2nd Annual SAITM Robotics Challenge 2014 (SRC '14)
Concluded with a Great Success

Date : 30 May 2014

SAITM Robotics Challenge (SRC), organized for the second consecutive year by the Faculty of Engineering, at South Asian Institute of technology and Medicine (SAITM), concluded with great success on 30th of May 2014, at SAITM Malabe campus. With close to a hundred of robots, designed and build by students around the country, competing in the event, SRC ‘14 brought the Sri Lanka youth together in a vibrant event celebrating innovation and technical advancements.

Established in 2009, SAITM Faculty of Engineering is the pioneering and the leading non-state sector school of engineering in Sri Lanka offering 4 year full time Bachelor of Science (BSc.) degree programs in Civil, Mechatronics, Environmental and Bio Systems Engineering affiliated with Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), Thailand with a continuing success, recognition and reputation.

The SRC ‘13 was the first of its kind to be organized by the Faculty of Engineering, SAITM. Students from Engineering and Science degree programs competed in SRC ‘13 from 11 state and non-state sector universities, with the total number of competitors reaching about 250. With the interest and participation seen during the last year, it was planned to make this year’s event bigger and better. 2014 competition was restructured to provide much wider participation and opportunities to students, bringing together both undergraduates and students alike.

In organizing SRC ‘14, SAITM Faculty of Engineering strived to promote engineering design among Sri Lankan youth and encourage them to come forward with innovative solutions to real life applications. It is a good platform to identify talented youngsters enabling them to share their knowledge and experience. The competition will raise awareness and positive attitude among students towards the challenges and developments in today’s technical arena with particular focus given to robotics and Automation.

SRC ‘14 was conducted under two main categories, one for school students and the other for undergraduate students. There were teams representing 21 state and non-state sector universities in the undergraduate category of the competition, and while 26 local and international schools were represented in the school category, with the total participation reaching about 500 students.

Participants in the school category competed in an autonomous navigation task, where the challenge was to design and develop an autonomous robot that can navigate a smooth terrain following a given line, while managing slight level changes by traversing an inclined plane. The mission of the robot was to navigate the path and complete the course in the shortest possible time. A team from Mahinda College, Galle won the ‘Dr. Neville Fernando Challenge Trophy’ for the school Category with Rs. 25, 000 prize money, having completed the task ahead of 33 competing teams. The 1st and 2nd runners up were from Taxila Central College Horana, and Rahula College Matara respectively.

The challenge for the undergraduate category emulated the use of robotics in handling materials or finished products in a real world production environment. Each team designed and prototyped an autonomous material delivery robot with grid based navigation capability. The robots competed in an arena with two different height levels and inclined surfaces. The finished robot was to navigate the arena and enter level two via an inclined plane. At level two it should identify and pick up a payload placed at a randomly selected bay at loading area. The robot should then deliver the payload to the unloading area and return to the starting position to complete the task within the shortest possible time.

After an intense competition, a team of University of Moratuwa undergraduates won the challenge trophy for the undergraduate category with a prize of Rs. 60, 000, while two entries from Sri lanka Institute of Technology came 1st and 2nd runners up for the undergraduate category. A total of Rs. 170,000 was awarded as cash prizes the winners of SRC ’14.

An eminent panel of judges attended the event drawn from the leading academics and industry in the country. These include Prof. Janaka Ekanayake, chair undergraduate panel (University of Peradeniya, Dept. of Electrical and Electronics Engineering), Prof. Nimal Ekanayake (University of Peradeniya, Dept. of Electrical and Electronics Engineering), Dr. Kamalanath Samarakoon, chair school category panel (University of Peradeniya, Dept. of Computer Engineering).

SRC ‘14 was sponsored by Sri Lanka Telecom, Access Engineering and Ceylon Agro Industries Pvt Ltd, while the official media partners for the event was Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation.

Source: http://www.educationtimes.lk/print-edition-1/2036-saitm-robotics-challenge-src-2014