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Meet the finalists of the 2019 Fly Your Ideas student competition

24 April 2019

Seven international teams of students have been selected for the 2019 of the 2019 Fly Your Ideas global competition, which invites students from around the world to innovate in key areas for the industry: Electrification, Data Services, Cyber Security, Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence and Mixed Reality. The biennal competition is a celebration of creativity and innovation to solve real industry challenges, organized by Airbus in partnership with UNESCO. The finalist teams were selected after a three-month development phase working with support from Airbus mentors.

The selected concepts represent a range of trendsetting topics such as a ‘Smart Wheelchair’ for air travel or a ‘Solar Windmill’. The finalist team members represent 11 countries (Argentina, Germany, Greece, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Moldavia, Netherlands, Norway, United Kingdom), 8 different universities and were selected from over 270 entries worldwide. Their academic backgrounds vary from Engineering to Information Technology and Natural Sciences to Finance.

The students, competing for a share of the €45,000 prize fund and the chance to further evolve their idea in the aerospace industry, are clearly motivated by the digital nature of this year’s challenge, and the chance to change the world with their ideas. In June, the teams will travel to Toulouse, France to work in Airbus' innovation and R&D facilities to further develop, prototype or visualise their ideas using state-of-the-art equipment with support from Airbus. On 27 June, the students will present their projects in front of Airbus experts, UNESCO representatives and personalities from the aerospace and academic world, live-streamed in parallel to a global audience.

The seven finalist teams are:

Airbus Integrated Fisheries Information Services  
Team AirFish
, University of Cambridge, UK
Data Services Challenge
AirFish is an ocean monitoring system using satellite imagery and video imaging technology. It can help governments combat illegal fishing, reduce bycatch of endangered species, and generally decrease damages to the marine habitat. This project aims to improve the efficiency of fish farming, making food production more affordable whilst reducing open-water fishing and thus environmental impacts.

Automated Intelligent Real-Time Quality Inspection Exploiting Human-Robot-Collaboration
Team AIQinspect
, Saarland University, Germany
Artificial Intelligence Challenge
AIQinspect will assist the human operator in performing rivet inspection by using Artificial Intelligence. Quality is predicted based on images and physical parameters while riveting in real time. The resulting information is communicated to the operator via Augmented Reality.

Batteryless Wireless Switches for Airplanes  
Team “Zero” Heroes
, Delft University of Technology, Netherlands
Internet of Things Challenge
Application of wireless systems in aircraft instead of traditional wired systems. This idea solves the main limitation for IoT in aircraft by removing battery integration - a current challenge for safety and regulation. Furthermore it reduces fuel consumption and weight while simplifying aircraft retrofit and maintenance needs.

Motor Intra-body Cooling System - MICS
Team Osprey
, University of Strathclyde, UK
Electrification Challenge
Replacing the traditional method of cooling electric motors with a water jacket or submerged cooling with a cooling system integrated inside the body of the motor itself. This project has the potential to provide mass effective motors for future Urban Air Mobility and Hybrid Electric aircraft.

The Solar Windmill
Team Seren
, University of Cambridge, UK
Electrification Challenge
A novel method of electricity generation for spacecraft using trapped high energy particles. Using two concentric aluminium spheres, the energetic electrons flux from solar wind trapped in planetary magnetic fields can be collected and harnessed to generate power. This innovative approach aims to store and generate energy in deep space where the current density from sunlight is low.

Swan – Smart Wheelchair for Air travel Needs
Team Move-ez
, Technical University of Milan, Italy
Internet of Things Challenge
SWAN is an innovation that aims to revolutionize the air-travel experience of Passengers with Reduced Mobility (PRM) using IoT technology. It converts a redesigned class of detachable airplane seats into smart electric wheelchairs that passengers can use from check-in to arrival. It is fully controllable by smartphone through a dedicated app.

V.A.C.A. - Earth-obserVation-data based Application for stoCkbreeding Administration
Team V.A.C.A
, National University of La Plata, Argentina
Data Services Challenge
VACA is an integrated service for stockbreeders, based on Earth observation, meteorological and IoT data applied to agriculture. VACA aims to provide actionable information to stockbreeders on quality and quantity of pastures, number of animals in paddocks as well as the physical condition of cattle.

Teams will share project updates, photos, sketches and stories using #flyyourideas.

Airbus Fly Your Ideas is a global competition challenging students worldwide to innovate for the future of aerospace, designed and launched by Airbus in 2008 and organised in partnership with UNESCO since 2012. Since 2008, over 22,000 students have registered for Fly Your Ideas from over 700 universities and 100 countries worldwide, with more than 500 Airbus employees contributing their mentorship and expertise to support the competition.