Aug 05, 2020 / 08:16

Vietnamese students invent coronavirus-proof hat

The Hanoitimes - The coronavirus-proof hat has reached the final round of the ICAN international creative contest.

Vihelm, a helmet-style, has been designed by Vietnamese students based on the gas mask mechanism to prevent viral infection, including coronavirus, VnExpress reported.

The helmet, invented by Do Trong Minh Duc, an 11th-grader of the US’s Montverde Academy, and Tran Nguyen Khanh An, an 8th-grader at the Hanoi Academy International Bilingual School, has reached the final round of the ICAN international creative contest.

 Duc and An (left) and Mr. Trinh Minh Giang, chairman of YDLI, a nursery of young talents, talk about Vihelm. Photo: P. Nam

After more than two months, the helmet was completed and its patent has been registered. Its second upgraded version was released on August 1 and submitted to the 5th ICAN International Innovation Contest, co-organized by the US and Canada.

"Vihelm" means "Vietnam's anti-pandemic helmet" and is designed to protect the respiratory system, prevent viral infections while ensuring comfort and convenience for users to improve productivity during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The two young inventors are eager to create a truly useful product for the community.

The idea of ​​Vihelm is based on an air purifier (breathing machine and anti-gas mask), the Powered air-purifying respirator (PAPR), but with more simple structure.

The helmet is fitted with gloves for users to scratch on their face when feeling itchy, wipe drops of sweat, and sneeze. It ensures comfort, safety and isolation from the coronavirus. Especially, the helmet has a cavity inside which can contain food, enabling users to eat and drink when working in condition of disease prevention.

With a Vihelm, users could not only avoid cross-infections, but ensure their normal working operations. Suspicious Covid-19 people could still go to work without having to undergo quarantine.

Vihelm has been upgraded to the second version, with gloves made by a fabric of the same material of medical mask. The helmet, thus, is more compact.

"There must be a few more improved versions to ensure a satisfactory product and safety standards before it is mass produced," Minh Duc said.

The cost of the helmet is estimated at about US$60, much cheaper than PAPR helmet made by 3M or Boston. Its production needs a set of molds, or CNC machines or 3D printers.

"In the complicated evolution of the pandemic, we would like to lure the cooperation of experts in materials, air purifying experts and investors to produce the helmet in 30 days and contribute to the fight against the Covid-19 disease,” Minh Duc said.