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Students Tackle Cyber-Technology and Environmental Topics in Day Two of Conrad Challenge Innovation Summit

The 2020 Virtual Innovation Summit has convened teams from all over the world to present unique inventions in six competition categories

The Conrad Challenge continued its 2020 Innovation Summit today with day two of the first-ever online experience. The day had a lot to live up to, as the Summit’s kickoff on Wednesday featured an exciting mix of team presentations in the categories of Aerospace & Aviation and Health & Nutrition. From asteroid mining systems and state-of-the-art filtration systems to algae-derived wound dressing and innovative mechanical prosthetics, the first day was filled with intriguing possibilities.

Day two highlighted the categories of Cyber-Technology & Security and Energy & Environment, as well as the afternoon pitches in the Transforming Education Through Technology category sponsored by SMART Technologies. “Power Pitch” videos from each team were presented before live Q&A sessions between finalist teams and an expert panel of judges. 

In this morning’s categories, the finalist teams were: in Cyber-Technology & Security, team NeuroSecure, OOPS, RLock, SafeEye, and UReceipt. In the category of Energy & Environment, Cocovera Filter, Clearn, Lunair, Nano Nerds, Team Paraiso, Team Recycle Rex, and The PowerCycle.

Cyber-Technology & Security

Opening day two, team Safe Eye took the stage. They are developers of a mountable driver attention monitoring device that relies on computer vision to ensure every driver is focused on the road. The panel discussed the novel innovation of using computer vision to look at a variety of distractions while driving. Although the capability has been available for some time, Safe Eye offers a different model. As a team member explains, “Basically, the biggest aspect that differentiates us from many of the other competitors is the teen driving project that we offer. It’s directed at the teen parent of the driver, and it allows them to monitor the driver’s attention levels in real-time.”

Team Opioid Overdose Prevention System (OOPS) followed, introducing an app connected with an opioid tablet dispenser and health band bracelet to prevent opioid overdoses. One team member remarked, “Our usability survey shows a very positive acceptance of the product.” The panel applauded the efforts of the team in helping efforts to tackle a critical issue. 

RLock continued with a facial-recognition based smartphone application and home technology system, and NeuroSecure detailed their biometric authentication system that uses Auditory Evoked Potentials.

Closing out the Q&A, UReceipt, out of Massachusetts, discussed an app that stores receipts without users needing to keep a physical copy. Although similar technology has existed, the team’s absence of stored personal data using QR code in its application sets them apart. As one member added, “QR code can be made with little error.”

Energy & Environment

In the Energy & Environment session, Cocovera out of Vietnam introduced a coconut-based, aloe vera-coated air filtration grid that is applicable to capture particulate matter. In response to pollution and the burning of fossil fuels in developing countries, team Cocovera saw the need for environmentally sustainable air filters. Choosing to keep operations local and cost-efficient, the team members are also proud of their all-natural ingredients. The product may also offer coronavirus prevention capabilities, and the team is researching that aspect. 

Nano Nerd from California talked about the Polystyrenator―the machine that uses the bacteria Pseudomonas Putida to upcycle uncleanly, disposed Styrofoam (EPS) into biodegradable thermoplastic PHA and electricity. Then, Team Paraiso from the Philippines answered questions about the invention of ARMADAV, an autonomous radiation monitoring and data logging aquatic vehicle that assesses whether there are significant levels of radiation in marine ecosystems.

Returning from yesterday’s Aerospace & Aviation session, the sister team of Christina and Victoria Cross discussed the cross-usability aspects of Lunair, a method using Spirulina (Arthrospira platensis) cyanophytes to release the oxygen trapped inside lunar regolith for both moon and earth capabilities. As one sister mentions, “In 2024, there is a push to go back to the moon, and the emphasis will be on moon operations.” Licensing on earth will follow the lunar research. The PowerCycle team followed with their solar-powered bicycle designed to reduce physical labor and financial costs to areas like Dehli, where people are making millions of trips on bikes.

For the final Q&A, team Recycle Rex out of Nigeria decided to take the plastic polyethylene waste materials issued in their county and created composite floor/wall tiles that are highly durable, water-resistant, and affordable. Using recycled plastics, clay, and charcoal as the essential ingredients, team Recycle Rex is delivering a product cheaper than the current market is producing. The idea is to keep operations in Nigeria to create jobs. As a team member adds, “It is one of the major problems facing our country. We wish to hire creative workers to help finish the product.”

A look ahead at Friday’s schedule

Looking ahead to Friday’s activities, award winners will be announced at a ceremony taking place between 10 – 11:00 am ET. Follow event activities on the Conrad Challenge YouTube channel

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