Second Robotics Expo
Information Technology University hosted its second Robotics Exhibition at 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 a single Electronics course. Among the projects displayed in the exhibition were Robotic Gas Detector, Fire Extinguisher Robot, Robotic Stick for Carbon Emission Control, Bomb Disposal Robot, Demining Robot and GeekBot Bipedal Robot with static balancing and autonomous motion.
Robots are now playing a pivotal role in revolutionizing the 21st century and are being used in many industries ranging from auto manufacturing to healthcare. The undergraduate students of ITU are focusing on bringing Pakistan forward in this dynamic field. The objective of this exhibition was to help students apply their classroom takeaways and develop a culture of high-tech innovation and practical research. 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 event also showcased the project of 9-year old child prodigy, Muhammad Raza, who displayed his Color Sensing and Beacon Following Robot.
During the exhibition, ITU students showcased various robots that may be useful in solving locally relevant problems in Pakistan. A team of students showcased their Robotic Stick for Carbon Emission Control to control Carbon Monoxide emissions. A main source of Carbon Monoxide is by vehicular emission. According to the National Conservation Strategy Report, 25 tonnes of Carbon Monoxide is released from vehicles in Pakistan, so ITU students built this robotic stick to address this prevalent problem. The sensor has to be held near the vehicle silencer for 2.5 minutes and then it gives out the result in volts.
Another invention showcased by the students of the Electronic Devices and Circuits class was GeekBot. GeekBot is a statically balancing biped robot. It can walk autonomously, avoid obstacles, and statically balance itself ensuring it does not fall. The team who built this robot found that synchronizing both legs of the robots presented a challenge but they were able to overcome this difficulty. Students also used this occasion to address the global issue of landmine removal. A group of students built Demining Robot which has the capacity to respond when it senses a metallic object in its path. It can detect an object if it’s up to 40 cm away from the detector, and it buzzes and flashes a red beam as a warning if it detects a metal of substantial size in its path.
Each robotic invention was assessed by a panel of judges according to its innovation and/or navigational consistency. The panel of esteemed judges awarded first place to the makers of GeekBot, with second place going to the team who built Object Identifier and Collector Robot. Third place was awarded to the team who built the Robotic Stick for Carbon Emission Control.
The chief guest of the exhibition, Prof. Dr. B.S. Chowdhry, renowned scientist and ICT expert, spoke at the event and praised ITU students for their outstanding efforts in robotics. The honorary guests also included Prof. Dr. Arshad Ali, Principal of the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at NUST. The event was widely attended by the faculty and rectors of many prestigious universities including NUST, LUMS and FAST.