Students Create a Prototype to Help the Future

Noah Karesh, Staff Writer

Gun control is an issue people throughout the world are faced with every day. However, 10 students at Plano and Frisco high schools are looking to make an impact on keeping schools safe from potential school shootings now and in the future. To do this, these students have developed a prototype for what they hope will soon become a product called the SecureGun.

“In a growing world of heinous acts of violence occurring in our schools, it is mandatory to work towards a solution to best prevent these crimes from happening in the first place,” West senior Hanzala Rehan said. “The SecureGun, although a prototype, is a step forward into preventing these mass shootings from happening in the first place.”

The prototype is a modified Nerf gun that has a camera on the front of it using Artificial Intelligence (AI) that detects if a gun is pointed at a person, animal or any other target. If the gun is aimed at a crowd of people or even just a single person, the gun limits the amount of times the trigger is able to be pulled. The students responsible for developing the prototype are a part of a program DiscoverStem. They are juniors Hanin Shakeel, Hawwa Shahid, Salwa Shahid, in addition to seniors Rehan, Amina Syeda, Nabeeha Qazi, Areeba Qazi, and Rayyan Punjani Hanin Shakeel, as well as two students who have already graduated, Mohammad Amaan Jaffar and Faaiz Nadeem. In this program, students identify major problems that affect the world today and find solutions to fix them.

“We decided to create the SecureGun after our team saw the horrors of mass shootings in Las Vegas, as well as in Florida at Parkland High School,” Areeba said. “We wanted to do something to prevent these atrocities from happening in the first place.”

For the final product, the students plan to have a Global Positioning System (GPS) placed on the gun.

“The prototype consists of three main parts: the camera that uses an AI algorithm, depth sensors, the GPS and the tamper proof mechanism,” Areeba said. “By combining these three parts, we created an overarching algorithm that will allow the gun to evaluate its situation and intelligently make decisions.”

Rehan described each part of the prototype in detail and what each part specifically will do for gun safety.

“The AI camera in the prototype was developed by feeding it thousands of pre categorized images of animals safe to shoot, and unarmed people unsafe to shoot,” Rehan said. “After giving it a set of images to compare with the algorithm found patterns in the two cases, allowing it to then autonomously recognize whether what is pointed toward is safe or unsafe to shoot at.”

Rehan emphasized the importance of the depth sensor and GPS on the gun.

“The depth sensor prohibits someone from just holding up an image of an animal and then shooting,” Rehan said. “We plan to further train the algorithm to recognize more complex situations like an armed person or an officer to better the application of it. The GPS uses the pinpoint location of the gun to check if the gun is in a gun free zone such as a park, school or public venue. We plan to also have Geo fences built around these places to help limit the guns ability to shoot.”

The GSM has also provided the students with the ability to develop technology that will prevent the gun user from being able to take off the security features.

“The GSM prohibits tampering of the gun using current to check if it is being altered,” Rehan said. “If it senses a change in current it will alert the local authorities of the gun and its location.”

Although the students are hopeful this prototype will ultimately lead to a positive impact on decreasing the amount of gun violence in schools as well as in the world in general, they are aware they must work hard to get everybody on board with this idea.

“People already understand the negative implications that are onset upon our society by guns,” Rehan said. “The key to getting responsible gun owners on board is allowing them to preserve their rights while making the necessary additions to ensure the safety of all humanity. Explaining to them how we can use technology to do this I feel they will come to a consensus and be on board with using some technological advances to help limit the negative impacts of guns.”