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Medi-bot team wins Young Innovator of the Year

Posted 15 July 2016

When you think about innovation, it really is about thinking outside the box and doing something different in order to improve the world we live in."

The Young Innovators of the Year 2016

A team from Weatherhead High School have been crowned winners of Harper Adams University’s Young Innovator of the Year competition, which received more than 900 entries in 2016.

The competition was open to young people aged between 11 and 19 years old. Entrants were challenged to design a robot that could provide a solution to current day problems.

Shortlisted participants were invited to an awards ceremony at the Harper Adams Agricultural Engineering Innovation Centre (AEIC). Special guest and speaker was space journalist Sarah Cruddas.

Speaking to the shortlisted entrants, Sarah said: “You guys are the real stars today. It’s absolutely amazing to have got this far. So just keep doing what you’re doing.

“Harper Adams really sums up innovation. When you think about innovation, it really is about thinking outside the box and doing something different in order to improve the world we live in.

“I’m really excited to be here and excited to be a part of the events today. Well done to all of you.”

The team of seven 12-year-old girls from Weatherhead High School, Merseyside, won the overall Young Innovator competition for 11 to 19 year olds with their Medi-bot design.

The girls’ idea was for Medi-bot to be taken to areas where people can’t always easily see a GP. It would carry out medical assessments on patients, including full body scans, BMI and heart rate.

The team said: “When we started thinking about this project, the effects of the Zika virus in Brazil and South American countries was prominent in the news.

“We began by discussing the effects of the Zika virus, including how it affects the unborn child and how unaware the parents were.

“From this starting point we had many more discussions about health care availability, especially in developing countries.

“We are aware that there are many more diseases and medical conditions that could be managed or prevented a lot easier if there was earlier diagnosis and people could get to medical care more easily.”

The judges were very impressed with the amount of research and effort that had gone into the girls’ entry. They said it showed a great deal of passion and enthusiasm for the topic.

A Judges’ Special Award was given to Tortobot which addressed farming issues that might be encountered in developing countries. The judges remarked on its creativity and innovative approach.

Winners and runners-up were:

  • Young Innovator of the Year: Medi-bot (Libby Birkett, Mia Ardron, Katie Allen, Bethany Birtles, Annabelle Dewhurst, Lucie Callister-Edge, Grayce Baker)
  • Female Winner: Lucy Paget
  • Female Runner-up: Lucy Pirzada
  • Male Winner: Harvey Upton
  • Male Runner-up: Taryn Grant
  • Best School: Thomas Telford
  • Best Group: Medi-bot (Libby Birkett, Mia A
  • rdron, Katie Allen, Bethany Birtles, Annabelle Dewhurst, Lucie Callister-Edge, Grayce Baker)
  • Judges’ Award – Tortobot (Suzie Murrary, Charloe Manning, Ben Raven, Serena Ozturk, Saffy Truman, Caleb Alhadeff)

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