'We figured out a way to make it work': St. Clair College to host robotic fashion show
WINDSOR, ONT. -- Fearing design students wouldn’t be able to showcase their work for a second year, two St. Clair College professors teamed up to put together an event with a futuristic twist.
Restrictions don’t allow for real models, so fashion design program coordinator Elaine Chatwood had to get creative.
“The students, this is how they get jobs,” she says. “This goes into their portfolios.”
Several ideas were considered including a conveyor belt or zip lines, but they didn’t meet the mark.
Then Chatwood landed on the idea to have a mannequin on an autonomous guided vehicle.
“In the industry we call a dress form a Judy. The name of the robot is a Boxer so we called it Judyboxer,” she says.
Chatwood teamed up with St. Clair College’s robotics coordinator Al Douglas.
“We figured out a way to make it work,” he says.
Douglas says he has never modelled, but was quick to figure out how to guide Judyboxer down the runway with his PlayStation controller.
“I’m basically controlling it like it’s a robot car for today, but normally it would be capable of being programmed to do all these motions autonomously on its own.
Costume changes are required as 18 mannequins will be modelling more than 60 outfits, including 13 from the 2020 class and all will be judged.
The first place winner will receive a $1,000 scholarship from Telio Fabrics in Montreal, and because fashion from the 2020 class was included in the show, the St. Clair Alumni Association has stepped up and will give away $1,000 to the winner of that group.
The show runs on the St. Clair College website June 25.