Prairie Robotics and a team of researchers from the University of Regina have been selected as the winners of Saskatchewan’s latest Innovation Challenge. The winners will be looking to develop new ways we can use technology to monitor the amount of solid waste generated and disposed of in the province.
Prairie Robotics of Regina will use artificial intelligence to estimate the weight of the waste entering landfills. It will capture data in real time to automatically generate waste reports across the province. The team from the University of Regina will measure waste using weigh-in-motion technology optimized for Saskatchewan’s extreme weather.
Weigh-in-motion systems measure the weight of moving vehicles. The team is led by Professor Kelvin Ng, an environmental systems engineer. The winners will each receive funding of up to $10,000 and a 16-week residency to develop their solution in collaboration with government.
The winners have until March 31, 2020, to complete their residencies.
“Innovation Challenges are all about finding technology solutions to real-world problems,” Minister Responsible for Innovation Saskatchewan Tina Beaudry-Mellor said. “These challenges tap into our entrepreneurs’ problem-solving and innovative traditions to help grow our province’s tech sector.”
“The data that this type of technology can provide will be extremely useful as we determine the effectiveness of our waste diversion programs in the province,” Environment Minister Dustin Duncan said. “Waste diversion reduces the potential for landfills to impact the environment, and I’m thrilled to see the role these winners will take when it comes to the health and safety of our communities.”
Innovation Challenges encourage Saskatchewan technology companies to find quick and inventive solutions to public issues. One such challenge in 2017 resulted in BeeSecure, an application that alerts rural land owners about irregular activity on their properties. Another challenge now underway is seeking a solution that would allow hunters and snowmobilers to seamlessly ask land owners for permission before entering onto their properties.
To learn more about other Innovation Challenges and how to participate, visit www.innovationsask.ca.
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