Scratch Pack

Matthew Shepherd

Taradale High School

Profile Info

Scratch Pack is an automated back scratcher which soothes your back while you do other things. It’s not attached to a backpack but looks a bit like one- and is portable so that you can wear it at any time.
What inspired you to create your project?

I experience back pain from a range of different things, but the main culprit is school bags. I always experience really bad pain after carrying around my school bag all day, and after asking around I realized that a lot of other students at school had the same problem. I did some research and found out that a backpack should weigh around 10-15% of a persons body weight, but mine is a lot heavier than that, which would explain the pain.

Who influences your tech/innovation?

I have a natural passion for it. It might be that is runs in our family- a passion for making stuff, inventing, solving problems. My computer science teacher, Mr Craig Briggs, has also been an inspiration for me and has helped me out.

Are you the first tech inventor in your family?

My cousin, James Avenell, also entered Bright Sparks this year and is a finalist, too. In my immediate family, I have a sister studying mechanical engineering at Auckland Uni, and my dad also has an interest in it, so I guess it does run in the family.

What is your dream job?

I would like to get a job where I can address climate change and help out with the decaying state of the planet. My dream job would be with Boston Dynamics, which makes human or dog-like robots. Something like that would be pretty cool.