Poop has been a persistent problem in the most recent two FIRST® LEGO® League seasons, inspiring teams worldwide to tackle the stinky subject. But one talented team has been working like a dog to make their pet-centered plan a reality.

Trurobotics 3496, an Innovation Ambassador team from Nova Scotia, Canada,developed Aerobically Decomposing Plastic (ADP) doggy bags during the 2015/2016 TRASH TREKSM season. Their invention allows people to dispose of natural waste, such as pet feces, in compost bins as opposed to the trash.

The team has continued to develop their invention since becoming Innovation Ambassadors and Global Innovation Award Semi-Finalists. They even started their own company in December 2016 – ADAPT Research Inc. The team holds weekly production and staff meetings for their business, and they also participate in their local library’s Entrepreneurial Club, where they learn the ins and outs of business planning and more.

As time progresses, the team has been taking on additional responsibilities within their business – they hold their own business meetings, and they’re currently writing their own business plan using process mapping. Process mapping allows them to outline every step in the production process, along with the amount of time each step takes. The time is then assigned a dollar value, which is essential for when the team applies for funding.

Running a business is time-consuming, but the team manages it well by setting realistic expectations. They set goals and accomplish tasks for their business, while also going to school, working, and participating in activities with family and friends.

A goal they recently accomplished? Refining their invention by programming a LEGO® MINDSTORMS® EV3 to help stir the plastic used for the bags!

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The team uses a LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 to stir the plastic material!

The team continues to participate in FIRST LEGO League, and they were awarded the Core Values Teamwork Award at the FIRST LEGO League Nova Scotia Provincial competition this past 2016/2017 ANIMAL ALLIESSM season!

The Trurobotics have certainly been staying busy working on their business, invention, and FIRST LEGO League, but they never forget this Core Value:

We have fun!

Their Lead Coach, Milo, says the team is having fun and looking forward to the future.

We’re looking forward to seeing Team Trurobotics’ future accomplishments, and we’re also excited to see the next class of Innovation Ambassadors at the 2017 Global Innovation Award in Washington, D.C., USA! Click here for more information about this year’s Global Innovation Award, along with updates from our Innovation Ambassadors.

The Trurobotics have some advice they’d like to share with other teams – we think they also apply to any team embarking on a large project!

  • Be dedicated to your Project
  • Have patience – you’re in this for the long term
  • Anything can be a learning experience!
  • Get a big roll of brown paper and take it to your meetings – it’s a great way to record thoughts and work on ideas at the same time as a group
  • Don’t lose your motivation!  Believe in your idea!  Find your passion!
  • Having a support system is important – family, friends, community, new contacts that you have formed relationships with. 
  • Organize your priorities and set goals! 

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