There are many initiatives for robotics in South Africa
Robotics Association of South Africa
*Robotics SA: Run by Andre Hoffman and Mike Barker
*RobMech: the robotics/mechatronics symposium where a couple of universities are participating – mainly concetrating on high level research in robotics and automation
*Autonomous Robotics Competition : currently being managed by CSIR and has also been run in conjunction with RobMech
*The Siemens Junkyard Competition: where Universities are again involved – here students get certain equipment and need to design specific machines. Most of the equipment is supplied by Siemens and Festo.
FIRST South Africa
*FIRST Lego League: This is currently being managed by +Johannes De Vries from TUT (Tswane University of Technology) and this year they are also launching Junior FLL for children of ages 6 to 9 years old. Update: It came to my attention that FIRST Lego League was introduced in South Africa by Pieter and Zelda Pretorius (Founders of Trophy Computers and Robotics).
Hands on Tech
*National Robotics Olympiad: This being run by TUT’s mechatronics department and is supported by LEGO – see HandsOnTech for more information
This info was received with gratitude from Johannes De Vries. The main stumbling block we have right now is that there is not enough funding available for robotics development and it would be great to get the government more involved in this as a possible sponsor for these projects and competitions and student development in the field
Update: Found another contributor to Robotics in South Africa – I-SET.
I-SET is short for “Inspired toward Science Engineering and Technology” and it is a flagship initiative of UNISA and they engage young people to spark interest in STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) through robotics. Also find them on Facebook and on Twitter
Another competition I came across is RoboRace South Africa. In this competition, participants start off with normal remote control cars and sets out to make it follow a track laid out on the floor with a line in the shortest possible time. It’s as simple as that…or is it?
RobotScience is an exciting organisation which have been featured in another blog post. Click here to read that post. They teach electronics, robotics and renewable energy to beginners and to more seasoned professionals. There are 100’s of pages of instructions and tutorial videos.
This is a growing post and if you know of any information I have left out, please let me know…
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