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Sharp shooters: NYU students win $1-million prize for designing smarter firearm

First in safety: Borough President Adams awarded a $1-million prize to New York University Tandon School of Engineering students for their winning smart gun design.
Photo by Caleb Caldwell

Welcome to a safer gun show.

Engineering students at a Downtown university took home a $1-million prize for their winning proposal on how to use technology to create safer guns at a Sept. 18 ceremony hosted by the borough president at Borough Hall. But the real winners of the beep’s smart gun design competition are Brooklynites, who will benefit from the innovation the contest inspired, according to the pol’s spokesman.

“The design expo helped to bridge relationships that may lead to stronger proposals and prototypes going forward,” said Stefan Ringel. “This competition was a win for our entire borough.”

The Autonomous Ballistics, a team from New York University’s Tandon School of Engineering, beat four other groups from local colleges to claim the million-dollar reward, which was awarded as a grant to the school. The funds will be used to further develop their concept, a high-tech gun holster that prevents unauthorized users from shooting the firearm within.

The champions’ design included three types of safety measures to release the gun: fingerprint technology, a key-card-like sensor worn by the owner, and voice recognition technology, according to a New York Daily News report.

Borough President Adams, a former police officer, cheered the competition’s participants and said he plans to work with the winners as they fine-tune their design.

“I am so proud of these incredibly innovative young people, who have channeled our collective pain from senseless gun violence into a purposeful mission of designing technology that can save lives,” said Adams. “I look forward to working with NYU Tandon and their students on this proposal in the months ahead.”

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