SAIT provides support for distracted walkers

Robots on campus help students and staff increase productivity between classes

Calgary, AB (April 1, 2015) — SAIT Polytechnic has taken steps to ensure students and staff can safely navigate around campus without looking up from their cell phones and other devices.

The Walk-a-Bot program began as a pilot project last month with six robots available to rent by anyone with a SAIT student or employee number.

Built and programmed by SAIT’s School of Manufacturing and Automation, Walk-a-Bots offer a standing platform for riders engrossed in digital demands. GPS and smart sensors help the robot maneuver through crowds and doorways, around corners, and away from hazards.


The feedback from SAIT staff and students has been excellent.

The program was spearheaded by SAIT’s Health, Safety and Environment department — an area devoted to improving and maintaining safety and comfort on campus.

Kevin Barrett, HSE Manager, says while there have been no reported injuries caused by distracted walking at SAIT, the potential is there as long as people refuse to look up from their phones.

“Some people will walk across the entire campus with their head down,” says Barrett. “We’ve given these people a way to surf the web or read emails on-the-go, without putting other pedestrians at risk of a collision.”

If there’s a demand, even more Walk-a-Bots will be added to SAIT’s roster of campus escorts before the fall semester commences.


About SAIT Polytechnic

SAIT Polytechnic is one of Canada’s most exciting destinations for post-secondary education, offering more than 100 career programs and over 1,400 part-time courses (including online and distance) that position people for success in technology, trades and business. A leader in innovation, SAIT also collaborates with industry on applied research and delivers corporate training worldwide. SAIT has been recognized as being one of Alberta’s Top Employers, one of the top five research colleges in Canada and the Best Alberta Workplace for Training and Development.


For additional information, please contact:

Melanie Simmons

Public Relations Specialist

SAIT Polytechnic

Direct: 403.284.8473



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