17-Year-Old Sanson Wins Top Prize for Revolutionary Electric Motor

Could the Electric Motorcycle Industry Be Getting a New Thumper?

Robert Sansone with his revolutionary synchronous reluctance motor. Media sourced from Benzinga.
Robert Sansone with his revolutionary synchronous reluctance motor. Media sourced from Benzinga.

It’s the 2022 Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair.

A boy has entered a machine into the fair that, upon closer inspection, isn’t just your basic-bones engine; it’s a synchronous reluctance motor.

With the motor’s exposure and success at the fair, the boy’s age is revealed; he’s a mere seventeen years of age, and he’s just won the George D. Yancopoulos Innovator Award for his innovative invention. 

Robert Sansone with his revolutionary synchronous reluctance motor. Media sourced from the Smithsonian Magazine.
Robert Sansone with his revolutionary synchronous reluctance motor. Media sourced from the Smithsonian Magazine.

Now, we can’t look too closely for patent protection, but we do know how the motor works thanks to a report from RideApart:

“Instead of cutting slots into the rotor, Sansone introduces another magnetic field into the fold.”

“Constructed from 3-D printed plastic, copper wires, and a steel rotor, Sansone’s prototype increased torque by 39 percent and efficiency by 31 percent at 300 rpm.”

“Efficiency grew to 37 percent at 750rpm, but the prototype’s 3D-printed plastic melted at higher revolution rates.”

Robert Sansone with his revolutionary synchronous reluctance motor. Media sourced from AutoEvolution.
Robert Sansone with his revolutionary synchronous reluctance motor. Media sourced from AutoEvolution.

Should Sansone be successful in making a second prototype of tougher stuff perform, he will purportedly ‘consider initiating the patent process and approaching automotive companies.’

“Rare-earth materials in existing electric motors are a major factor undermining the sustainability of electric vehicles,” noted Sansone. “Seeing the day when EVs are fully sustainable due to the help of my novel motor design would be a dream come true.”

Robert Sansone with his revolutionary synchronous reluctance motor. Media sourced from RideApart.
Robert Sansone with his revolutionary synchronous reluctance motor. Media sourced from RideApart.

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*Media sourced from RideApart, the Smithsonian, Interesting Engineering, AutoEvolution and Benzinga*