CPUT students Laila Kahn, Jire Kandolo, Mikhail Solomons, Jordan Masirika and Adam Mbombole with their robots. Supplied
Cape Town - Six students from CPUT will be representing the Western Cape at the national finals of the World Robot Olympiad (WRO) taking place in Gauteng next month.

Inyeni Showers, who is studying towards his Master’s degree in mechanical engineering at CPUT, coached the students and said he was excited that the university had reached this level of the contest.

“The students that took part are all completing their advanced diploma in mechatronics; they were divided into two teams, called Team Alpha and Team Sigma, with three students in each group,” said Showers.

“The teams both recently earned the second and third place respectively in the Advanced Robotics Challenge category during the Western Cape leg of the WRO, with each team required to build an autonomous robot that would be able to perform mapping and localisation tasks and relocate objects randomly placed in a playing field.

“After performing the task, the robot is expected to navigate autonomously back to its home position.”

Showers said the objects - in the form of small cubes - represented plants, and the robots were tasked with placing them in the correct climates where they could grow, with the theme of this year’s WRO being smart green houses.

Laila Kahn, 22, who is the leader of Team Sigma, said she was really excited about the opportunities presented through the competition.

“Taking part in this competition has made me enjoy my course so much more,” she said.

“The night before the competition, we literally were at campus until 4am in the morning trying to get the code to work and putting different parts of the robot together, so hard work really is a must,”

Adam Mbombole, 23, said he had always been passionate about robotics.

“I had never worked with robots before this competition, so through working with my coach and team, I learnt a lot about what code can be used to co-ordinate the different movements of the robot.”

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