Robotics group in it to win it
A six-member team from the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, have programmed their minds to emerge victorious at the 2017 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Region 3 SoutheastCon Hardware (Robotics) competition to be staged from March 30 to April 2, 2017, in Charlotte, North Carolina.
"Currently, we're still in the prototyping phase, but with the current team spirit, vigour, and sleepless nights we've put in, I believe we can win this competition. We were gunning for first place last year but had a battery failure and ended up in third," 21-year-old team member and electronics engineering student Anthony Bryan told The Gleaner.
SoutheastCon is a premier IEEE conference featuring nearly 500 students from nearly 50 universities competing in hardware (robotics), software, paper presentations, website design, and T-shirt design competitions.
The UWI robotics team, which comprises one physics major and five second-year electronics engineering students, has one of the most vibrant and frequented exhibitions at the Research Village erected for UWI Research Days.
Actions displayed at the booth by the two completely autonomous robots, dubbed Saber and Mecanum, are determined by computer programming written by the members, using programming language Arduino C.
Some of the more commonly used codes include navigation coding, which tells the robots how slow or how fast to move, whether to turn left or right, and what degree of turn.
Another code utilised by the unit allows the robot to align itself with the walls of any particular course.
On the topic of support, the team voiced its appreciation for the encouragement from the school populous, staff, and external sponsors.
"We get a lot of support all-round. The school has provided some funding, and based on the fact that we came third last year, we have secured additional sponsorship from RMP and Lenova," Bryan stated.