ITU Hosts 4th Robotics Exhibition

ITU Hosts 4th Robotics Exhibition
June 13, 2016

Information Technology University hosted its 4th Robotics Exhibition at the iconic Arfa Software Technology Park. The exhibition titled Machines of the Future: Robots showcased 15 robots that were designed and constructed by ITU students after taking Talha Rehmani’s Electronic Circuit Design class.

Robots are playing a pivotal role in revolutionizing the 21st century and are being used in almost every industry in the world, ranging from auto manufacturing to textiles. The objective of the 4th Robotics Exhibition was to help ITU students apply their classroom takeaways and develop a culture of innovation and practical approach. Under the supervision of course instructor Talha Rehmani, ITU students were able to show demos of their robots and make websites, technical reports and write-ups. The focal point of the event was the project of 11-year-old programming prodigy, Muhammad Raza, who has designed and implemented a vision based system that can identify and match the facial features of people by using computer vision techniques.

During the exhibition, ITU students showcased various robots that may be useful in solving locally relevant problems in Pakistan. A team of students at ITU have built a low-cost portable ventilator to address the chronic shortage of automatic ventilators in public hospitals. The ventilator only costs Rs. 10,000 which is a tenth of the average cost of an imported ventilator. The low-cost ventilator has an adult mode as well as an infant mode and is both electric and battery powered. This device will no doubt help save many lives in Pakistan.

Another invention showcased by the students of the Electronic Devices and Circuits class was Octosynth. Octosynth uses frequencies and capacitive touch technology to generate sound. The purpose behind using fruits and human connection to complete the circuit is to create a learning mechanism for children with learning disabilities. Early testing of Octosynth has shown tremendous reception from educators and children with special needs.

A team of students working alongside Talha Rehmani are also in the testing phase of “Bazooka”, a drone that is designed to break reinforced tempered glass and deliver life-saving equipment. The application of this technology can greatly increase the survival rate of people trapped in high rise buildings due to fires or natural disasters and deliver urgent help while rescuers work to reach them.

Other robotic inventions included a low-cost infusion pump that administers drugs at a lower rate than 0.1 ml per hour and a light meter that tracks a household’s energy consumption and relays this information through the Internet to its user in real time. Each robotic invention was assessed by a panel of esteemed judges according to its innovation and/or navigational consistency. Talha Rhamni said, “Robotics is poised to become a 70-billion-dollar industry by 2025. Our goal is to lead Pakistan in the global revolution of robotics. This is a very humbling experience to see our undergraduate students prosper and pushing through these challenges.”

The Robotics Exhibition was presided by Dr. Umar Saif, Vice Chancellor of ITU and Chairman of PITB, and the Chief Guest of the exhibition was Dr. Nizamuddin. Dr. Saif said, “Robots are revolutionizing the 21st century much like the computers revolutionized the 20th century. We can find them everywhere in the society and they play an important role in our daily lives.” He further added, “Unfortunately Pakistan is seriously lagging behind in this technological run, but not anymore since the undergraduate students of ITU are changing this scenario.”

Dr. Nizamuddin, Chairman of the Punjab Higher Education Commission (PHEC), also spoke at the event and praised ITU students for their outstanding efforts in robotics. He shared with the audience that PHEC has started funding for research projects and innovations focusing on local relevant issues. “Applied research is needed in developing countries like Pakistan,” he added.

The honorary guests included the cricketer, Mohammad Irfan, as well as leading journalists and CEOs from various companies. The event was widely attended by the faculty of many prestigious universities including LUMS, NUST and FAST.