– as team STEM Guyana unveils robot for Global Robot Olympics
By Feona Morrison
Guyana’s first robot exhibition got off to a fantastic start yesterday at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall.
Despite the inclement weather, scores, predominantly youths, flocked the venue where more than 20 booths from various Science, Technology, Mathematics and Engineering (STEM) clubs from across Guyana were on display.
Present at the event were First Lady, Sandra Granger; co-founder of STEM Guyana Karen Abrams; and Ricky Chan, coach of Team STEM Guyana who will be representing the country at the inaugural Global Robot Olympics slated for next month in Washington, District of Colombia (DC), USA.
During her address, the First Lady reminded that children who are exposed to robotics realize how enjoyable and interesting it is. She said that children are learning that robots and drones will be used in every area of their lives such as drainage and irrigation, agriculture and medicine.
Mrs. Granger expressed delight at the turn out at the event. She also extended gratitude to the private and public sector for their contributions towards making the event possible.
Abrams stated that a robot building and programming exhibition that was held for children in Guyana last year has left them with a greater knowledge.
“We left those kids with several clubs in schools. Those people created clubs in their own villages and they are here to exhibit. Our goal is to unleash the world class potential of Guyanese youths.”
According to STEM Guyana’s co-founder, students around the world are working with these technologies and Guyana should be no different.
She revealed that apart from the First Lady, the Diaspora was also instrumental in the formation of STEM Guyana.
Group members from several of the booths on display engaged persons in interactive discussions and demonstration of their projects.
Aftab Rahaman, a student of the Bishops’ High School explained that he and his team members took less than two weeks to prepare their two robots for the exhibition.
He explained that the robots are controlled by smartphones.
One of the robots, he added, can be used in the agricultural sector to aid in the transportation of materials. The other robot was a replica of the first passenger plane which was made in Italy.
A team of students from President’s College built and programmed a robot that could be used for lifting heavy objects and other items that would be impossible for a human to pick up.
Dianand Jailall, one of the team members, said that it took them two hours to build the robot and another 15 minutes for programming. Their robot was also controlled by a smartphone.
A team from STARR Computers had on display the world’s smallest computer stick. It was explained that the device converts any television or monitor into a functional computer.
It is similar to a flash drive since it has the capacity to store information. But this device connects to the internet via Wi-Fi, and also has a microSD slot for additional storage.
There was also a DJI phantom advanced drone which was flown to much amusement of spectators.
Since the world is gravitating towards renewable energy, representatives from Farfan and Mendes Limited educated spectators on the use of a solar panel. There was a set-up which demonstrated how the lone solar panel supplied energy to a battery to power an incandescent bulb.
There were also booths from the Ministry of Education, NT Computec, Gizmos and Gadgets among others.
Competition robot unveil
The members of Team STEM Guyana who will be representing Guyana at the first Robot Olympics next month in Washington D.C USA unveiled their robot to the public during the exhibition.
The team is tasked to design a robot that is capable of harvesting balls and distributing water into a reservoir and the contaminants into a laboratory for testing.
The robot was definitely the centre of attraction as curious persons flocked the auditorium to view a demonstration of how it works.
The team members- Farnaz Baksh, team manager; Vevekeanand Ramnarace; Arrianna Mahase; Sahief Poese; Anthony Frank; Christopher Nelson; Horace Moseley and Ryan Benschop are still working on perfecting their robot for the international competition which will see participants from 150 other countries.
The team which comprises youths aged 15-19 from the University of Guyana (UG), Kuru Kuru training College, School of the Nations, among other institutions, has been described as smart and dedicated by their coach Ricky Chan.
Chan, a Computer Science Engineering graduate, told Kaieteur News that it was a challenging task coaching the youngsters.
“But they are smart and very dedicated,” the coach pointed out.
He disclosed that the team started preparations for the competition in April and that they would meet on particular days to work on the completion of the robot.
Thus far, the team has received numerous contributions by way of monies and equipment to help with preparation.
Last week, the Ministry of Education donated $2.5M to them.
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