Photo: Kaare Smith

Students win first place with environmental toy at Oi-X final

Friday 09 Nov 18

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Marie Louise Møllebæk Pollmann-Larsen
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Students’ environmental toy VoBu (Voice af Buildings) won first place at this year’s Oi-X final, which was about developing innovative solutions for the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

On Tuesday, this autumn’s Oi-X final was held at DTU Skylab, where students competed on developing innovative solutions that promote the UN Sustainable Development Goals. First place went to the team VoBu which developed a concept for a toy to motivate pupils to think sustainability into their daily lives and creating a better indoor climate.

“VoBu is a toy with sensors that can measure CO2, temperature, humidity, and noise level in a classroom. You can also connect IoT devices that monitor the school’s electricity grid, water consumption, and waste sorting—and if the school consumes too much electricity and water, or in case of poor indoor climate, VoBu will be upset.

“It is meant to motivate my students to make the toy happy again,” says team member Pau Lopez Riba, who is taking an MSc in Electrical Engineering.

In the weeks leading up to the final, the group sent out surveys to several schools. They found that the school’s employees want to make students more aware of our planet’s environmental challenges, so that students can bring more sustainability into their everyday lives.

One of the reasons that the judges elected the team as the winner was that VoBu engages the future generation in environmental awareness and makes the users part of the concept.

“We are thrilled to have won first prize. We didn’t expect to win, but suddenly we just got this great idea which the mentors of Oi-X also seemed interested in—and then we decided to go run with it. I don’t think it has sunk in yet,” says Pau Lopez Ribas.

In addition to Pau, the group also consists of Imma Martinez Sellarés, MSc student in Engineering Design and Applied Mechanics, the two MSc students in Design and Innovation Sara Blasco Roman and Leonardo Leon, and David Moya, MSc student in Industrial Engineering and Management. The team won a total of EUR 4,000 (DKK 30,000) which they will use to further develop their concept.

Second place went to the group FLEXIGRID who received EUR 2,700 (DKK 20,000). The group Desalination won the award for best pitch, and the group AgriWater won the sustainability award sponsored by the IDA Sustainability Caravan.

You can read about the different groups’ concepts on OiX's website.

Energinet was one of the business partners of the event and has produced this video.


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