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The next big innovation to hit the marketplace could be among the Waterloo student projects on display at the annual Capstone Design symposia beginning March 16.
Senior-year engineering students at Waterloo will exhibit projects ranging from a technology that reduces agricultural water waste through intelligent irrigation systems to a device that may help people with Parkinson`s disease avoid falls.
Capstone Design is a degree requirement for undergraduate engineering students at Waterloo. During the symposia from March 16 through 24, at least 700 students in 12 programs will present more than 150 projects.
Capstone Design challenges fourth-year students to conceptualize and design solutions to real-world problems,” said Wayne Parker, acting dean of engineering. "As in previous years, we anticipate that some of these innovative projects will lead to successful startups and the commercialization of new products and services.”
GM Canada has joined the Capstone Design program as its exclusive automotive partner. The company’s five-year sponsorship will help expose students to automotive-based project ideas and GM Canada innovations.
On March 30, 15 qualifying teams will compete for $60,000 in a pitch presentation funded by the Esch Foundation. The winner of the Sedra People's Choice Award will receive an additional $3,000 in funding.
Additional project highlights this year include:
• Dynamic bifocals that adjust lenses to the user’s distance or reading prescription
• Sweat-absorbing undergarments designed for professionals
• Technology design for producing, storing and recovering energy for household use
• Wearable hands-free camera that tracks the target
• Revolutionary suitcase that generates power as you travel
• System that collects and manages data on indoor air quality
• Self-learning tutoring system for piano
• Nano-electronic sensor that quickly detects toxic gases
• Android game to teach financial skills to people with literacy challenges in Tanzania
• Design of an on-campus brewery to be used as an educational centre
• New flying-wing roller coaster concept for theme parks
• Formula car chassis that is a hybrid steel-tube and carbon-fibre structure, making it both strong and lightweight