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Water gun, infrared control take top honors in student invention competition

Water gun, infrared control take top honors in student invention competition

The Automatically Pressurizing Water Gun, a new twist on such popular water guns as the Super Soaker, received first prize and $10,000 Feb. 22 in the annual College of Engineering's Brainstorm: The Schoofs Prize for Creativity competition. With student Andrew Mommsen's water gun, users pressurize the water with a CO2 cartridge rather than pump the gun by hand.

First place winner -- Automatically Pressurizing Water Gun

The Automatically Pressurizing Water Gun, invented by mechanical engineering student Andrew Mommsen, took first place in the Schoofs Prize for Creativity. (large image)

The winner of the $2,500 Tong Prototype Prize was a self-contained electronic system that enables people with severe limited mobility to perform such tasks as triggering a nurse-call button or operating a television via infrared response. Called TiRECS (pronounced tee-RECKS), or the transmissive infrared environment control system, it was designed and built by students Brandon Ripley and Steven Nackers. Their invention also won second place and $7,000 in the Schoofs Prize for Creativity competition.

Second place winner -- TiRECS Infrared System mobility aid

TiRECS, an infrared system that enables people with limited mobility to control such appliances as VCRs, stereos, CD players, TVs and more, received the Tong Prototype Prize and took second place in the Schoofs Prize for Creativity. Its inventors are students Brandon Ripley and Steven Nackers, shown here with Richard Schoofs. (large image)

Other Schoofs Prize winners include:

     

  • Derek Daun and Sean Hannan, third place and $4,000 for the Over-Braking Safety Hazard Initiated Taillight, a rear strobe light that activates when a vehicle decelerates at an excessively quick rate.

     

  • Edward Fisher, fourth place and $1,000 for the Smart Pen, an electronic recording and computing "pen," that records and processes handwritten text or graphics.

Held on the UW-Madison College of Engineering campus, the Brainstorm contest challenges entrants to develop unique, patentable, marketable ideas and prototypes. The $2,500 Tong Prototype Prize honors the best prototype developed for the competition. Both are open to all UW-Madison undergraduate students.

The competition's judges were UW-Madison engineering alumni David Bohn (project manager, research and development, Agilent Technologies), Todd Kelsey (director of operations, Plexus Technology Group) and Cynthia Bachman (vice president of engineering, Plumbing North America, Kohler Co.).

Archive
2/26/2001