N.S. teen inventor meets prime minister after creating life-saving project
Published Monday, October 9, 2017 6:49PM ADT
Last Updated Monday, October 9, 2017 7:49PM ADT
A teenage inventor from Halifax is making a name for himself in the national science community after producing potentially life-saving technology and landing a meeting with Prime Minister Trudeau.
Om Agarwal, a 15-year-old grade 10 student at Citadel High School, has spent more than a year working on the project.
"Most days after school and on weekends and stuff too, almost 7-8 hours a day I was working on this project,” Om says.
Agarwal’s father Amit says his son has spent late nights working on the project as well.
"We used to ask him, Om, it's 11 o’clock now, midnight now you should sleep, but it's all his hard work and commitment that drives him so far,” says Amit.
His project is an automotive collision detection network designed to detect car accidents in real time. Om says the project will allow 911 to rush to the location of the accident without someone physically calling for support.
"I’ve read several papers that claim one in 10 deaths could actually be prevented if some automatic notification system like this was implemented and that's what I ultimately want to do is help people save lives,” Om says.
He says he got his inspiration for the invention when his cousin in India died after an accident that took 14 hours for a medical rescue team to respond.
"Why isn't there a simple communication system that lets them know where a car accident is? And that's when I started to develop my invention.”
The project has already taken Om to parliament hill after he received an email invite from the Minister of Science, Kristy Duncan.
“Saying if you want to show your accomplishments to myself and the prime minister, we would be really happy to have you,” he says.
Om and his family moved to Canada from India less than six years ago, but his father says he saw potential in his son at an early age.
"Around 5th grade he learned his first programing language, so that gave me an idea that he's going to do something big in his life,” says Amit.
Om says he wants to use his potential to help other people.
"I don't want to waste it, with all these resources available in Canada, I’m very lucky to be part of this society where innovation is at the cutting edge.”
Om is continuing to develop his invention to make the project more efficient in terms of cost and materials. He says he hopes to get the project on the market next year as he finishes high school.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Allan April.