Our roundup of the latest news from metro Detroit and Michigan businesses as well as announcements from government agencies, including updates about the COVID-19 pandemic. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.
Kettering University Hosts Multiple Robotics Competitions
Hundreds of robotics students took the field last weekend at Kettering University in Flint as part of the VEX Robotics Competition (VRC) State Championship, and the FIRST Robotics District Events are on deck.
“The students that participate in robotics are an excellent fit for Kettering University,” says Kim Shumaker, robotics outreach manager at Kettering University. “The skills they learn in robotics, problem-solving, innovation, communication, teamwork, design, programming, mechanical, and electrical prepare them for success at Kettering. These students are also well-prepared to enter the co-op workforce with our employer partners.”
The events kicked off Feb. 27 in the Connie and Jim John Recreation Center with the VEX State Championship. The university has hosted various VEX competitions on campus for the past seven years, but this will be the first time it has hosted a state championship.
Seventy-eight teams were expected to participate. In the competition, named Tipping Point, teams used their robots to move rings to their respective goals as well as move neutral goals to their respective areas within a specific time period. Each round consisted of a 15-second autonomous period followed by a 1-minute, 45-second driver-controlled period. The team scoring the most points at the end of the round won.
For many K-12 schools, VEX is an affordable way to introduce students to robotics. The robots are small and can be built using simple tools. Competitions also require small spaces for teams to complete their builds. In this instance, the competition field is 12 feet by 12 feet.
VEX competitions are organized through a partnership with the nonprofit Robotics Education and Competition Foundation, an educational foundation aimed at increasing student interest and involvement in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
After the VEX competitors clear out, the university will begin setting up for the first of two FIRST Robotics District events, which will take place March 3-5 and March 10-12 in the Connie and Jim John Recreation Center. Opening ceremonies will begin at 10:30 a.m. March 4.
In FIRST Robotics competitions, teams have six weeks to design, build and prepare their industrial-sized robots to compete in a field game against robots from other teams. District events across Michigan take place over six weeks, with three to five events per week. Kettering hosts two events.
Seventy-three teams are expected to participate over both weekends in the 2022 FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) Game, RAPID REACT.
RAPID REACT is part of the 2022 season, FIRST FORWARD, which is inspired by the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal No. 9 to build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and foster innovation. To that end, FIRST FORWARD calls for students to overcome transportation challenges with forward-thinking technological innovations.
In RAPID REACT, robots start on their respective tarmacs with preloaded cargo, then deliver the loads to specific points and collect additional cargo. The robots can get assistance from players at the terminal and earn points for reaching various hanger rungs before the match ends.
Dawn Foods Opens Mexico City Innovation Studio
Dawn Foods, a Jackson-based bakery manufacturing and ingredients distribution company, has opened its Innovation Studio in Mexico City, Mexico.
The studio, which is the first of its kind in the company’s Latin America region, Dawn says is an example of its commitment to being the choice partner for bakery success.
Designed as a multi-use facility, the 3,200-square-foot Innovation Studio supports the development, testing, and optimization of Dawn ingredients, along with the equipment and infrastructure to provide training opportunities for bakery technicians. The studio showroom will double as a product demonstration location and multimedia studio to showcase Dawn’s industry-leading products, application ideas, and support customer needs.
“The Innovation Studio is a place where Dawn customers can receive hands-on training on our products and have the opportunity to work directly with our ingredients experts and research and development teams to create solutions to grow their business,” says Emilio Castillo, president of Dawn Latin America. “The demand for Dawn products is growing throughout Mexico, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean, and we are excited to introduce a state-of-the-art space where inspiration and innovation come together to benefit our customers.”
In addition to product development, Dawn experts will work with customers at the studio on local and global trends, optimizing regional flavors, category management, operational efficiencies, and emerging technology.
Similar to Dawn’s Innovation Studio at its headquarters in Jackson, the Mexico City Innovation Studio will include a dedicated kitchen, R&D lab, and collaboration space. The studio will be open to customers beginning March 7.
OneStream Software Drives Partnership with Racer Nic Hamilton
Rochester-based OneStream Software, a corporate performance management (CPM) solutions provider, has entered into a brand ambassador sponsorship with British Touring Car Championship driver Nic Hamilton.
Hamilton joins Bryson DeChambeau, Marc Leishman, Jamie Murray, Sophia Popov, and Hudson Swafford as ambassadors of the OneStream brand.
Born with spastic diplegia, a form of cerebral palsy, Hamilton was told as a child he would never walk and would spend his life reliant on a wheelchair. Through determination and grueling training, he was able to walk unaided by the age of 17 and started to realize his dream of becoming a racing driver.
In 2011, he earned a seat in the highly competitive Renault Clio Cup series, a gateway to motorsport for many future successful drivers. After a high-profile first session, Hamilton moved to the European Touring Car Cup and ultimately became the first disabled driver to compete in the British Touring Car Championship. Hamilton has secured a seat in the 2022 British Touring Car Championship as a factory Toyota driver with Toyota Gazoo Racing and Speedworks Motorsport.
“We are honored for Nic to join Team OneStream as a global brand ambassador,” says Dave Kasabian, chief marketing officer at OneStream. “Nic serves as an inspiration to lead at speed both on the racetrack and within enterprises as finance leaders unify key financial processes to drive better business performance.”
Hamilton says: “I am constantly motivated to inspire people across the world to challenge their limitations and believe that anything is possible. OneStream shares a similar ethos, and I am excited to partner with them to help global organizations conquer complexity, unleash the power of finance, and empower managers with the financial and operational insights to drive improved business performance.”
As part of the partnership, Hamilton will serve as a brand ambassador for OneStream and will wear the OneStream logo on his race suit and helmet, with OneStream branding also featured on the car during the 2022 British Touring Car Championship.
Michigan Science Center, Axalta Offer Community Free Day March 20
The Michigan Science Center (MiSci) and Axalta Coating Systems will partner to host a Community Free Day, titled “Discover Magic,” from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on March 20.
In addition to interactive exhibits and activities, Axalta will present its 2022 Global Automotive Color of the Year, Royal Magenta. The color is a dark purple hue with a mysterious appearance that parallels the enigma of magic, according to Axalta. The event also is presented in partnership with Ducks Unlimited and Six Rivers Land Conservancy.
“We’re thankful to our partners Axalta, Ducks Unlimited, and Six Rivers Land Conservancy for helping us put children and families at the center of science,” says Christian Greer, president and CEO of MiSci. “While people may not always connect the two, magic is impossible without science. With ‘Discover Magic,’ we are looking forward to an exciting day of sharing some of the secrets of color and magic.”
Some of the activities and exhibits include:
KABOOMISTRY! — a presentation that demonstrates the relationships between pressure, temperature, and fuel to explain why things explode.
Tablecloth Trick — a lesson in inertia that explains the popular magician’s trick of yanking a tablecloth from under food and dishes without disturbance.
Exploring the Universe: Filtered Light — a collaborative art project that explores light and demonstrates how scientists can use telescopes and other tools to capture and filter different energies to study the universe.
Disappearing Water — chemistry demonstration that explores polymers, state changes and gravity, and shows how the super-absorbent properties of sodium polyacrylate can make water vanish.
Math-Magicians — a lesson in using probability calculations to fool the mind and trick the senses.
“Science is the background to developing colorful coatings that bring life and beauty to the mobility sector,” says Nancy Lockhart, global product manager color at Axalta. “We are pleased to join with the Michigan Science Center to celebrate STEM and bring a little fun and magic to the community.”
In addition to the “Discover Magic” activities, guests will have access to the center’s hands-on exhibits, live demonstrations, a Smithsonian Spark!Lab, STEM Playground, and more. Tickets to the Toyota 4D Engineering Theater will be available for purchase at the box office.
Emagine Royal Oak Dedicates Screen for Open Caption Showings of ‘The Batman’
Between March 3-10, moviegoers who experience hearing impairments will be able to enjoy the “The Batman” on a dedicated open caption screen at Emagine Royal Oak.
Additional Emagine theaters will show the film with open captions on March 13 and March 16. They are:
- Emagine Hartland
- Emagine Novi
- Emagine Rochester Hills
- Emagine Royal Oak
- Quality 10 Powered by Emagine
- Emagine Woodhaven
For more information, visit here.