Third year MME students innovate to combat Covid-19

Thursday, January 21, 2021

In Fall 2020, to mitigate the boredom and restrictions of quarantine, social distancing and working from home, third year MME students in ME380 (Mechanical) or MTE380 (Mechatronics) Engineering Design Workshop were asked to identify and solve a need related to a specific challenge created or amplified as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In teams of five, students set out to deliver a variety of novel solutions to problems such as indoor occupancy and pedestrian traffic flow, hands-free cleaning devices, air filtration systems, autonomous robots for curbside pickup, and automatic sanitization of self-checkouts and kiosks.

From the class of MTE (Mechatronics) 380, two projects received Design Awards. 

The FluxBox - Ayesha Ebrahim, Julie Lee, Danielle Seunarine, Sumaiya Islam, and Sophy Li

Due to the infectious nature of Covid-19 many of us in the past year have been forced to stay home most of the time with little to do. Fear no more, because the first Design Award goes to FluxBox, an interactive set of blocks that can play numerous puzzle and knowledge-based games to keep both your brain and hands busy. The figure below shows a flag-matching game.


Visual Communication Assistant - Brendan Arciszewski, Kalli Bonin, Craig Crundwell, Julia Garbe and Gabriel Mok

Wearing a mask these days is commonplace, which is great for keeping infection to a minimum, but unfortunately, your voice is also muffled somewhat. This is especially relevant to the senior population where both talking loudly and hearing others may be difficult. The second Design Award goes to the Visual Communication Assistant Team. It comprises both a voice amplifier and a real-time transcript via a display worn on the neck. Not only did the team create a working prototype, they also gathered feedback directly from their target demographic with great success. 


Honourable Mention:  Social Distancer System - Qinyang Bao, Jason Elsted, Noah Ford, Sam Swift, Sarthak Tamboli 

Currently there is no system to enforce social distancing in street intersections which are often quite busy and crowded. Therefore the project that solves this and won the MTE honorable mention was the Social Distancer system that manages pedestrian traffic in high-traffic areas. This project was recognized due to excellent spatial processing and highly-detailed planning of the project.  


From the class of ME (Mechanical) 380, two projects received Design Awards. 

Ozone Sterilizer: Stefan Adamski, Jonathan Chu, Matthew Faiella, Yu Chun Fu, Peter Song 

Because Covid-19 is transmitted through respiratory droplets and aerosols, sanitization of objects is common practice to avoid contact with these infectants. Typically disposable wipes are used which can be wasteful if used often on a daily basis. The first Design Award goes to the Ozone Sterilizer which can serialize objects using internal ozone production within a large sealed chamber. In other words, objects can be put into this chamber to be sterilized instead of generating excess landfill waste by using wet wipes. The Ozone Sterilizer is meant for indoor use, in a well ventilated area such as near an open window. 


The Zookeeper: Michelle Chan, Katrine Eistrat, Aaron Leger, Dylon Lemus, Marko Popovic 

Young children are often rowdy and rebellious to rules, especially rules that are not clear to them why they should be followed. They are also quite forgetful as well which is not ideal considering Covid-19 requires social distancing to be strictly adhered to and the reason why is hard to explain to a child. The second Design Award goes to the Zookeeper device. It is a wearable device designed for children and consists of a WiFi sensor enclosed in a fanny pack. Once a Zookeeper device senses another Zookeeper device in a certain proximity, the child is reminded to maintain a safe playing distance. 


Honourable Mention:  Footsie Faucet - Brock Taylor, Christina Pateman, Dante DiGiuseppe, Delainey Lindstrom-Humphries, Kyle Hall

Washing hands is highly encouraged to remain infectant free. However touching the faucet levers touched by many other people is hardly ideal. That’s why the ME 380 honorable mention goes to Footsie Faucet, which is a foot pedal design for hands-free sink use.

In the presence of so much creative problem-solving, these distinguished projects were deemed particularly innovative and received class Design Awards. All in all, this project was a huge success, congratulations to all the teams and recipients for all their hard work and innovative ideas.


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