Third Robotics Exhibition at Information Technology University

Third Robotics Exhibition at Information Technology University
April 22, 2016

Information Technology University (ITU) hosted its 3rd Robotics Exhibition on January 30, during which its undergraduate students were given the opportunity to display 25 robots that were designed to solve locally relevant problems in Pakistan.

The expo consisted of three sessions. The first session consisted of a Robotic Catwalk, where the robots walked down the ramp and displayed their skills. In the second session, students gave detailed technical presentations on their projects and this was followed by a brief question and answer session. The third session was the highlight of the exhibition, where 25 robots were showcased to the faculty from ITU and other institutions, general audience, and the panel of judges. Apart from displaying their robotic prototypes, students also gave presentations, web pages, technical posters and technical reports.

The remarkable aspect of this exhibition was that all the innovative robotic projects were made by undergraduate students in merely 14 weeks, after having taken a solitary introductory electronics course. This was a commendable effort for a semester project when such endeavors are normally expected from students in their senior year projects.

The theme of the exhibition was Robotics for Humanity. Some of the community-based projects displayed in the 3rd Robotic expo included a thermoelectric generator, a robot that can mimic human emotions, a plough bot that can help farmers plough their fields autonomously and a smart vehicle that can detect a gas leakage, hazardous gas, obstacles in its path as well as the temperature of the environment.

The standout robotic prototypes of the evening were the Levitator and Beena. The Levitator is a hoverboard that can fly, break the glass in a building that is on fire, and drop life-saving equipment such as oxygen masks and fire extinguishers to the people trapped inside. Beena is an electronic eye robot that can detect motion and help blind people learn more about their surroundings. This robot was built by a 10-year-old programming prodigy, Muhammad Raza, who is currently working as Talha Rehmani’s Research Assistant at Information Technology University. Muhammad wrote around one thousand lines in C++ to turn this project into reality. Talha Rehmani, head of the robotics program at ITU remarked, “This was a very humble and enlightening experience. These robots are very well-designed and the fact that these robots were built by sophomore students, immeasurably enhances your trust in the youth of Pakistan.”

Dr. Umar Saif, Vice Chancellor of Information Technology University said, “ITU is setting revolutionary trends in academia and research. It is amazing to see that our undergraduate students of third semester are designing and building amazing robotic prototypes to address locally relevant problems of Pakistan. The objective of this creative event is to help materialize students what they are studying, developing a culture of innovation and practical approach, and creating a sense of competition with ourselves.”

The chief guest of the event was Rita Akhtar, Executive Director of the United States Educational Foundation in Pakistan. Dr. Sabieh Anwar, Chairperson of the Department of Physics at the Lahore University of Management Sciences, was the guest of honor.