‘Roomba of Water’ wins 2018 Top Dog Idea Pitch

Oct 26, 2018 | Business, Innovation

Fourteen innovative teams had the opportunity to share their own unique product and service ideas during the 2018 Top Dog Idea Pitch, hosted by the Center for Entrepreneurship and Information Technology and Bulldog Entrepreneurs, in University Hall Oct. 23.

Each team presented their product idea to a group of judges as well as public spectators for a chance to gain the most votes and win a cash prize. Both the audience and judges were able to choose their favorite pitch and “invest” in the team’s product with their vote.

The pitch that won first place, $500, with 334 votes was the Sea Skimmer. This product idea was a robot watercraft that can clean litter and debris from bodies of water. The Sea Skimmer team consisted of mechanical engineering majors Rebecca Doucet, Logan Caskey, Jacob Johns and Mason Mallard along with management and entrepreneurship majors Nash Robbins and Ashley Bieller.

Second place, $250, went to Solaris Aeronautics Solar UAV with 214 votes. This product was a satellite drone that can fly indefinitely to quickly reach areas experiencing emergencies.

Jacob Johns, a senior mechanical engineering major, was a member of the Sea Skimmer team. He said his group gained valuable lessons from Top Dog such as keeping your audience in mind when creating and presenting a product.

“No matter what your project is, if you can’t describe it effectively with one sentence or less most people won’t listen or understand it,” Johns said. “We compared the Sea Skimmer to a Roomba by calling it the ‘Roomba of water’ so our audience could better understand its purpose.”

Johns said he believed the most beneficial aspect of participating in the event for his team was the opportunity to share their idea with a more diverse audience.

“I think the biggest takeaway is that we’re pursuing an idea people actually like,” he said. “It was good to get positive feedback on it and know other people are interested in our idea, not just our moms and dads.”

Tatiana Pham, a senior biomedical engineering major, was a participant in Top Dog. Her group’s product idea was Leadway, a medical device that increases the accuracy of pacemaker lead extraction while also decreasing the time and skill required to perform the procedure.

Pham said by participating in Top Dog, her group was able to approach their product idea with new points of view.

“This was originally for our senior design project and when we present to biomedical engineering professors it’s very technical and all about the engineering,” she said. “Presenting at Top Dog really got us thinking about production, costs and all the other business aspects of it that we never really considered before. It was really interesting to see and learn about the business side of things when we would usually only see the engineering side.”

Pham said while the event was an interesting learning experience for her group it was also a chance for Leadway to further expand its idea production.

“Our original prototype required more resources than what we have so we had to scratch that and create a new prototype,” she said. “With this new prototype, we were able to compete in Top Dog and hopefully gain some of the resources we need such as funding and faculty connections.”

Emma Robinson, a senior biomedical engineering major, was a spectator at the event. She said she enjoyed Top Dog as it was a unique opportunity for students both presenting ideas and viewing them.

“It’s really cool to be able to see these ideas that students like me are capable of coming up with,” Robinson said. “I like that every product idea is aimed toward helping our society and environment in some way. I think it’s also valuable to the teams as presenters because they gain professional experience from pitching their ideas to people face to face.”

Teams participating in the 2018 TOP DOG Idea Pitch included the following:

Automatic Magazine Loader:  Allows you to put loose rounds of ammunition into a hopper, insert an empty magazine, select how many rounds you want to load, press the start button, and then remove your fully loaded magazine. Mechanical Engineering major:  Henry Cottom.

College Connect:An app for college students that contains an electronic ID so they can scan into events, stay up to date with all campus events, access a peer-to-peer market place for selling books, bikes, etc., plus ride sharing information. Computer Science major: Zach Mercy and Finance major: Aaron Haygood.

Cost Effective Solar Panels:  We are lowering the cost of solar panels by miniaturizing fabrication equipment currently used to manufacture solar panels. Biomedical Engineering major:  Fraser Daniel.

Krydder “Your Ideal Kitchen Hand”This device would replace a kitchen spice rack and eliminate the need for measuring spices and buying marinades/rubs. Management/Entrepreneurship major: Scott Lawson, Mechanical Engineering majors:  Drew Theriot, Mark Boneau, Kaerington Wilson, and Jordan Dowouis.

Leadway:  A medical device that increases the accuracy of pacemaker lead extraction, while decreasing the time and skill required to perform the procedure. Biomedical Engineering majors:  Angelica Andrews, Hayley Alexander, Mariela Carola Aponte Mendez, and Tatiana Pham.

Make up Your Mind:  A fully personalized service to assist students in choosing the best major for them. Counseling and Guidance recent grad: Devin Wagener.

UniSci:  A form of scientific publishing with the goal of democratizing peer-review, and building a more unified scientific community. Industrial Engineering major: Jeremiah Piper.

Safe and Sound:A household smoke detector with wall-mounted controls. Mechanical Engineering majors: Jerri Pringle, Ashley Caldwell, Sarah Fogle, Victorija Morris and Management/Entrepreneurship major: Heather Hopkins.

Solaris Aeronautics Solar UAV:  A satellite type UAV that can carry a payload, fly indefinitely to quickly reach areas experiencing emergencies. Management/Entrepreneurship major: Devin Locke, Electrical Engineering majors:  Riley Luttgeharm and John Aquillard, Mechanical Engineering majors:  Patrick Morgan, Evan Glynn, and Stephen Bierschenk.

SWIG:  “Where safe water is Generated”:  A system that will produce 4 gallons of clean water for individuals in the aftermath of natural disasters. Mechanical Engineering majors: William Chauvin, Austin Walker, Zachary Thornton, Eric Hartupee, and Triston Conly. Management/Entrepreneurship major: Hannah Aycock.

TE Tape:  This thermoelectric energy harvesting tape takes excess heat and transforms it into energy to charge batteries or electrical components. Nanosystems Engineering majors:  Bernard Kelleher and Chris Candler. Electrical Engineering major:  Jana Asuncion. Mechanical Engineering major: Josh LeCoq.

Type 1 Life Box (T-One):  An all in one device that puts the most important diabetes supplies into a compact, temperature controlled, and inconspicuous unit. Management/Entrepreneurship major: Brittney Walker. Mechanical Engineering majors: Carli Whitfield, Ashley Boyd, Arman Hajiesmaeili, Joseph Brunet, and Samuel Haskins

Vanguard 3D:  A low cost 3D printer kit for STEM education. Mechanical Engineering majors:  Scott Roberts, Zack Harrington, Joey Higuera, and Justin Colley. Management/Entrepreneurship major:  Charlie Franck.