Milwaukee, Wis., Apr 23, 2022 / 06:00 am
After a lengthy process, former St. Peter Middle School students secured a patent for their 2016 school project, “The Friendchip.” The product, created by the school’s “Brickbusters” robotics team, is a microchip programmed to assist pets in communicating with their owners.
The idea for the project developed in August 2016 when students brainstormed ideas to develop an invention that would help animals and people for the First Lego League Animal Allies Challenge of the year.
Team members included Hannah Schulgen, Avonna Niegelsen, Sarah Scanlan, Olivia Sween, (veteran members) Lucy Schrieber, Mary Schieber, Brietta Coen and Aidan Coen.
While developing their idea, the students participated in extensive community volunteer work and met three times a week to develop the microchip. They traveled to Marquette University to meet with biomedical engineering students to learn how to research and visited MSOE to learn about soldering circuit boards. They visited an animal sanctuary to study animals and prosthetics, and Lakeland Animal Shelter about the veterinary needs of the animals in the shelter. They also interviewed Dr. Bob Korman, Milwaukee County Zoo veterinarian, to understand the challenges of working with larger animals and toured Lake Geneva Animal Hospital to learn about small animal needs and challenges.