OTTAWA -- We’ve heard so much about the future of self-driving cars, but what about a robot to do chores around the home?

A group of Algonquin College students have designed a self-driving robot to de-ice a driveway or fertilize your lawn.

While there may already be robots that will vacuum your home, the prototype made by Khrush Rahman and other members of his team, called "LYNX De-icing," use Lidar; the same type of technology that guides self-driving cars.

"We designed an autonomous robot that has a tank on it that can store anything that you want; like it can store water, fertilizer or de-icing solution," say Rahman.

He says that technology can be used to clear a driveway of ice or spray fertilizer on a lawn.

"It would start and finish the work automatically.”

It’s one of 75 entries in the second virtual Algonquin College student-designed project showcase, called, "Virtual RE/ACTION Showcase, April 2021."

"Imagine, a bunch of students working out-of-house, R&D research and development as an extension of things companies are working on, and community partners," says Matthew Jerabek, Marketing & Communications and Associate Manager with the Algonquin College office of Applied Research, Innovation & Entrepreneurship.

Students are from various programs and combine their knowledge to create technology; partnering with industry, institutional and not-for-profit groups, giving them a hand with high tech, while learning their craft,

"We invited all them to present their work in a virtual showcase," says Jerabek.

Entries include Robotic Sanitizers, software to analyze trends in Ottawa homicides and an app which helps paramedics store and share patient info with health care providers.

Friday, five finalists were given the opportunity to present during an hour-long virtual "Applied Science Showcase Event," streamed live over Zoom.

The winner was "Ottawa Grassroots Festival App." It’s an app to help users discover events featuring local artists and workshops at the festival; one of many submissions partnering with local groups.

"Essentially increase their customer engagement; to encourage people to come to their festival, especially on zoom now," says Alex Carmichael, team lead for the app.

The festival runs virtually April 23-25, and show producer Allison Bowie says the app will help to connect show goers.

"It helps a lot; it makes it more accessible, a lot of people don’t necessarily go online anymore, a lot of people have everything they need right in the palm of their hand — it’s really helping to get the word out there about our festival," said Bowie.

She watched the event live.

"I was so thrilled when I found out that Ottawa Grassroots Festival team had won!"

As for the future of home chores, "We do hope we can make the design more compact and marketable," says Rahman, perhaps one day being available for home use.

To see the projects, visit