Meet Thomas Italiano, high flyer

David CharlesworthSouth Western Times

A practical way to improve the world around him was further enhanced after 18 year-old inventor Thomas Italiano attended the Questacon Invention Convention in Canberra last month.

Thomas was one of eight delegates from WA selected to attend the convention from January 15 to 19, meeting and listening to entrepreneurs and innovators.

He applied for the all-expenses paid trip last year while in Year 12 at Hope Christian College.

Delegates were challenged to design and build something to the theme ‘Future Earth’, over four days, using the workshops, equipment and mentors at the National Science and Technology Centre.

Thomas’ design was for a drone deployed fire extinguisher payload that drops a fire extinguishing ‘bomb’ into fires acting as a first responder.

Born and raised in Wokalup, Thomas said he was partly inspired by regional WA’s hot dry summers.

“For the drone my inspiration definitely was the advancement in drone technology as well as seeing local fires and the kind of stuff around being out on farmland and being in WA with the heat,” he said.

“I can’t say I had particularly one inspiration it was a bunch of small things from everyday life and thinking how can I help.

“We’ve been on this farm my entire life. I love it – you can be as loud as you want out here.”

Thomas said he was amazed by the amount of tools at his disposal at the convention, including 3D printers.

“The shed we have here is limited in tools, I’ve built many a thing with a simple hand saw and a small Swiss army knife,” he said.

Thomas said he was still improving his idea and he hoped to develop it to its full potential.

“I’m hoping to get it working, then do a video of it, and show it to anybody who can help take the idea further,” he said.

He hopes to maintain his passion for inventing while attending university this year.

“I’d love to see if they have a young inventors club,” Thomas said.

“I’d love to take it further, all the ideas that I have.”

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