EEE Dragons' Den 2023

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A group picture of final year students with the judges at the Dragons' Den event
Students with the EEE Dragons' Den Judges

The Department of Electrical Engineering & Electronics recently held a Dragons’ Den-style event to showcase some of the most innovative and exciting group projects students (in groups of 3 or 4) have been working on during their final year of studies.

The event saw a panel of judges, from industry and the Careers & Employability team, assessing three separate pitches, each for about 15 minutes, followed by a Q&A session.

The first pitch focused on a soft bionic glove for hand power augmentation. The team explained how the glove could be used to assist with grip for individuals with deteriorating strength, particularly the elderly. With a growing ageing population, there is a greater dependency on technology in order to function. The group highlighted a gap in the market for affordable aids for common problems. Potentially, this technology could give back independence to the elderly. The panel thought the idea was smart with a flexible design, as showcased in the prototype. The panel were also pleased to learn that the glove was customisable and affordable.

The second pitch focused on the next generation of landing sensors for aircraft, developed in conjunction with Airbus. The team described an alternative approach to landing equipment using a capacitive sensing approach. This aims to meet the industry’s growing demand for shorter runways, and potentially solve the problem of aircraft companies needing to reduce the weight of future aircraft and increase the reliability of the technology. The panel was pleased to learn about the novelty of the project and its potential to reduce the mechanical wear of the tyres, which would ultimately lead to reducing costs for the aviation industry.

The final pitch was focused on upgrading the Jetbot to ROS2 for robot football. The team explained how their project would allow the robot to better navigate its environment, and work more effectively with other robots on the field. The main proposed application area was in education, particularly in secondary schools, where students could learn and engage with the robots. The panel enjoyed watching the demonstrator and liked the idea of utilising technology within the curriculum or edu-tech industry, which would promote robotics to young people.

After the pitches, the attendees enjoyed a networking lunch, which provided an opportunity for students and staff to connect with industry professionals. The Dragon's Den-style event demonstrated the department's commitment to fostering creativity and innovation. It highlighted the potential impact of research and collaboration, within the various fields of engineering such as robotics and aviation.