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Student Designs First Responder Motorcycle Powered By Compressed Air

Date: 2015-05-26
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The James Dyson Award - the annual design competition hosted by Dyson’s charitable arm, the James Dyson Foundation - has received a record amount of submissions from all around the world. The competition provides university level design and engineering students with a platform to launch their ideas. US entries this year have truly captured the spirit of the award.

Rhode Island School of Design student, Marty Laurita created The Angell Unit - a fast-action first responder motorcycle powered by compressed air, developed to fill a gap in response times for minor to mid-level emergencies. 

“In modern firefighting, there is a downward trend in actual fire emergencies and an upward trend in medical emergencies,” noted Laurita. “Current firefighting vehicles are not equipped to deal with the multitude of medical calls that they receive; the bottleneck is transportation; today, massive multi-million dollar fire engines are deployed to someone with chest pains or a slip and fall. This does not make economic sense. Furthermore, every town and city in the country has access to pneumatic charging stations in order to charge bottles for respiration in the event of a fire. These stations sit unused a vast majority of the time, leaving a valuable resource idle.”

The project evolved from thorough research and ethnography with the Providence Fire Dept, where Laurita spent several months interviewing, gathering audio and video data, and riding along with members of Ladder 8 and Engine 9. He hopes his design may allow firefighters an ability to respond to both medical emergencies and fire emergencies with a vehicle that is faster, more agile, and far less expensive than conventional transportation. 

The James Dyson Award runs in 20 countries. The contest is open to university level students (and recent graduates) studying product design, industrial design and engineering. The competition is open for entries until July 2nd, 2015. Entrants will need to submit evidence of prototypes along with stories detailing their design process and inspiration. Entries will be scrutinized by panels of national judges and Dyson design engineers, before James Dyson announces the international winner on November 10th.

For more information and regular updates on the progress of the James Dyson Award, follow the James Dyson Foundation on Facebook and Twitter.

- People, Places & Things/9-1-1magazine.com (-via James Dyson Foundation, 4/20/15)

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