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Recycling conveyor belt idea wins RealVNC Connect prize

Remote access software vendor RealVNC has announced an idea developed by a Germany-based team led by Shohreh Kia as the winner of its 2023 Raspberry Pi competition.

According to RealVNC, maker of RealVNC Connect, judges sought an “original” solution using RealVNC Connect software and a Raspberry Pi computer.

“We received entries from around the world and have been extremely impressed by the creativity and ingenuity on display,” the team said in the announcement.

“This solution uses a Raspberry Pi connected to a camera to process real-time visual data from conveyor belts in recycling centers. Material types on the belts are identified using custom-developed algorithms. RealVNC Connect allows operators to operate the machines remotely in a much safer and healthier environment.”

Kia worked with a team including Professor Benjamin Leiding, Professor Daniel Goldmann and Alexander Gaun, devised a conveyor-belt monitoring system to take home the $1000 prize (£816).

According to RealVNC, she has a student job at a recycling plant, where the environment can be dirty and risky to worker health. This first solution was devised while studying for a master’s degree, and she is now working on other kinds of remote access technology in a PhD programme.

“Her goal is to one day launch a company that improves the lives of people working in dangerous conditions around the world,” the company said.

As reported by Weirdware, the competition was launched six months ago with six finalists selected in September. Judging criteria included originality and innovation, quality of design, impact, and how the RealVNC Connect remote access software was used.

First runner-up was Japan’s Kunikatsu Takase, working with Hironobu Takahashi and Takashi Yoshimi on a project for a personal internet-controlled robotic grabber aimed at the healthcare sector. Takase was awarded $500.

“Designed to be used in hospitals or to provide patients with care at home, the robotic grabber can pick up objects, carry them to a patient’s bedside and release them,” the RealVNC team said.

Third prize and $250 went to Mikhail Grushinskiy from USA, for his bareboat necessities Debian-based Raspberry Pi system for marine operations and navigation.

RealVNC offers paid subscriptions for an unlimited number of users, according to the number of devices to be remotely accessed, with volume discounts potentially, the company noted.

( Photo by Vivianne Lemay on Unsplash )

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