Local startups in running for Dyson Award
WATERLOO REGION — Two Waterloo Region startups are among the finalists in a prestigious international engineering competition.
A team of Mechatronics engineering students from the University of Waterloo founded Grasp to create a bicycle lock that opens after reading thumbprints. The team is currently working out of a hardware accelerator in China known as HAX.
Voltera created a 3D printer that uses conductible inks to quickly make customized circuit boards. It is based in the Velocity Foundry in downtown Kitchener.
In the Canadian portion of the awards, Grasp and Voltera were runners-up to the Drumi, a foot-powered washing machine developed by Yi Jiang of the Ontario College of Art and Design. The Drumi wins $3,600.
Grasp, Voltera and the Drumi all advance to the next stage of the competition that will reduce the top 100 entries to a shortlist of 20. The final winner will be announced in November and wins $54,000, plus $9,000 for its university department.
The James Dyson Award is an international student design competition open to university students or recent graduates who studied product design, industrial design or engineering.
It is run by the James Dyson Foundation set up by James Dyson, a British inventor who made a fortune after developing the Dyson bagless vacuum cleaner.
This year's competition attracted 690 entries from 20 countries.