Invention to test market
Teen launches new fencing technology
Matamata teenager Patrick Roskam has seen his vision turn into reality as the first batch of his acclaimed farm invention rolled off the production line last week.
The 13-year-old – along with his mum Angela, brother Edward, 11, and sister Victoria, 5 – is spending the school holidays assembling the first 500-edition run of his invention, the Gudgeon Pro 5 in 1.
The fencing tool, which is used to quickly and accurately hang gates, was originally conceived as a science-fair project, but wowed judges – and Sir William Gallagher – when the young inventor pitched it at last year’s Fieldays Innovation Den.
Now, less than a year after his Fieldays success, the young inventor is putting the final touches on the new and improved farm tool.
Patrick said the new model was wider, and had a spirit level on top and a tape measure running down the side. It also had adjustable bushes to allow for different-spaced gate hinges.
‘‘I had my old prototype, which wasn’t adjustable, but the feedback was it had to be adjustable to fit different gates,’’ he said. The tool works as a drill guide, marking out precise measurements for placing gudgeons – sockets attached to fenceposts to hang gates – without using a measuring tape.
The invention can also be used as a leveller, has five and seven wire markings for placing wires, and is batten height, so can be used as a measure for post-ramming.
Mum Angela said Patrick had been involved in the development of the project from start to finish, and did much of the engineering work on the first run of 500.
‘‘Patrick went from start to finish in the factory. He operated the CNC machine, did the cutting, and powdercoated it himself – he did all the steps.’’
The product will be launched later this year at Fieldays, where Patrick will be hoping to recoup some of the hefty loan he has taken to fund production.
After that, Patrick said he would test the product overseas.
Getting the hang of it: Matamata inventor Patrick Roskam, 13, left, works with brother Edward, 11, mum Angela, and sister Victoria, 5, on the production line of his fencing tool.