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Ready, Set, Innovate!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Two of our award-winning robotics teams have qualified to take part in the second annual Ontario Innovation Celebration (OIC) hosted by FIRST Robotics Canada and ventureLAB.  The FLL competition has several elements.  Designing, building and programming a robot is one aspect but teams are also challenged to identify a real-world problem related to a theme and propose an innovative solution.   This year, FIRST LEGO League‘s theme is ANIMAL ALLIES and the challenge is to improve our interactions with animals. 

The February 25th event in Markham will feature 18 of Ontario’s most innovative ANIMAL ALLIES solutions at one location, and teams will pitch their ideas to a panel of judges. The judges will then select the two most innovative solutions to represent Ontario at in the Global Innovation Award competition, the winner of which will receive $20,000 to make their innovation a reality.  Leading up to the showcase, teams will have the opportunity to receive professional coaching from industry experts in innovation and how to make a professional sales pitch.

UPDATE:  Feb, 27/17  Ctrl-Z took home the Problem Identification Award. The team is absolutely thrilled with the result and look forward to incorporating many of the takeaways from the OIC into their preparations for their next competition.

The Pitch: Ctrl-Z Bayview Glen’s innovative solution is Pinder, a smart pet collar that helps to reunite you with your lost dog or cat.  Your furry friend wears the collar, and it connects to your phone by Bluetooth.   If your loved one wanders away, the Bluetooth signal is lost and Pinder goes into SOS mode announcing, both visually and audibly, that the animal is lost and brightly displaying the owner’s contact information for passersby to see.  Watch how it works here.

The Pitch: Team RED has designed a Thermo Bot. It’s an autonomous robot with a built in thermometer that constantly monitors the temperature of barn hay. It relays temperature information to farmer’s phones via push notifications. The goal is to prevent barn fires and save the animals and resources that would be destroyed if fire was to occur.  Watch how it works here.