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Edmonton innovator wins award for cleantech robot

Monica Ferguson   

Cleantech Canada Electronics award Canada cleantech Innovation innovator Robots

Nicolas Olmedo’s development of robots that are capable of traversing mud, snow, ice or rock using screw-shaped pontoons has earned an award from Mitacs.

In recognition of his efforts to advance the robots through his company, Copperstone Technologies, Olmedo, one of three Copperstone co-founders who completed his PhD in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Alberta, was presented the Mitacs Outstanding Entrepreneur Award in Montreal.

“It’s critical that industrial companies and mines continually monitor their waste areas, to measure their progress on environmental mitigation and remediation, yet the terrain involved is extremely dangerous,” said Olmedo. “We thought, instead of trying to send people, why aren’t we sending robots?”

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The company’s Helix family of amphibious cleantech robots, which can be remotely controlled by a human or programmed to operate autonomously, use a patented combination of screw-propulsion and four-wheel drive technologies to float on water or scroll across any terrain, no matter how wet, muddy, snowy or sticky. They are equipped with tools to collect mud or water samples, and perform geotechnical measurements required to monitor environmental clean-up efforts.

Olmedo is one of five winners of the Mitacs Entrepreneur Award who are being recognized for their efforts to turn their research into an innovative business that impacts the lives of Canadians.

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