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PA Consulting Group apprentices win Home Automation Challenge

11 July 2018

Competition, run by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, challenges apprentices to design an innovative product for the home or garden

“Top Cats” -- a team of apprentices from PA Consulting Group -- have won this year’s Home Automation Challenge with their ingenious design for an “Automated Pet Station” which ensures pets have food and drink when their owners are away.

The “Haven” team from Aston Martin received the Judges’ Highly Commended Award for their Smart parcel Delivery Box – “Never miss another delivery”. The device provides secure access to couriers to leave a parcel via a safe delivery box.

The prototype products were judged at the finals held at the Manufacturing Technology Centre at Coventry. The event was attended by the Lord Mayor of Coventry John Blundell and his wife.

“The Home Automation Challenge presented us with an exceptional group of young engineers who designed innovative home technologies that combined digital and mechanical engineering skills. Our future engineers are an inspiration,” said Dr Jenifer Baxter, a judge at the Challenge and the Head of Engineering at the Institution.

The aim of the Challenge is for apprentices to design and manufacture a product to automate a task in the home or garden. This year, the apprentices were also asked to submit a business case for the mass production and sale of their device.

“Taking part was a fantastic opportunity to show off the skills that we are developing as apprentices and then to be able to apply them to specific situations. To win was an enormous privilege, especially with the level of competition this year,” said Callum Franks from the PA Consulting Group team.

“Top Cats” also received the Peer Review Award for their Automated Pet Station.

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