By: Nourane Selim
After successfully building an agricultural robot, AUC’s Robotix Club won first place at the World Robot Olympiad (WRO) on September 15 at Nile University.
The WRO is a global competition that brings together young robotics enthusiasts to develop problem solving skills, creativity and design.
The competition, which included 10 other competing teams, has two main categories: the regular and the open.
The Robotix Club joined the open category where they had to present a robot that fits this year’s theme: sustainability.
“We had to provide a solution to a problem that exists around us by designing and implementing a robot that serves this purpose,” Muhammad Azzazy, the project’s senior electronic engineer and manager, told The Caravan.
The team had six weeks to develop their robot. They spent a month researching and finding affordable solutions and two weeks designing the robot before beginning the implementation process.
Engy Rafaat, one of the team members, explained that the designed robot had a unique function in the field of agriculture in particular by conducting soil tests.
A soil test refers to the analysis of a soil sample to determine its percentage of nutrients. It is also used to facilitate fertilizer composition and dosage selection.
“Our robot looks for soil samples from different places, adds water and the chemical to the samples, shakes it and observes the color. To be more accurate, we also use a program that helps with image processing to detect the exact color,” said Rafaat.
She added that AUC does a limited number of soil tests because such experiments are usually quite expensive, which is why the team decided to find a cheaper alternative.
Azzazy also told The Caravan about the main challenges the team faced during the process of building the robot.
“We started recruiting for the competition mid-June, which is extremely late.”
In addition, the competition puts an age limit: all participants must be under the age of 19.
“It was difficult to find people at AUC who belong to the required age group and were interested to participate. However, we managed to get two AUCians and two students from stem school.”
The Robotix Club recently won first place in the local round of Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV), an international robotics competition organized by Marine Advanced Technology Education on 25 February.