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Cambrian College awards $6,500 in cash for innovative ideas

Sudbury school hosted 2022 Student Innovation Challenge on March 31

A mechatronics student inspired by the real-life dangers he saw on the job is the winner of Cambrian College's 2022 Student Innovation Challenge.

Joe Greco took home $3,000 as the competition's grand prize winner for Automated Inspection Robots, a fully autonomous robotic camera system used to inspect municipal water and sewer pipes.

“When I was working with a pipe inspection company, I saw people doing dangerous work, for example planting their feet on either side of a manhole cover, trying to lower an inspection robot that can weigh up to 100 pounds. One slip and down they go,” Greco said in a news release announcing the winners.

“It’s an accident waiting to happen and I wanted to come up with an idea to eliminate that risk.”

The event, held annually, invites students to pitch their business idea to a panel of industry experts, with the top three ideas sharing $6,500 in prize money.

Second place, with a prize of $2,000, went to Fatima Ayo Williams and Layisha Paerhati, for Smart Vivant, a system that sends real-time alerts to caregivers and authorities in the event of an emergency involving vulnerable people.

The pair also won $500 for making the best use of technology.

Third place, with a prize of $1,000, went to Sujith Ashok for Unavu, a mobile app that allows people and businesses to coordinate donations to food banks and other charitable organizations.

The Student Innovation Challenge is organized by Cambrian R&D, the applied research department of Cambrian College.