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Project Cyclone recently placed second in the the Nittany AI Challenge presented by Penn State University. The Challenge is an opportunity for Penn State students to show off their skills and how they would use AI technology to improve the world. The challenge is held every year and functions as a great resource for projects and startups using AI technology. It focuses on the main pillars– Environment, Health, Education and Humanitarianism. Traditionally the Nittany AI challenge takes place in person. However, due to COVID 19 all in person events were cancelled and replaced by online presentations. 

Project Cyclone qualified for the challenge under the Pillar of Environment. Our goal is to use AI technology to reduce cost & downtime in complex manufacturing machines.  In order to become a finalist of the competition we had to go through two phases. First was the “idea phase” where we submitted a proposal for how we could use AI to benefit the future of society for the use of AI technology and detail how it would benefit the future of society. The second was the “prototype phase” where we had to create a full functioning prototype of the invention to see how it would work in action. Judges and reviewers of the competition were extremely impressed by our working prototype, pushing us into the third round of the competition. The third and final round was to create a Minimal Viable Product (MVP) to send in to industry leaders. The feedback we got was valuable, and our participation in this final round made us eligible for the prize money. 

Through the challenge we were awarded $5000, which will be used to help us grow our team and continue developing our technology. The Nittany AI challenge was a major step in the right direction for us. Moving forward, we hope to continue to enhance our work on creating a more sustainable and efficient planet.