Student-Designed ‘Humanoid’ Wins Top Wward at the World 3D Printing Olympiad in Dubai
Organised by ATLAB, the competition in 2018 will be hosted by the UAE Ministry of Education with more international participation
Fifty different innovative products, all designed, and 3D printed by school going students from across the UAE was the hallmark of the second 3D Printing Olympiad organised by ATLABin Dubai. The top award in the competition went to a 15-year old Grade X student from GEMS Millenium School – Sharjah, who had developed a working model of a humanoid robot – almost complete with its torso and head.
Another winner Mumukshya Baitharu from primary school segment presented an interesting concept where she had redesigned a chess board and replaced the chess pieces with prominent and historical towers within the UAE. More than 150 entries were submitted from students of various schools across the UAE, of which only 50 managed to reach the final round of the competition.
ATLAB, the technology-based company focusing on developing custom applications dedicated to humanoid robots and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and innovation labs for corporates and educational institutions, has been the brain behind the World 3D Printing Olympiad.
Senthil Kugan, Director, ATLAB says the idea of the competition, inspired by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s vision of innovation, is to encourage and inculcate innovativeness among students. “This is the second year of the competition and the entries this year are a clear indication of significant improvement in the participation and the quality of presentations.”
This year’s competition saw participation from three different categories – elementary, junior high and high secondary school, with the junior high leading the list with maximum number of participants. Rishab Java who designed the 3D printed humanoid says he has been working on the project for the past eight months. The humanoid whose legs and arms are still not ready was presented to judges as a functional model that can be scaled up as per requirements.
The humanoid’s body was completely built using a 3D printer. “The only exceptions were the motors and the Microsoft Surface tablet that powers the system. I plan to self-design the robot’s arms and legs in the future,” says the 15-year-old Grade X student.
“The robot I have built is a cost-effective solution and at Dh1,800 including the tablet, is a much cheaper option. I have the arms designed and since the design was not my own Iam not including it for the competition. Once the arms and legs are built, it could be about six feet tall. I have used open source software already available online to build the humanoid,” he adds.
The boy had also won last year’s Gulf 3D Printing Olympiad having presented a 3D printed bionic arm. The fully functional bionic arm is now ready to be fitted onto a human body. “We are in discussions with a government-run hospital in India, where an amputee who lost his hand in an industrial accident could soon be using the custom built bionic arm, the one similar to what was showcased during last year’s competition,” he says.
Among the other innovative designs included an innovative wheelbase for a motor vehicle with six wheels and a 3D printed model of a recycle bin with multiple segregations including one for infectious waste. The participants were judged by a panel of nine judges who based their decision on the uniqueness of the design, research and development process as presented, the value and potential impact of the design, and the ability to communicate or demonstrate the features.
ATLAB is also a pioneer in delivering STEM solutions to classrooms. An associate of the Centena Group, ATLAB has partnered with some of the world’s leading manufacturers and solution providers such as LEGO Education, PITSCO Education and PASCO Scientific, among others to bring best-of-class solutions to classrooms.
It launched the Atlab Teach Assist, the region`s first robotic teaching assistant during GESS 2017 and has now completed the advanced integration of the system, and will soon deploy the first set of units into UAE schools.
“The idea to hold the 3D Printing Olympiad is aimed at encouraging students to come out with fresh new ideas, nurture them to design new products and guide them to be the innovators of the future. It is important to inculcate these qualities when they are young,” says Sanjay Raghunath, MD of Centena Group.
Starting this year, 3D Printing Olympiad has a World prefix to it, thereby transforming it into a global competition. The 2018 event is expected to be much larger and will be hosted by the UAE Ministry of Education in partnership with ATLAB.
“We are expanding the competition from next year, leaving it open to international participation. We expect more entries from around the world making it a more global event,” says Kugan. This year’s event was held at North London Collegiate School in Nad al Sheba.