Every year, hundreds of people drown in Australian waterways. Tragically, Chris Drake was one of those people. When a rogue wave swept others out to sea, Chris lost his life whilst saving others. To remember his selfless and brave sacrifice, his family set up the Charity “Smile Like Drake” to promote water safety.
The charity approached one of our sponsors Macquarie University in 2015, to help develop a underwater tracking bracelet. Our lead mentor, Michael Heimlich, became part of the project group to developing the bracelet. Mike came to the team, and after hearing the story we were all incredibly moved. We instantly began thinking of ways to help.
The team will be developing an underwater robot to help with beach drowning emergencies. The robot will be able to track the bracelet, which will allow people to be easily located in the water. But, the team didn’t stop there. We designed an FLL style game to promote water safety. The program will use LEGO EV3 robots to help teach kids the importance of water safety When we met with Nicki and Trevor, Chris’s parents, to discuss the ideas. They were both immensely excited by the ideas. Nicki was moved to tears by our ideas, and their potential to save lives.
We are looking forward to continuing our work with Smile Like Drake into the future, to ensure the drowning death toll continues to fall.