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01 April 2004 1405 BST
Graphic: A-Z Norfolk Science, T: That's Genius!
Picture: Charlie in his car
Charlie has made a great invention

A 10-year-old boy from Norfolk has appeared on CBBC's That's Genius, with his invention of a laser speed trap.

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Charlie is too young to drive, but he's already racing ahead in the world of science!

The bright spark has invented a laser speed trap which will help stop cars speeding - with the intention of making our roads safer.

Picture; Charlie looks at the highway code
Charlie looks at the highway code

The 10-year-old from Attleborough had an idea that every car would be fitted with a speed limiter that could be triggered by a laser if the car was driving over the speed limit.

The invention, called Laser Speed, was plucked from more than 3000 entries to a competition on the CBBC programme That's Genius! to make the final five.

The invention uses the satellite navigation system called GPS (Global Positioning System), which can tell when a car is breaking the speed limit and automatically slow it down.

Picture: Charlie
Charlie is racing ahead in the world of science

Viewers to CBBC's That's Genius! will have seen Charlie's invention in action. As it raced round a track at around 50 mph it suddenly entered a 30 mph speed limit.

A computerised voice (Charlie's) calls on the motorist to slow down. When they don't, the car does it itself.

Charlie's idea has already been taken up by one of the leading car manufacturers.

Although Charlie will have to wait seven years before he can drive, by then his invention could be controlling many of our cars.

Recommended reading
By Sheila McKeown, a librarian at the Millennium Library in Norwich.

Inventors and Their Bright Ideas, by Mike Goldsmith. Hippo 2002. ISBN 0439981093.

Inventions, by Wendy Madgwick. Kingfisher 2000, ISBN 0753404818.

You can get hold of these books through your local library.


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