Yale students develop "Gun Guard" to keep children and loaded handguns apart

December 07, 1999

A group of Yale students have developed a device called Gun Guard that keeps children under age six from playing with loaded handguns, while still offering protection for gun owners.

Designed in a Yale course called "Creativity and New Product Development," Gun Guard is a Velcro band that wraps around the gun. A circuit in a box is attached to the Velcro and contains a speaker equipped with a piercing alarm. When the gun is moved a few degrees up or down, a movement switch activates the alarm, which sounds like a smoke detector. The patentable mechanism for turning off the alarm is childproof.

"The students saw an urgent need to protect children from loaded handguns," said Henry Bolanos, a lecturer in the Faculty of Engineering at Yale who teaches the course. "A major feature is that Gun Guard does not disarm the gun, so it can still be used for protection."

The goal of the Yale Engineering and Applied Science course is to develop the skills for successfully creating and developing a new product. Bolanos said the team identified home protection as a major market. Many gun owners keep their guns safely locked up, but those who want to have them readily available for protection, however, tend to keep them loaded in the bedroom.

"Gun Guard protects both children and gun owners," said Roger Goldberg, one of the team members. "I'm glad this course gave us the opportunity to create a product with so much social value."

The team is continuing Gun Guard's development after the end of the semester and anticipates first sales by the summer of 2000 after obtaining financing. The selling price will be $19.95. Major companies and organizations have already expressed an interest in the Yale design.

"This device should be adopted by the public and Congress as an effective tool to protect young children from accidental death," said Bolanos, who holds patents for 100 other new products.

Reporters are invited to view a live presentation of Gun Guard to faculty and industry on Thursday, December 9 at 1 p.m., room 211 Mason Lab, 9 Hillhouse Ave., New Haven, Conn.

The presentation will demonstrate the team's knowledge of the new product development process-from identifying a customer need, creating a product and then completing the steps to putting it on the market. This includes a working prototype, a business and marketing plan and an initial patent application. Prospective investors are welcome at the presentation, said Bolanos.
-end-


Yale University

Related Engineering Articles from Brightsurf:

Re-engineering antibodies for COVID-19
Catholic University of America researcher uses 'in silico' analysis to fast-track passive immunity

Next frontier in bacterial engineering
A new technique overcomes a serious hurdle in the field of bacterial design and engineering.

COVID-19 and the role of tissue engineering
Tissue engineering has a unique set of tools and technologies for developing preventive strategies, diagnostics, and treatments that can play an important role during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Engineering the meniscus
Damage to the meniscus is common, but there remains an unmet need for improved restorative therapies that can overcome poor healing in the avascular regions.

Artificially engineering the intestine
Short bowel syndrome is a debilitating condition with few treatment options, and these treatments have limited efficacy.

Reverse engineering the fireworks of life
An interdisciplinary team of Princeton researchers has successfully reverse engineered the components and sequence of events that lead to microtubule branching.

New method for engineering metabolic pathways
Two approaches provide a faster way to create enzymes and analyze their reactions, leading to the design of more complex molecules.

Engineering for high-speed devices
A research team from the University of Delaware has developed cutting-edge technology for photonics devices that could enable faster communications between phones and computers.

Breakthrough in blood vessel engineering
Growing functional blood vessel networks is no easy task. Previously, other groups have made networks that span millimeters in size.

Next-gen batteries possible with new engineering approach
Dramatically longer-lasting, faster-charging and safer lithium metal batteries may be possible, according to Penn State research, recently published in Nature Energy.

Read More: Engineering News and Engineering Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.