Young inventors

Inspired by the FIRST robotics contest, teens — and pre-teens — are patenting their inventions, reports Popular Mechanics.

The Londonderry, N.H., Inventioneers had already filed three provisional patent applications by the time they created the SMARTwheel in response to a FIRST Lego League Challenge. “We found out car crashes were the No. 1 cause of death for teens, and texting was the main distraction,” says 11-year-old Bryeton Evarts. “We wanted to do something to stop that.” Their solution is a steering wheel cover that detects when a driver removes a hand for more than 3 seconds and emits visual and audio alerts. A data logger communicates unsafe driving behavior in real time. Writing the utility patent application was 16-year-old Tristan Evarts’s favorite part: “You can conceptualize your idea, but until you have to list all its features on paper, you don’t fully understand what it is.”

A team in Rockledge, Florida built a custom robot for the local police department.

 It can climb rugged terrain, deliver a negotiation phone, launch smoke grenades, and conduct surveillance. “We were searching other police robots and were shocked by how much they cost for what they could do,” says Jason Schuler, a contract engineer for NASA, a team mentor, and a FIRST alum. So the team filed a provisional patent for its PDBot and optimized the design for a kit that other teams can use to fundraise. “Instead of washing cars to raise money, they’ll be building robots,” Schuler says.

Very cool.

Nearly 300,000 students participate in FIRST programs, which start with Junior Lego for grades K-3.

About Joanne


  1. At this point it would be helpful to highlight the experience of my two inventor kids. Deja Viau (said View/Vu) age 13 and Canyon Viau age 11. They have been inventors for two years having started at a much younger age. It was a struggle to get resources and support for their ideas, although once we started getting traction the media and others immediately began to highlight them.
    FBI Agent to ..Social Entrepreneur, CEO, Inventor, Teacher, Actor, Product Developer and Launch Consultant, National Spokesperson, Producer…etc
    I am a former Federal Special Agent (former FBI) turned Social Entrepreneur since many of my projects have a high social value. It’s amazing how the training skills from the FBI Academy (Social Engineering, Locating People & Resources, Quick Assessments and Collaborating…just to name a few) lend themselves so well to the Entrepreneur space.
    Moreover, I read a recent article that was making the case that being involved in social value ventures trumped the value of the 7 deadly sins “combined”. Moreover, my kids, Deja and Canyon have been actively involved in the companies “we” created.
    The intent was to help make my kids socially aware/involved …..not necessarily “kid” Entrepreneurs. Although, that was an extra benefit since they were profiled in the Wall Street Journal. It became a youngsters MBA experience for my kids since they learned how to interact with adults and others they had not met before. For example, I would take them to as many meetings with other Executives as possible. They learned how to make a strong business handshake, make pitches to other Entrepreneurs and articulate their ideas. They don’t teach these types of lifetime skills in traditional schools.
    With this confidence Deja just got her first Screen Actors Gild (SAG) mini-series acting role. Moreover, Deja and Canyon were TV hosts at the Sundance Film Festival 2012 in Park City, Utah interviewing Actors, Producers and other celebrities:
    The first company they created was They were highlighted in the Wall Street Journal.
    Which places bright images in hospital rooms for kids. Recent scientific studies clearly demonstrate how kids actually “HEAL FASTER” ….go home quicker when they are surrounded by bright images.

    See the following YouTube link:
    Deja and Canyon were able to identify this need. They are responsible for screening all the artwork that is submitted to us. has a “signed” national distribution agreement with:
    Cardinal Health Care (3) (NYSE: CAH) which serves almost every hospital in the United States and is a $91 billion, global company serving the health care industry. Cardinal Health is one of the largest distributors of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies worldwide Ranked No. 18 on the Fortune 500.
    Their second product: Reduces the temperature of hot foods or liquids with a Patented gel inside a plastic spoon.

    2-minute Version –
    The kids recently won the 2012 challenge by for the As Seen on TV challenge. Edison Nation is a huge company that will now finance the inventory, fulfill orders and market the product worldwide.
    Their third product is the n-hancepak….an insert into any existing backpack to better handle the heavy weight of student text books.

    See the following YouTube Video:
    Canyon, Deja, Mark with Nhancepak
    We have a letter of intent from a leader in the Direct TV World. In addition, we have a pending partnership with Franklin Covey to sell the inserts on their website and directly to their millions of “Opt In” customers. For example, customers that have already agreed to be emailed directly on “New Featured Products”
    The kids also just partnered with the folks highlighted in the article link below. They are proven as the best leaders in product sales via YouTube and are excited at the opportunity to work with us.
    The first link is from an ABC feature story of them:
    To my kids credit they believe the best path to prosperity is helping others!