By Mike Foster
Visions of the future, in the form of robots that clean up our planet, transportable homes for Indigenous communities and hydroponic grow walls, were brought to life by more than 500 uOttawa engineering students at Design Day 2018.
More than 100 projects were on display at the third edition of the competition, which involves students designing solutions to real-world problems put forward by real clients.
The overall first prize for Design Day 2018 and the accessible designs challenge winners were a team of first-year engineering students — Riley Carter, Camille Kosi, Ozan Oner, Vincent Côté-Larouche and Zachary Guindon. The team designed a lightweight handle that can easily hook into search-and-rescue SKED sleds. The client for the accessible designs challenge was Sauvetage Bénévole Outaouais / Ottawa Volunteer Search and Rescue.
“In winter, it can be difficult for ambulance and search and rescue teams to get their heavy gloves through the loops of rescue sleds,” Oner said. “This design is meant to reduce the time it takes to get patients to the hospital.”
Kosi explained that the handle is made from aluminum, with a 3D-printed grip. Each SKED handle can take up to 500 pounds in weight. Working within a $100 budget, the team produced eight L-shaped handles.
Guindon said he was amazed at the feedback he received at Design Day, to the point where the team visited the licensing bureau at the Faculty of Engineering to begin commercializing their invention.
Second prize overall went to Robot Mobility System, a team consisting of Yazan Abbas, Jean Azzi, Liam Vannest, Elzar Nayup and Daniel Oluwayoni. The team designed modifications for a Robot Missions robot that collects beach debris and can be 3D printed. The Robot Mobility System team also won in the environmental robots category, in which 19 teams designed items like seed spreaders, water samplers and better brakes.
University of Ottawa Design Day is part of the work of Professor Hanan Anis, NSERC Chair in Entrepreneurial Engineering Design (CEED). It provides engineering students the opportunity to present their projects to judges from the industry and the community, as well as to their peers and professors.