The Robotics and Agents Research laboratory in the Department of Mechanical Engineering was abuzz this week with Grade 9 high-school learners attending a robotics workshop, teaching them about technology and how to build and programme robots.
The laboratory has been collaborating with Aachen University and Graz University of Technology in Austria to participate in the international RoboCup competition. This year, for the first time, they will be working with high school learners for the international RoboCup Junior competition which takes place in Singapore in July.
Gerald Steinbauer of the Graz University of Technology facilitated the workshop with help from Alexander Ferrein, a postdoctoral researcher from Aachen University, Dr Anet Potgieter, Stephen Marais, and postgraduate students of the Robotics and Agents Research lab.
The learners were selected from Westerford, St George's Grammar, Rhodes, Uxolo, Luhluza, and Bulumko high schools. For five afternoons different teams attended the workshops getting hands-on experience in developing and programming robots.
Imagine the excitement when they saw their robots move in the right direction according to their programme commands.
The teams from each school will now compete in a competition where they build a robot and give a technical presentation. The winning team will go to Singapore in July to compete in the international RoboCup Junior competition.
This is the first time the workshop has been held and one of the aims is to attract female learners into the science field.
Potgieter said: "We are delighted at the turnout of female students. Next year it will be bigger!"
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