The annual competition offers undergraduates the opportunity to tackle engineering challenges, from the personal to the global, across five categories: innovation, healthcare, defence, automotive and electrical.
Robotic strawberry picker
The students won with their proposal for a robotic strawberry picking device, which seeks to bring efficiencies to an industry which has yet to unlock the potential of automation.
The device offers a novel way of tackling labour shortages and food waste in the fruit industry, by using an internal conveyor belt, customised gripper and camera to help identify, pick and pack the ripest strawberries while minimised bruising.
Tze Liang explained, “We wanted to find an industry which would allow us to fully demonstrate what we had learned through our studies, and it turns out that strawberry picking is one of the relatively few [industries] that haven’t yet been automated.”
The proposed idea promises to “goes further in beating the time and cost efficiencies of traditional human pickers”.
Career and cash boost
Run in partnership with big industrial names including Semta, GSK, and Babcock, the award offers winners bespoke career development opportunities, and a cash prize.
After winning their category, Tze Liang and Nikolay have been offered work experience with Semta and will go forward to a lunchtime awards ceremony in London this June, where an overall winner will be announced.