A group of students designs a high-tech box to carry medicines

A group of students designs a high-tech box to carry medicines

Epidemics, natural disasters and wars. Current events confirm the importance of solutions to protect the movement of vital material, such as healthcare, in emergency situations. In the near future, to make the difference on this front, it could be FrostBox, a thermo-regulated, resistant and traceable box, which aims to offer a valid response to needs that arise similar in different scenarios.

A design it, the SustainaBot team, one of the two teams of the robotics club of Collegio San Carlo in Milan. The ten very young members (five students and five female students, ed) worked for months on the project and from 21 to 23 June will present it to the First Global Innovation Award, scheduled in St. Louis, Missouri. An international level event, dedicated to the new generations of innovators: only twenty teams participate in the final phase, further proof of the great result obtained by SustainaBot. Previously, the various teams took part, nationally, in the First Lego League, a multi-stage robotics championship aimed at children aged 9 to 16: the goal is to design and program autonomous robots to solve problems of general interest. Cargo Connect was the theme of the 2021-2022 season: participants were asked to devise solutions to respond to needs emerging in the world of logistics.

SustainaBot has therefore created FrostBox as part of the participation in the First Lego League Challenge Italy and received the Oltre la Robotica award, last May 25 in Rome. The award, established by the Rovereto Civic Museum Foundation (partner of the organization of the First Lego League in Italy) in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, aims to enhance the best projects presented during the competition and is awarded in the capital " in the presence of authorities and experts in the field of education and research ".

For the SustainaBot team the challenge moves to the States, as confirmed to sportsgaming.win by Federica Costanza, Giulio Domenico and Aurora, three of the ten members of the robotics team (they all study at the scientific high school of the Collegio). “We are very happy with this occasion, explains Federica -. In St. Louis we will meet different experts, each team has a stand, we will have to present the project to the public and to the different judges. Even if we do not win, we will carry it forward, we believe it can be important in the field of medicine transport ".

To develop a winning and convincing solution, the young innovators had to expand their skills in logistics . In fact, as Aurora confirms, “we immediately understood that doing research in the field of logistics would not be easy. We got in touch with Sandro Banino, the logistics operator of Doctors Without Borders, who explained some of the dynamics better, providing us with specific information. Sandro told us about a mission he made in Haiti, in which many medicines had been left for several hours in the sun, with the risk of being lost. His story made us more aware of the problem in the transport of medicines and so we deepened and developed ideas that could help in emergency conditions like the one that Sandro experienced in Haiti during the earthquake (in 2010) " .

And so the students developed FrostBox which, Giulio explains, is “a thermoregulable container that can be tracked and connected and allows you to adjust the temperature based on the products contained inside. tried to understand what were the solutions to get the best in St. Louis, with a scientific project developed and ready for the situations that the competition requires ".

The project was born from" hours and hours of dedication and sacrifices , after research, meetings with MSF operators, moments of difficulty ": the young innovators recount this in the call launched on Gofundme, to raise funds for further development of the project. he laboratory technical teacher, Fabio Gagliardi, who led the team with the support of two other teachers (Michela Maddalena and Alessandro Fregoso), talks about the challenges required by FrostBox: “The research on materials itself influences the design. Then an analysis of the competitors was needed, to understand what already exists, also in order not to replicate ideas. We have tried to find valid solutions for all situations (pandemic, war, disasters), drawing inspiration from the MSF mobile clinic. The idea is to continue with the project, which fascinated the children and sensitized them to something they did not know, such as the transport of medicines to remote or difficult to manage places. Participation in St. Louis is a springboard but we want to continue ”. Indeed, the project could be expanded and strengthened for other purposes, such as organ transport.

The college teams were born in 2020 (the other team is named Bottegai) and, as the young students confirm to sportsgaming.win, their participation in the robotics club translates into an interesting training opportunity: on the one hand it brings the didactic approach to Stem into a different perimeter, on the other it allows you to develop other skills, to enhance talents and discover the importance of teamwork. And, if anything were still needed, to reaffirm that female students can aspire to have their say in science fields.

But what are the expectations on the trip to Missouri? "The goal - explains Giulio - is to enhance a nine-month work and understand if it can really help". Aurora reiterates that being among the twenty teams participating in the First Global Innovation Award was “unexpected but beautiful: going to Rome was already a distant goal. We have received a list, with the name of the different teams (present in Missouri, ed) and we know who we are going to confront: some have proposals similar to ours, we must make sure that ours is more convincing ".

Federica underlines the advantages of FrostBox, as “the data it collects can be collected in the cloud and subsequently analyzed. Our solution is not passive and, with different systems, it corrects problems related to temperature ". SustainaBot wants to continue to innovate and take part in other competitions (starting with the Superpowered challenge, scheduled for next year) and, although it is early to think about the professional and academic future, the young students agree that the experience of the robotics club is will prove to be very useful, a perfect viaticum to continue discovering new things, develop interesting projects and apply a new approach to thinking to everyday life.

To join the club, the boys have committed their time to the outside the classic school hours, even on Saturdays. But no one has any regrets or would like to translate these activities into a more formal context. The reason is simple and Aurora explains it: "We do not see it as an obligation, we do it of our will, even having fun: there is no vote, we are not judged, we can express ourselves as we believe".

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