Harnessing Students’ Innovation in Robotics Engineering

Team Robosapien put their robot to the test during the competition held at IPIC,JKUAT

The university has introduced robotics engineering training to harness student creativity and boost innovative outputs in design and coding among students. The training programme leads to a robotics innovation contest; Robotics Dojo Competition where the best talents are recognized and honoured.

The pioneer training under the initiative spearheaded by the Africa-ai-Japan project, saw the trainees drawn from JKUAT and Pan African University Institute for Basic Sciences, Technology and Innovation (PAUSTI), were recognized for their innovativeness on Wednesday, November 16, 2022.

Team Optimus Prime beat competition from eleven other groups to emerge winners of the Robotics Dojo Competition 2022 having assembled a robot that completed the most tasks.

Prof. Kwanza reads the Vice Chancellor’s speech

Speaking during the awarding ceremony, Vice Chancellor, Prof. Victoria Wambui Ngumi, said the initiative is in line with the University’s Vision of Global Excellence in Training, Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship for Development.

 In a speech read on her behalf by the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Research, Production and Extensions, Prof. Jackson Kwanza, the Vice Chancellor underscored the significance of the initiative to the University’s research bid.

 “I cannot over-emphasize the impact of such an initiative to both the University and the country as a whole. With rapid advancement in technology, Robotics Dojo and other similar initiatives are JKUAT’s response to the need to keep pace with the ever-dynamic innovations ecosystem in the continent and the world at large,” said Prof. Ngumi

She added that Robotics Dojo lays the foundation for ground-breaking technologies and improved products from the University.

The Africa-ai-Japan Project Advisor, Prof. Hiroshi Koaze, applauded the participants saying they had shown resilience and great determination to succeed in their projects.

Prof. Koaze makes his remarks

Prof. Koaze urged the students to continue innovating. He advised them that curiosity is the key to success in the technology and pledged to continue supporting the initiative, further stating that the training outputs could aid the development of the robotics industry in Kenya.

Faith Hunja, a JKUAT 5th Year student pursuing Bachelor’s Degree in Mechatronics Engineering, a member of the winning team, was jubilant of their achievement.

She said that participating in the competition was an eye-opening experience and working on their project as a team provided a platform for sharing knowledge and experiences.

Faith revealed that she plans to use the acquired knowledge to help mentor other students who are planning to join the training while making further improvements on their robot.

The training content included robot design and fabrication, embedded Linux, robotic manipulator, drone, control theory, and 3D printing.

Team Optimus Prime pose with their awards

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