TAMPA, Fla. — The robot's name is Alexei Orlov.
Or, depending on who you ask, Dmitri Linda.
Identity crisis aside, this autonomous robot knows exactly what its job is: to help senior citizens prepare for the upcoming hurricane season.
Created by an all-female team of engineers at Tampa's Academy of the Holy Names high school, the robot is designed to self-navigate senior living communities to help residents order essential hurricane supplies.
"Since we live in Florida, we thought this was the perfect time to address the hurricane season and how it effects our elderly communities," says Clare Grammig, one of the six young women involved in the project.
The robot goes door-to-door using a VEX line tracker and sensors that help steer the technology. Residents can then use an ATM-like keypad to order hurricane supplies ranging from food to water to medicine, all consolidated in one order.
The remarkable young women created the technology. The only thing truly missing now is a third-party company a la Shipt to deliver the goods.
Using all parts compassion and ingenuity, the robot was built and programmed in the academy's Engineering and Technology Integrations class, as part of Florida Atlantic University's Transportation STEM Initiative project.
Fifteen high schools began the project in the fall.
Only the Holy Names team completed the project with a working solution.
No matter what happens in the future, school principal Stephanie Nitchals says, "These women aren't just programming, they're programming robots to help do something good for the world, and that's powerful to me."