A new mission for Robbie, the friendly robot

Benjamin Vachet
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Power to the Purple Challenge

Having made a name for himself over Halloween, Robbie, the friendly robot, is back in action and taking on the Power to Purple Challenge in the hopes to Do it for Daron.

Robbie, the friendly robot, wants to Do it for Daron. (Photo: Provided)

Behind his square face hides a well-known person in the community. The robot's traits are none other than those of Luc Guertin, the east end resident responsible for building the 15 foot high snowman, Waldo.

In 2008, the Orléans resident became well known, making headlines in The Globe and Mail, the Ottawa Sun and The New York Times by erecting a wall of snow nearly 18 feet high in front of his and his neighbours homes. Last year, in addition to his huge snowman he built an igloo in which he slept for nine nights. This year, he has already created a wall of snow, though smaller given the weather, and he plans to create another, larger igloo to accommodate a double bed.

But, Toulouse Crescent resident is not only an artist with snow, he has also become an imaginative creator, whatever the season.

"Some even think that I'm crazy!" he laughs.

He possesses a brain full of ideas and a sincere desire to share them with everyone. After watching the All-Star game unfold in Ottawa, last weekend, Robbie the robot is preparing for new adventures.

"I created it in 2008. The kids love it and think it's a real robot. This year, I've concocted ice skates. I want to take him on the Rideau Canal to raise money for the Power to the Purple Challenge. It has a purple cape and a bracelet, and a button that will be marked 'Reset'. I think sometimes we should think about pressing that button in life. When we make mistakes, when the day begins badly, we can all do it. "

The Power to the Purple Challenge is an initiative to raise money for the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre, who focuses on researching youth mental health, for educational purposes and suicide prevention.

The initiative was created following the suicide of Daron Richardson, 14, who was the daughter of the ex-hockey player and Senators assistant coach, Luke Richardsson.

"A friend of mine took his life, so this is something that touches me deeply," says Guertin.

Last Tuesday, students were encouraged to wear purple in schools, but the challenge continues throughout the month of February.

If weather conditions do not give Waldo a brother for now, its founder is not short of ideas.

(Translated by Catherine Kitts)

Organizations: Globe and Mail, New York Times

Geographic location: Ottawa, Orléans

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