Droning.. On! Lakehead University helps design The Amazing Race Canada challenge
'We immediately said yes' to request from TV program to help design drone challenge, Thunder Bay prof says
A professor at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay said he was "pretty excited" to help design a challenge for the popular television program, The Amazing Race Canada.
"The Amazing Race caught on that we do a lot of remote sensing," said Ulf Runesson, the dean of the Faculty of Natural Resources Management at the northwestern Ontario university. "They got wind that we do a lot of drone work, both internal and external, so they contacted us about doing something unique with the drones," and "we immediately said yes."
Runesson said the producers were very supportive and "there was a lot of back and forth to come up with an exercise that would make sense, that we could pull off and would be of reasonable difficulty."
'How the heck am I going to keep this secret now?'
He can't give away too much information about the activity he created until the episode is broadcast, but Runesson acknowledged "some of the challenges for The Amazing Race involve one of the two partners sitting back and watching the other one make a mess of themselves, or solving it really well, but the challenge here was to make sure there was a high level of communication between the two participants for each team" as they figure out how to operate a remote-controlled device.
Runesson is "proud" of the segment, and the exposure it will give the university's drone-training program.
"This really shows what Lakehead is all about. It's not just in a classroom, academics. It's community outreach. We train gold mining companies, First Nations, the MNRF [Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry], MOE [Ministry of the Environment] and individuals, but here's a chance to have some fun with it and of course we were sort of wondering 'how the heck am I going to keep this secret now?'"
Lakehead University and Wacky Wings are hosting a viewing party at the Thunder Bay restaurant Tuesday August 27, from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.