You are typing a text message in your iPhone to your spouse while walking in a mall. You are looking in your phone, while the stranger is looking at a new leather jacket on display in the Louise Vuitton showroom nearby suddenly bumps into you. His little jerk causes you to lose balance and drop your phone. He apologizes and walks off. Then you look at your dropped phone. It is marred by scratches and a broken screen. The first thought that comes into your mind is to get it fixed as soon as possible. The damage is huge as the screen is expensive and you need to empty your wallet for that. Fortunately, you are in a mall. There is iPhone service center and you need to hand over the money to get it fixed as soon as possible. First, there is an inconvenience caused due to the time taken to fix it. Moreover, there is a loss of money. This also contributes to the unwanted stress. However, all this could be avoided with the invention: Mobile airbag.
You have heard of the concept of airbags in cars. They are put there for safety in case of accidents. They save lives of people and an important safety tool in a car. Similarly, mobile airbags will save mobile phones from accidents. People drop phones all the time and the cost incurred due to losses in dropping the phone give them an unwanted stress as well. However, the invention by the German engineering student would be a huge savior for them. Philip Frenzel, a student of mechatronics engineering from Aalen University, submitted his thesis regarding a mobile phone airbag. He recently received the nationwide Mechatronics Prize 2018 from the German Society for Mechatronics for an outstanding work in the field of mechatronics. The airbag design is based on the “Spider-App”.
Frenzel started with the implementation of the airbag of a car and experimented with foam and air cushions. This implementation did not emerge to be practicable. Then he came up with a concept of a combination of mechatronics with his idea of a “mobile airbag”. The solution for “Spider-App” crystallized emerged from the study of mechatronics, his innovative thinking, and passion. He built sensors in a thin protective case. Those sensors detected the free fall of the mobile phone. Then he designed a metal spring which will unfold itself during the free fall and supply the energy to cushions to open during the fall. The dampers can be folded in manually and reused. This protects the phone from the next case. Therefore, the airbag is also known as “AD Case”, which stands for “active damping”.
Prof. Dr. Med. Rolf Biesenbach, Chairman of the German Society for Mechatronics eV, at the award ceremony, said, “In his thesis, Philip Frenzel impressively shows how a mechatronics engineer systematically and purposefully approaches a problem and develops a technically feasible and economically viable solution.”
Frenzel conducted this project under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Arif Kazi. Dr. Kazi said, “It’s great when students bring their own ideas and projects, for which they burn, to the university. Since they learn much more intensively than in the courses – we like to support!”
Philip Frenzel is undergoing his master program in “Mechatronics – Systems Engineering”. In addition, he co-founded a start-up with Peter Mayer, a graduate in economics at Aalen University of Applied Sciences. The startup will launch the “AD Case” as a product on Kickstarter this month. It will be interesting to see how this product will be received by the masses.