Students hope to win NSERC video contest

GET A GRIP: The BLINC Lab brings together a diverse group of inter-disciplinary researchers working to improve sensory motor control of advanced prosthetic systems.

The National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) is running a video contest called Science, Action! and a U of A team from BLINC Lab is in the running with a video about their work on bionic limbs.

The contest encourages research labs across the country to share the story of their research. It’s fun, and the more views a group gets, the higher up in the rankings they go.  

BLINC is an interdisciplinary lab—that’s our strength—where researchers collaborate to improve the control and performance of robotic prostheses,” said first-year Mechanical Engineering student and team member McNiel Keri, who got interested when he took a biomedical option through the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. 

The lab’s members are from the faculties of Engineering, Science, and Medicine & Dentistry, and their video recently made it into the top 40. “We brainstormed a few times and divided the tasks, such as video editing, composing the music and directing,” McNiel explained. “Then we came together over the break to get the footage, and we pulled it off!”

From February 1 to 28, you can watch and share this video. The 25 videos with the highest number of views on February 28 will proceed to the judges’ panel, where they’ll be evaluated to see who receives 15 cash prizes. Grand prize winners will earn $3,500 for their research team.

McNeil said that if they make it that far—after a celebratory pizza party—his team would likely use the winnings to subsidize some of members to travel to international conferences. “This is a great opportunity to showcase some of the exciting things happening at the U of A,” he said. “It's also a great opportunity to motivate the next generation of engineers and scientists by exposing them to cutting-edge research.”