MIC SPECIAL PRIZE 2020
In order to provide the patients with meals in the morning, at noon, and in the evening, care facilities and nursing homes employ personnel that use serving carts to transport the prepared food along with cutlery, plates, and glasses from the kitchen to the dining room several times a day. This entire process not only requires long distances be covered; a great deal of time must be invested as well—a total of 1.5 hours per day, according to studies. As the staff cares for the residents of these facilities around the clock and seven days a week, this process takes up some 550 hours per year. This time could certainly be better used in other ways, such as allowing staff to devote itself more intensively to the care of the patients.
The idea is therefore to develop a self-driving serving cart that can ease the workload of the staff at the push of a button. It is guided by lines affixed to the floor and drives itself from the kitchen to the dining room. A laser sensor recognizes obstacles and prevents collisions along the cart’s route. The automation of this process results in more time for caregiving, as the staff is able to focus its attention on the needs of the patients.
The uniqueness of this project is evident not only in its innovative nature; thanks to its line-following capabilities, it is also impressive for its flexibility, while its industry-standard collision sensors ensure its safety. CareLine shows how innovative approaches and technical solutions can provide long-term improvement in the quality of life for people in care facilities.
Project Credits / Acknowledgements
Principal advisor: Jörg Komenda
Advisor: Ewald Cekan
Advisor: Johannes Stehlik
Main sponsor: Pflege- und Betreuungszentrum Wolkersdorf
Gabriel Neuberger Instagram Account: https://www.instagram.com/gabriel.nfd/
Matthias Janitsch Instagram Account: https://www.instagram.com/matzge22/?hl=de
Simon Krist Instagram Account: https://www.instagram.com/simon.mercury/?hl=de
Simon Krist (b. 2001), Matthias Janitsch (b. 2001), and Gabriel Neuberger (b. 2000) met while in the lower level at Gymnasium Wolkersdorf. All of the team members decided to continue their schooling at HTL Rennweg, forming the CareLine team to complete their final project in the 2019/2020 school year. They faced a number of hurdles on the way to the final acceptance of their project, but thanks to the good teamwork in the group, they could all be easily overcome
It has become a tradition to award a supplementary prize in addition to the other prizes of the Prix Ars Electronica. This year, for the first time, the MIC Special Prize was awarded. This prize is endowed with a cash award of 1,000 euros and is aimed at all young, creative people who enjoy programming and developing new ideas.
We were looking for ideas, concepts, or finished projects that focus on the world of tomorrow. How will the IT sector develop in the future? What problems must be solved? What does IT have to do with climate change? How will artificial intelligences continue to evolve in the future? These are only some of the questions that technologically-minded young people devote themselves to.
As this prize was awarded for the first time, there were no models to follow, which made the selection process both exciting and difficult, as our decision also determines to a certain extent the future orientation of the prize. Should the winning project be primarily technology-based; should it be a finished project, or should we choose an idea that then could possibly be brought to fruition with the prize money? We ultimately agreed on a submission that was able to combine most of these aspects: This is a prototype that has already been tried out in the field but still has potential for further development, one that includes very good documentation, meets a need, and also has been tested with the end users. With CareLine, students at HTL Rennweg have developed a self-driving serving cart that is aimed at easing the workload of the staff at care facilities. It is guided by lines affixed to the floor and drives itself from the kitchen to the dining room. The automation of this process results in more time for caregiving, as the staff is able to focus its attention on the needs of the patients. CareLine demonstrates how innovative approaches and technical solutions can improve the quality of work in the long term for people in caregiving facilities.