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Tybalt's bike safety device in final of My Genius Idea

Tybalt
Tybalt's first winning invention was the belt bag (portable seatbelt)

A Capel Curig ten-year-old is in the final of a young inventors' competition after coming up with a safety device for cyclists.

CBBC viewers this week saw Tybalt Melia win his semi-final of My Genius Idea with his Bike Bleeper, an invention which lets cars know when they're approaching a cyclist.

Tybalt's idea is that by transmitting a message to a car radio, the driver will be given an audible warning that there's a rider up ahead.

"I invented the Bike Bleeper because a friend from school got knocked off his bike and killed," said Tybalt.

"So I thought if I invented this, it might prevent a number of cyclists' deaths."

Tybalt's aware that country lanes in areas like Snowdonia, where he lives, can be particularly dangerous for cyclists.

Once I heard a hissing from the Aga, and it turned out he'd put an aerosol in it to see what would happen
Tybalt's mum, Alice

He chose the name bleeper because it includes 'lee', the name of the boy who was killed.

Tom Lawton, inventor of the first recordable alarm clock, was the judge on My Genius Idea.

He told Tybalt: "I think you've got a wonderful idea that was inspired by your own personal experience.

"I'm pleased that you have really taken on everything the real world tests can provide."

The 'real world test' saw Tybalt trying out his prototype with cars and bikes on a race track. Despite some teething problems with the strength of the signal, he wasn't put off.

Prototype of Tybalt's Bike Bleeper
The winner of the show will be announced on 7 December

"I was pleased it actually worked, and I know I can get it smaller so it can just go on the bike's handle bars," he said.

"I know I need a specific signal and to change the device from 30 to 50 metres so you get a good warning if travelling at a fast speed so you've got time to slow down.

"At the start, it's going to be powered by rechargeable batteries, but maybe one day the pedals or wheels turning could power it."

Tybalt found out about the programme when his sister Hero was surfing the internet, looking for a way of promoting her music career.

She recently reached the final of Sky One's Must Be The Music and mum Alice had a busy summer playing chaperone in TV studios.

Alice said membership of the Urdd youth movement had given both children good practice in honing their talents for competitions.

"Every year Tybalt takes part in the Urdd design and technology competition," she said.

"He's spent a lot of time in hospital because of a bone condition, but never liked going to the school there.

"So the Urdd provided a way for him to do work in hospital that was interesting."

Thermometer

When he was seven he won the competition with his invention of a bag belt; a portable seatbelt for children on buses which don't have any.

He also invented a thermometer for Alice to wear on her arm, to slide up and down to show how cross or pleased she might be with him.

Alice is happy that Tybalt has found his niche.

"He knew he didn't want to sing, but was always taking the radio apart," she remembered.

"He's also taken parts out of my car's engine! And once I heard a hissing from the Aga, and it turned out he'd put an aerosol in it to see what would happen.

"He's a very endearing character, but a liability!"

The final of My Genius Idea is on 7 December.




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Hero's harp dream will come true
20 Sep 10 |  Music

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