POLK COUNTY, Fla. -- The world may not be ready for the first 'smart toaster,' but four students from Florida Polytechnic University in Lakeland created a prototype that could be the greatest advance in the baking arts since, well, sliced bread.
The toaster was the brainchild of Frank Calas, of Wellington, Jessie Pullaro, of Plant City, Max Farrell, of Clearwater and Kyle Spomer, of Orlando, and submitted to the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University's Hackriddle competition, held in Daytona Beach on October 16.
"What we tried to do is take the guesswork out of making your breakfast," Spomer said.
The contestants were given 24 hours to create a project from scratch. Their idea: create the perfect toast using a photo-based reference from a camera placed above the toaster. The camera captured an image of the toast and compared to a crowd-sourced photo of the perfect toasted bread.
"The moment between perfect toast and not perfect toast is a very short time," Pullaro said.
When the toast reached the optimal level, the computer-assisted machine popped it up.
These future engineers were able to create the best, non-burnt toast, through much trial-and-error over the timeframe given to complete the project. Their entry was creative enough to snag third place in the competition.
"You can learn the same concepts and same skills as you would on something larger and much more expensive that it would actually matter if something went wrong," Pullaro said. "If we burn some toast, we just set the fire alarm off, no big deal."
While the team's invention did not solve a major world crisis and was more along the lines of dealing with #FirstWorldProblems, we at 10News are wondering what problem you would solve in 24 hours if you had the team and the materials.
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