Safe escape across the sea: Six students developed a €1 lifejacket
Young students not only learn theory and formulas at the University of Applied Sciences Würzburg-Schweinfurt, they are also introduced to practical tasks during their studies. 31 teams worked out solutions for eight different tasks and then presented them to a jury of professors and their fellow students in twenty minutes in a multimedia format in English with the opportunity to ask questions.
Team 7 of the International Business and Engineering course with Marc Chapman, Eslam Hasaneen, Dorothea Moquete, Nicolas Ustar, Nor Adli Hakim and Vladyslav Borysenko worked on the "1€ life jacket" under the supervision of Professor Dr. Jean Meyer. The aim of the project was to develop a cost-effective automatic lifejacket that would offer refugees on the Mediterranean route safe protection against drowning. The greatest challenge was the design of the release mechanism: the mechanism had to be triggered particularly quickly, but also not be activated unintentionally by splash water or vibrations. In addition, the release mechanism had to be compatible with the price range of one euro.
The students researched current variants of life jackets, examined their respective advantages and disadvantages, compared technical and economic factors and looked for an optimal compromise. They demonstrated the technical maturity of their solution with a prototype. In addition to standard safety devices such as reflector strips and a signal whistle, the prototype also includes a self-designed, additive release mechanism. The students calculated a cost of 1.26 Euro per vest for the production with mass production processes.
In addition to the 1-euro lifejacket, the following topics were available for selection: Assembly-friendly or mobile table football, an exchangeable decorative corner light panel, a nutcracker machine, the development of a chassis for an autonomous robot that can move from a rest position in any direction, a side mirror that can be folded into the body, a bicycle lock with remote control and an adjustable roof adapter concept for mounting small wind turbines on pitched roofs. The jury of professors evaluated the quality and creativity of the presentation, the time management, the team, cooperation and assertiveness, the English presentation, the research methodology, the self-marketing, the ability to "sell" ideas internally and externally and the quality of the project report.