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Young skateboarder flips sport on its head with new invention

21 August 2020

The world of skateboarding could be transformed thanks to a 13-year-old who has come up with an innovative way to make skaters go faster and do more tricks without ever having to take their feet off the board.

Image courtesy of IET/Instagram
Image courtesy of IET/Instagram

Charlotte Geary, from Bournemouth, presented her invention called the ‘Electrodeck’ to judges, including cycling champion Mark Cavendish, as part of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET)’s Sports of the Future competition. The teenager’s design kick-flipped her into first place and now her idea has been turned into a prototype, as part of the prize. 

The Electrodeck brings together emerging technology and striking design to create an exciting addition to the sports of the future. With a top speed of 9.5mph and a 6-mile range, the board is powered by a 24V lithium-ion battery and 400W brushless hub motor. Operated by a handheld Bluetooth remote, allowing variable speed and forward and reverse.

Launched while the world of sport was on hold during the lockdown, the competition challenged children to come up with a new sport or an invention that makes an existing sport even better. Competitors from across the country showcased their creative talents by submitting a whole host of innovative designs – from robots you can play football with, to a gun that fires chicken nuggets at athletes to keep them sustained. Some entries were even inspired by social distancing restrictions, including the ‘Squennis Ball’ that automatically returns to you, allowing you to play tennis without a partner, and social distancing trainers that light up if you’re within two metres of someone else.

The judging panel, which included Cavendish, IET President Peter Bonfield and IET Young Woman Engineer of the Year Ying Wan Loh, awarded second place to nine-year-old Isabella Watson-Gandy from London with ‘Boing Boots’ that would give her an extra spring in her step to play basketball with her older brother. The third spot went to nine-year-old Brunner Hahn, also from London, who designed a door that could be converted into a table tennis set.

Overall winner, Charlotte Geary said: “The Sports of the Future competition seemed like a massive opportunity to put an invention I had been coming up with for a while into action. The whole idea behind it is a motor-powered, multi-directional skateboard. I named this the Electrodeck. When I found out I actually won, I was speechless. Hundreds of people enter these kinds of competitions all the time and so you never expect to be the one who actually wins!”

Judge and IET President Peter Bonfield said: “The brilliant response by young people to this competition has been really uplifting. The levels of creativity, ingenuity, skill and passion were so impressive – I’d like to thank all those who entered for making our judges’ jobs very challenging! Most of all, I hope it’s encouraged those who have taken part to realise imagining the impossible is not only fun, but it can lead to inventions that will make the world a better and more exciting place in the future.”

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