Lego Robots Roll Onto Campus

Lego Robots Roll Onto Campus

(source) LEGO robots once again took over the shared Durham College (DC) and University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) campus on January 16, as the institutions co-hosted the annual FIRST LEGO League’s (FLL) Ontario East Provincial Championships. FIRST is an acronym that means For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology. Nearly 400 students; more than 1,000 parents, siblings and coaches; and 200 volunteers, judges and referees gathered at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Centre for the competition. “As a college that prides itself on innovation, it is inspiring to watch some of Ontario’s brightest young minds enjoy using science and technology to analyze current challenges, develop novel solutions and bring their ideas to life using modern machinery and robotics,” said Don Lovisa, president, DC. “Once again, we were pleased to welcome competitors and their families to our shared campus to participate in this fun-filled competition.” The event encouraged students between the ages of nine and 14 to apply math and science concepts to research, design, build and program autonomous robots using LEGO Mindstorms software. In addition, it showcased the 2015 FLL project mission titled TRASH TREK. The mission challenged students to evaluate trash from collection, to sorting, to smart production and reuse. After choosing a piece of trash as their focus, competitors identified a problem with the way it is currently handled,  found out what was being done to solve the problem and designed an innovative solution of their own, which they presented to the judges. “The shared campus of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology and Durham College is an ideal venue for a competition, which encourages critical thinking...
UOIT Carpooling App Takes Major Step Forward

UOIT Carpooling App Takes Major Step Forward

(source) At nearly 33 minutes per one-way trip (Statistics Canada, 2013), the Greater Toronto Area holds the dubious distinction of having the longest average commute times in Canada. While Toronto once had distinct ‘rush hours’, highway traffic congestion is now a normal condition at almost any time of the day.As commuters search for cost-effective and time-efficient ways to get around, a new carpooling application developed at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology is gaining popularity and finding support from government-funding sources. Drivers and passengers can organize a carpool with a just few taps on their iPhone or Android. First launched as a pilot project in late 2014 by a group led by Dr. Hamid Akbari, Assistant Professor (Strategic Management) in UOIT’s Faculty of Business and Information Technology, the carpooling app BlancRide has been awarded $125,000 by the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) Market Readiness Commercialization (MRC) fund. The OCE program directly funds early-stage commercialization by start-up companies that have grown out of research conducted in an Ontario-based academic institution. Visit the BlancRide website “This important new support from OCE funding will support BlancRide’s growth to other university campuses in Ontario and help BlancRide grow in Greater Toronto Area,” says Dr. Akbari. “In addition to helping commuters save money and time on their daily trips, BlancRide works toward solving broader social and environmental issues, as passenger cars are the highest contributors to greenhouse gas emission in Canada – more than oil production and coal-generated electricity.” How BlancRide works: BlancRide is designed for everyone in the car to split the cost of the journey, rather than the driver making a...