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The University of Technology, Jamaica (UTech) Robotics team was featured on Power 106’s Independent Talk, discussing the IEEE 2012 Robotics Competition in Orlando Florida, U.S.A. The annual event slated for March 15, 2012 is one of the biggest showcase, featuring over 50 engineering universities in Southeast America. Jamaica is the only non-American nation in the competitions and the UTech 2012 team is destined to place the island on the map in the evolving field of Robotics and Technology.
Monday’s interview with host Althea McKenzie organized by producer Oroya Eubanks was one of the most very comprehensive and painted the perfect picture to Jamaica and international listeners what the 2012 Competitions in Orlando Florida is all about. The team representatives in studio were Team adviser: Dr. Dave Muir, Team member: Chantelle Grant, and Robotics Team leader: Kimroy Bailey. They were engaged in an intriguing discussion and spoke about the role of each of the 16 participants and the six engineering competitions: website design, T-shirt design, ethics paper, technical paper, software and ROBOTICS.
|UTech Team members to participate in all six competition|
The host took the opportunity to ask some really intriguing questions: the nature of the competition, what is the robot built to do and how applicable is the device to Jamaica and Jamaica’s every day Problems.
The 2012 Robot will be given 4 minutes to navigate around a course and stop at four checkpoints and measure voltage, capacitance, wave form and temperature. All test, navigation, object detection and maneuvers should be completely autonomous – thats is, NO ONE can control the robot; no remote, no wireless connection NOTHING. The robot has to be intelegent enough to go around the course, find the check points, take measurements and report values without any external aid. 100 points will be given for leaving the start area, 20 points will be granted for every correct answer, 20 will be taken off for every incorrect answer and 20 points for every lap completed. The team with the fastest robot, makes the fastest decisions and complete the most laps after all 3 rounds wins the competition. and considering 50+ universities, 3 rounds will take at least 8 hours of intense action.
|Power 106 interview with host Althea McKenzie|
How applicable is all this to Jamaica and our everyday problems. Consider your attic or that space between the roof and the ceiling; very small area, right? This is where most electrical connections are done, the light, the switch, the ceiling fan, the AC units, on and on. What if something should go wrong, a bad connection, a burned wire, a leaking AC unit. There is no electrician in the neighborhood, daddy is at work (if he even knows what to do) and you are clueless. Modification of this robot would enable it to be placed in this confine space, navigate in the dark to the fault, measure the voltage, temperature, capacitance and gather the relevant information store these information and then make the necessary decision.
|Wind turbine (blades removed) designed such that each blade can be controlled independently in a tropical storm to maintain production|
Another area of interest and a great avenue to highlight how applicable the competitions are to Jamaica and Jamaica’s problems is a my renewable energy research on wind turbines in Jamaica. Jamaica and the Caribbean is exposed to an average of 14 tropical storms annually and in 2011 the region had total of 19 tropical storms. These wind stores numerous kinetic energy and the research presents an innovative way of controlling the turbine to harness that energy. I also built a wind turbine to demonstrate the theory and undertake the necessary test and record results in the university’s laboratory for the ‘Technical paper competition.
Its great to say the UTech robot is up, running and ready for the March 15 engagement. This is considered a prestigious opportunity to add to Jamaica’s list of famous accomplishments; the Bolt, the Bob, the Island in the Sun, the winner of the 2012 IEEE SoutheastCon Robotics, technical paper, ethics paper,software, website and T-Shirt design Competitions.
|Members of the UTech Robotics Team|
Like we did on Hot 102 and again on Power 106, I’ll conclude with an appeal to anyone interested in the project, to donate to the robotics team and help to make the 2012 Conference a successful one. In the same breath thanks to all who have supported the cause thus far, for believing in us and contributed to our over $1.3 million budget. We impatiently look forward to the 2012 Conference, to showcase the ‘Out of Many One’ness to the world.