Resident invents device to help protect bicyclists

Many good inventions are created to address or solve problems that people encounter all over the world.

One Shelton High School student took it upon himself to create a device that is used to protect bikers from obstructions suddenly blocking their path.

Rising SHS sophomore Kyle Young said the idea for his most recent invention came to mind when he attempted to train his dog to run next to his bike while riding a couple of months ago. This task proved to be more challenging than he had anticipated and led to his energetic German Shepherd running in front of his bike while riding, causing him to crash and fall.

“He cut in front of me and I wasn’t expecting him to and it was all downhill from there,” said Kyle.

In an attempt to prevent going head over handlebars once again, Kyle decided to create a device that would create a safer ride with his dog still by his side.

The “Cycling Assisted Brake” is an add-on that Kyle invented to attach onto his Schwinn mountain bike in order to detect sudden obstructions within a 10-foot distance as long as his bike is traveling at a speed of 10 miles per hour.

Kyle said he although he hasn’t had a near crash experience since that day, he has the invention hooked up to his bike at all times now.

“I’d rather be safe than sorry,” said Kyle.

During the trial-and-error process of creating the invention, Kyle said although he bounced ideas off of SIS and SHS science teachers, the majority of the work was done by him.

Kyle won the 2017 SHS science fair for freshmen and placed second at the school-wide competition.

Despite winning his grade’s science fair at SHS, Kyle said his favorite part of this experience has been taking the trip down to Washington, D.C., to compete against hundreds of other young inventors in the 2017 Invention Convention.

While competing, Kyle also earned a separate award from Arrow Electronics, which is based out of New York, for his innovative use of electronics.

Kyle used an ultrasonic distance sensor to attach to the front of his bike, which he compared to how a bat uses echolocation. The sensor sends “pings” up to 10 feet in front of the bike and if there’s an obstruction, the ping bounces back to be detected by the computer inside of the invention which ultimately triggers the back brake through the use of a battery-powered motor.

He said his hope is that the Cycling Assisted Brake is a prototype for a future invention and he advised all younger inventors to keep their minds open and write all of your ideas down.

Kyle’s father, Brian Young, said he and his wife are beyond proud of their son’s work and determination to create useful inventions.

“If something goes wrong he doesn’t get excited, he thinks about the process and tries to evaluate and think about what he can do to improve his work,” said Kyle’s father. “Like Thomas Edison said ‘there’s 10,000 ways to not make a light bulb but yet he finds a way to do it. His future's looking bright.”

Kyle said he realizes he’s set the bar very high for himself in science fairs to come, but he’s already contemplating his next invention.