The Canada-Wide Science Fair took place in Ottawa May 12-19, 2018. Held at Carleton University, it was a showcase of Canada’s top 500 young scientists who presented their science, technology, engineering and math projects and exhibits.
Shail Giroux is a Grade 8 student at Korah Collegiate’s Intermediate program and he made a huge impression at the competition, winning the Excellence Award in the Junior Division and taking home the gold medal, sponsored by Youth Science Canada. Not only did he take the top prize, Shail won a $4000 Entrance Scholarship to Western University.
Shail created a GPS Guided Autonomous Transport System (GATS). The transport system was designed to assist small family orchards during the hand-picked fruit harvesting season. His robot, carrying a bin to hold the fruit, follows an app installed on a phone that the worker carries. The app sends the GPS coordinates of the phone, to the robot, via bluetooth streaming. The phone moves, the robot will follow, and all of this assists with harvesting.
Shail shared that the inspiration for his project came from hearing about the struggles of a small family farm in the news. He reached out to two small family farm owners. Through interviews and consultation to determine needs, and his own abilities, Shail came up with the idea for an Autonomous Transport System to assist in the hand picking berry process. He plans to add other features to this robot, including obstacle avoidance with an Ultrasonic Distance Sensor, and movement between GPS waypoints. These will both greatly benefit the small family farm.
Shail has been involved in Algoma District School Board’s Vex Robotics for the last 5 years, the last 3 years winning the Northern Ontario Excellence Award and this year, his team qualified for the World Vex Robotics Championship by winning the Engineering Design Award.
ADSB Trustees at Tuesday night’s Board meeting expressed how impressed they were with Shail’s innovative project and thanked him for not only sharing his work with them, but for designing a robot that will potentially have a positive impact for communities throughout the region