Nicolette Buonora and Lauren Strechay

Nicolette Buonora and Lauren Strechay

Battery Swap: A flashlight that allows police officers, first responders, and firefighters to shift between two batteries.

Nicolette Buonora and Lauren Strechay were sophomores in high school when they created an invention that could help first responders everywhere. For a class project in Doug Scott’s Engineering and Robotics course, Nicolette and Lauren interviewed first responders in their community, seeking to identify a real-world problem they could invent a solution for. “[Police officers] said sometimes during late-night shifts,” Lauren reported, “the officer’s flashlight batteries would die out and they wouldn’t have an easy way to replace them—especially if they’re out doing something.” Nicolette and Lauren used 3D printers to improve on a series of prototypes and invented a way to incorporate a second power source into the flashlight. Their invention, named “Battery Swap,” allows first responders to quickly and easily switch to a fresh battery and ensures that they’ll always have a reliable light source to do their critical work. 

Nicolette and Lauren’s invention has garnered state, national, and international praise. They won the Industry Merit Award for Energy at the 2021 Massachusetts Invention Convention, received a top prize at the National Invention Convention hosted by the Henry Ford Museum in Michigan, and were recognized at the Global Invention Convention. Nicolette and Lauren filed a patent application with pro bono support from law firm Clark Hill PLC of Detroit, Michigan. They were issued U.S. Patent 11,892,131 on February 6, 2024.

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