Project of AGH UST Robotics facilitating practical learning of robotics takes third place in IT competition

photo by Paweł Cegielski, AGH UST Robotics’

The project of AGH UST Robotics’ educational platform that allows interaction with an industrial robot took third place in the final of the Polish student competition ABB IT Challenge. 

The members of the team were the students of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Robotics: Michał Soida, Bartosz Widera, and Jakub Żak. The software of the robot submitted to the competition facilitates the practical learning of robotics and other associated branches of engineering and science, such as programming and electronics. The project has all features of industrial robots, but it is not overly complicated, which makes its operation and maintenance possible even without specialist knowledge. An additional asset of the robot is its reconfigurability and mobility, thanks to which it can easily change its workplace. As part of the competition tasks, the team developed its own programming system, which can modify the possibilities of the control application and adjust them to the user’s level of knowledge and expertise. The project is at the stage of the final prototype, ready for production. However, it is not the end of its development – there will be further improvements and extensions, such as a vision system or the simulation of collision in a workspace, as well as further integration of components, which will allow to lower the costs. 

The competition final took place on 30th May 2017 in Krakow. It featured five student teams from all over Poland. Their task was to give a 15-minute presentation in English on the solutions developed in the second stage of the competition. Next, each team answered questions concerning technical and business issues relating to the introduction of the idea to the market that were asked by the member of the jury – experts in the fields related to project management. Because of the presence of managers from the European branches of the company, this part of the final was conducted entirely in English. The competition jury assessed: the quality of the presentation of the idea and the project, the presentation of the IT solution, the presentation of the marketing plan for the solution, the functionality of the solution, and the accuracy of answers to the questions. 

The prize for our team were in-kind gifts, but the gained experience as well as contacts established during the event are even more valuable. 

“We see our future connected with industrial robotics, we want to continue work on manipulator projects, and we also want to pass the gained knowledge and experience on to other students in our special interest group,” say the students who represented AGH UST in the final assignments. 

The main theme of this year’s ABB IT Challenge was the interaction between humans and technology. The teams’ task was to prepare a tool implementing the motto “Interact with the real world”. In order to improve the chosen area of life, the teams could use augmented or virtual reality. This time, the contestants had plenty of opportunity to show their talents, as the competition organisers did not suggest a target group for the projects.