Article Source: IMechE

Team Prodigies from the Manufacturing Technology Centre won this year’s Home Automation Challenge. ​

Team Prodigies from the Manufacturing Technology Centre won this year’s Home Automation Challenge with their automated irrigation system, impressing the judges with their creativity and technical skills in designing and manufacturing their product.

The competition, run by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, challenges apprentices to use their ingenuity to improve a device to make life at home or gardening easier.

The judges said they were impressed with the design of the irrigation system and by the fact that it was created to solve a specific problem as the apprentices had seen their grandparents struggling to lift watering cans to water their hanging baskets. Team Prodigies also won the Peer Review Award.

“We are not only proud to have won this national competition but we feel privileged to have taken part in such an event, allowing us to showcase our newly learnt skills as first year apprentices,” said Paige Beard from Team Prodigies.

Team Praemium from aerospace company Leonardo was highly commended for their Activ-Eat device, which provides the user the opportunity to earn rewards through a dispenser by doing more exercise.

The prototype products were judged at the finals held on 12 July 2019 at the Manufacturing Technology Centre at Coventry. The event which is sponsored by the MTC and The Manufacturer, was attended by the Lord Mayor of Coventry Linda Bigham.

auto challenge winners

“The innovation and team-work we saw was impressive – the competition is a fantastic opportunity for apprentices to apply and develop their creativity and technical skills,” said Raymond Hodgkinson, Chair of the International Strategy Board at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

Schoolchildren from three Coventry schools — Stoke Primary School, Templars Primary School and Westwood Academy — visited the competition and spoke to the teams as part of an education programme to encourage more young people to consider engineering as a career.

Notes to Editors

  • Contact the Institution of Mechanical Engineers’ Press Office on 020 7973 1261 or email
  • The Institution of Mechanical Engineers was established in 1847 and has some of the world’s greatest engineers in its history books. It is one of the fastest growing professional engineering institutions. Headquartered in London, we have operations around the world and over 120,000 members in more than 140 countries working at the heart of the most important and dynamic industries such as the automotive, rail, aerospace, medical, power and construction industries.

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