate Intelligent Traffic Solution-based use cases,” said Seyond Co-founder and CEO Junwei Bao.

“Our technology can be used at a signal intersection but also across parking, large areas of pedestrian crossings and more. Curiosity Lab and Peachtree Corners will allow us to explore these use cases in a real-world environment as we continue to advance and validate our solutions for public use to improve safety for all,” he added.

Seyond’s LiDAR system is able to map large environments up to 1,640-foot range that would usually require multiple traffic cameras. The hardware, originally developed and tested for autonomous vehicles, is manufactured to be automotive-grade and has been designed to withstand extreme weather conditions.

These capabilities enable Curiosity Lab and Peachtree Corners to have accurate monitoring 24/7 to make the most educated intelligent transport updates to meet the needs of citizens and visitors.

“LiDAR technology is going to change the way cities look at managing vehicular and pedestrian traffic,” said Curiosity Lab Executive Director Brandon Branham. “

LiDAR allows the city to collect data on traffic movement, congestion, wrecks, near misses and even pedestrian activity, while protecting everyone’s privacy. Seyond’s solution takes the capabilities of LiDAR one step further and enables us as a city to evaluate how we can make our major intersections safer and more efficient for VRUs and everyday traffic,” he explained.

Learn more about Seyond’s technologies at seyond.com.

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Business

Axon Accelerates Real-Time Operations Solution with Strategic Acquisition of Fusus

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Real-time crime center

Axon, a leader in connected public safety technologies, announced it has acquired Fusus, a pioneer in real-time crime center (RTCC) technology.

This news builds upon a successful strategic partnership launched in May 2022, marking a decisive leap forward in Axon’s mission to Protect Life.

This acquisition also further catalyzes Axon’s growing presence in retail, healthcare, private security and the federal space.

Fusus excels in aggregating live video, data and sensor feeds from virtually any source, enhancing situational awareness and investigative capabilities for public safety, education and commercial customers.

This acquisition provides Axon with technology not currently in its existing network, and facilitates seamless connections to critical data sources such as camera locations and video feeds from both fixed and body worn cameras during incidents.

Fusus’ technology propels Axon’s real-time operations product roadmap, addressing critical challenges faced in public safety.

It empowers law enforcement professionals with location mapping, escalation alerts, livestreaming, real-time and post-incident visibility, allowing swift decision-making, and responsive actions.

“Throughout our long-standing partnership and investment with Fusus, we’ve witnessed the impact of collaboration in achieving remarkable results for law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve,” said Ran Mokady, Axon’s Senior Vice President of Real-Time Operations.

“This acquisition is a significant milestone in our mission to protect life as it further enables law enforcement and emergency teams to better deter and respond to escalating situations,” he added.

“Our collaboration with Axon has helped Fusus raise the bar on how first responders can affect positive outcomes through open and interoperable systems,” said Chris Lindenau, CEO of Fusus.

“As one team with a shared purpose to protect life, we are poised to rapidly expand this vision into the way law enforcement agencies, governments, businesses and schools work together in support of community safety,” he explained.

Real-time crime centers provide public safety with a centralized facility equipped with advanced technology and data analysis tools that enable law enforcement agencies to monitor and respond to incidents in real time.

These centers can integrate various data sources, such as cameras, sensors, social media feeds and other information systems, to provide a comprehensive and immediate view of ongoing criminal activities or emergencies.

Ultimately, by aggregating all of this information into a single pane of glass for public safety, real-time crime centers enhance situational awareness, improve response times and support proactive crime prevention efforts by leveraging up-to-the-minute information and analytics.

To learn more about how real-time crime centers can increase safety in any environment, see Axon’s latest blog post.

“Real-time crime centers serve as indispensable assets for agencies, offering unparalleled insight and actionable intelligence in one open and unified platform,” said Marshall Freeman, Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for the Atlanta Police Department.

Just like Axon, Fusus and its products are built from the ground up with an explicit focus on ethical and equitable design.

As a joint organization and in partnership with Axon’s Ethics and Equity Advisory Council (EEAC), they will continue their relentless commitment to build solutions that make the right things easier and the wrong things harder, every day.

The terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Axon was advised by Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP and Fusus was advised by Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP in connection with the transaction.

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Tech

Pipedream and Curiosity Lab Team Up to Launch World’s First Underground Logistics Network

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Peachtree Corners has launched the world’s first below-ground autonomous robot delivery system with Pipedream, an underground logistics network.

The new delivery system will bring consumers faster, more autonomous, efficient and cost-effective transportation channels.

Peachtree Corners is the first city to launch and install the underground logistics solution, aiming to eliminate emissions and congestion issues in the current delivery infrastructure.

The system’s installation in Peachtree Corners spans almost one mile and connects a shopping center to the heart of Curiosity Lab’s 25,000-square-foot innovation center.

Curiosity Lab members will be able to order food from a handful of restaurants and select convenience items on-demand, Monday through Friday, during peak lunch hours.

Pipedream’s logistics network uses a physical, underground infrastructure where delivery robots travel back and forth to transport food, packages, groceries, household goods and more.

The autonomous robotics system offers several benefits to city residents and businesses, such as eliminating carbon emissions, reducing traffic congestion, minimizing vehicular accidents, and providing faster delivery of goods.

“We are proud to be the first city in the world to implement and utilize Pipedream’s technology–leveraging its potential to transform logistics as we know it while delivering real commercial benefits and quality of life improvements in our community,” said Brandon Branham, Assistant City Manager and CTO of Peachtree Corners.

This development adds to the city’s ‘world-firsts’ and continues to highlight the city as a blueprint for smart cities across the United States.

The future-forward approach and agile leadership in embracing public-private partnerships enable innovative companies like Pipedream to integrate their solutions into the city.

“Pipedream is about embracing innovation to put the needs of communities first. With this first real-world installation we have proven that underground delivery is not only possible today but easy to retrofit,” said Garrett McCurrach, CEO of Pipedream.

Watch a video of the technology in action here.

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