Carlos, Mikel and Daniel are three fourth-year students of the Aerospace Engineering Degree at the Polytechnic University of Madrid who, in November, won the 4th edition of the AERTEC Solutions Challenge. This challenge was organised by the international engineering and consultancy firm AERTEC Solutions and the University of Malaga, in collaboration with Fundación Banco Sabadell, the Imagine Creativity Center and Innovación Colectiva. Out of the more than 140 university students who took up the challenge of improving the experience of airport users, this team came out on top thanks to their idea of a robotic assistant that stores travellers’ hand luggage while they wait to catch their flight. PAD (Personal Assistant Device) is a personal assistance device designed especially for passengers who have to stay several hours at the airport, due to long stopovers or delays, helping to improve their pre-flight experience.
As winners of this latest edition of the AERTEC Solutions Challenge, they recently participated in the Imagine Express 2020 entrepreneurship competition, a programme run by the Imagine Creativity Center innovation centre aimed at improving business ideas with the advice of professionals during a 4-day trip that took them from Barcelona to Paris. During the trip these future engineers perfected their proposal on a technical and economic level in order to demonstrate its viability, and even contacted professionals at various international airports to find out how to improve the PAD. The project was finally presented in Paris, and won the Mobility category.
These young university students from the Polytechnic University of Madrid have had the constant support and advice of a multidisciplinary team of professionals from AERTEC Solutions, who have been working on improving the project since the students won the challenge last November, hoping to increase their chances in the Imagine Express competition. Ana Pérez, Airport Planning Expert at AERTEC Solutions, has been one of the team’s mentors from the beginning: “We have to thank Mikel, Daniel and Carlos for their dedication, their ability to listen, their creativity, their determination and, above all, their confidence in this challenge. At AERTEC Solutions we knew that we were looking at a project with a lot of potential, and we are very proud to have accompanied them on this journey.”
The winning teams of this entrepreneurial journey presented their proposals on 24th February at the Movistar Centre in Barcelona, as part of the activities organised by Tech Spirit, a spontaneous event that was held following the cancellation of the Mobile World Congress. The PAD will also be presented at a specialised trade show in the sector (yet to be determined), in order to seek potential investors, with the aim of allowing its real-life application in the future.