Electrical engineering majors Romeo Cayabyab, Brian Cotter, David Holdbrook-Smith, and Divyanshu Vermal; business major Nassim Nabat; and Dmitry Chichinov, a mechanical engineering major, found a recurring problem with electrical outlets. Each year, children get injured by putting items into unprotected wall outlets. This team wanted to solve the dangerous and possibly lethal mistake that children can often make.
Their solution is an internet of things smart safety outlet with a lock over it to protect children from accidental electrical shock. The $4,000 Jack M. Wilson First Product to Market award, sponsored by Jack Wilson, UMass President Emeritus, was awarded to this team at the 2020 Idea Challenge, due to the innovative life-changing product invention. Smart Safety Outlet also won $5,000 of in-kind legal services from DifferenceMaker Idea Challenge sponsors: Foley & Lardner, LLP and Christopher McKenna, Partner and IP Lawyer, Foley and Lardner, LLP and ’89 alumni from the Francis College of Engineering. This team will continue the development of their prototype, while conducting more marketing research, to discover if their product is feasible.