First D-Day! (Demo Day)

Posted by Leia on February 23rd, 2016

After an extremely busy last week, the team managed to maneuver through three days of symposium for presenting Periphero at its “final year design project” stage as undergraduates at the University of Waterloo. All of the past week was spent creating promotional items, preparing quick pitches and good answers, and putting final touches on what was to be demoed for Friday at the main Mechatronics Engineering Symposium, Saturday at the Third Annual TronCon, and finally Monday, as a nominee for the SHELL Innovation Award. Here’s a sample of what our booth looked like:

The following video is a summary of the two components that were demonstrated live at the symposium:

The team found that while the setup was quite tedious and having the gestures in open-loop control gave quite finicky results at times, people at the booth were more interested in the capabilities of a quick button-press to finely control the hand, as opposed to learning what’s behind the tech of tuning the forearm controller. We opted for the more ‘entertaining’ component to demonstrate at the shorter symposiums, especially after being requested to show a certain specific gesture quite frequently.

Admittedly, the team started with a bang on Friday by not only being one of the most crowd-attracting tables (really, the demo area had to be cautioned off to prevent people from leaning into the Kinect’s view), but also networking with a wide variety of possible investors, industry leaders, journalists, and media. Quite a few people asked for eleven:eleven business cards and we’re hoping to hear from them soon with pictures of the day or any useful networking we’d love to establish. It was inspiring to see that some students and visitors even returned to our booth after the one-hour demo switch just to see the other component of the demo. To top off the day, the team managed to win the Carol Pringle Humanitarian Award of $1000 during the Mechatronics post-symposium dinner and awards ceremony. It was an honour to receive such a meaningful award and it definitely inspired us to further pursue our goals. The team would definitely like to thank everyone who came out to such a jam-packed event to see our project and for all the amazing insight and support that was shown from all of our visitors. Special thanks to Carla, Eugene, Adrian, and everyone else who helped set up the symposium and for all the work before and after the big day.

The next two presentation days were much shorter in comparison and the weekend went by quickly as we grew more accustomed to speaking with people individually and separately, but still as a team. It was decided that after such bustle, it would be extremely beneficial to take the next few weeks to review our current stage and plan our trajectory for the future of Periphero and eleven:eleven as a possible start-up business, as recommended and inquired by many of our symposium visitors. There is a lot to discuss and you’ll definitely be seeing more of us in the future!