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Innovations From Dal’s IDLab

The Innovation and Design iDLab on Sexton Campus visibly teems with inspiration.

Lobster traps equipped with bait-saving technology sit by desks displaying Lego models with pneumatic mechanisms, as a spaceship like metal orb with mobile arms dangles from above. TIPpy, The Instrumented Person (read: crash-test dummy) observes it all calmly from her perch in the corner. Just another day at the iDLab.

The iDLab is an extension of the Faculty of Engineering, with collaboration from other faculties and colleges. Director Matt d’Entremont works to find and take on projects that help businesses in the Maritimes increase efficiency to become more profitable. The projects run anywhere from two weeks to two years, helping mainly small companies — but also some larger ones — fix their problems.

The key, according to d’Entremont, is what he calls “pull technology.”

“What we do isn’t about pushing; it’s not about people buying a technology that the iDLab produces,” he says. “It’s about finding out what keeps people up at night, and figuring out how to fix those problems.”