Top level navigation

Breadcrumb to current page

Main content

Press Release

Press release

Ultrasonic eyes win HRB prize

14 January 2008

Alan Byrne from Deansrath Community College, Clondalkin has won the HRB sponsored special prize at this year s BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition. Alan came up with a clever solution to help people who have a visual impairment move about more freely.

Alan Byrne from Deansrath Community College, Clondalkin has won the HRB sponsored special prize at this year?s BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition. Alan came up with a clever solution to help people who have a visual impairment move about more freely. Inspired by the collision indicator at the back of his mother?s car, Alan developed a belt with sensors on it. The sensors beep when they sense that someone or something is getting closer to the person wearing the belt. The closer the person or object, the faster the beeping gets. He also attached an earpiece on the sound output so the beeping would only be heard by the person wearing the belt.

According to Alan?s Science teacher;

?This is a very well deserved award for Alan who worked so hard on this. Being visually impaired himself, he had an extra connection to the project?.

Maria Shannon Principal at Deansrath Community College adds that, ?this is a wonderful award for Alan and the college. We?re thrilled for him and everyone involved in the project'.

When asked how it felt to hear his name announced as the winner, Alan summed it up as ?Brilliant'. He is very modest about his achievement, but is already thinking about developing the project further. He has even applied for a patent. ?I hope to make a better model using a different type of sensor', he says. ?Enable Ireland and the National Council for the Blind are also interested in talking to me to develop this further'.

?This is a fantastic example of genuine innovation', says Dr Hamish Sinclair, Acting CEO at the HRB. ?It?s such a simple idea and yet it could improve people?s lives in a very practical way. This is really great example of practical health research and we?re delighted to present this award to Alan?.

A high quality digital photo is available on request from the hrb, which shows Alan receiving his award from Dr Hamish Sinclair, Acting CEO at the HRB.

For more information contact:
Gillian Markey, Communications Manager
Health Research Board
m 00353 87 2288514
t 00353 1 2345103
e gmarkey(at)hrb.ie

Search the HRB website

Other information and links