Two teams from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) were declared as the Champion and 1st Runner Up at National Instruments Autonomous Robotics Competition 2019 (NIARC) held at Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) Nibong Tebal branch campus.
The 2019 theme was “Planet Exploration – Mars Exploration Program”, whereby students were required to design and program the hardware to gather specific materials for research, both autonomously and manually in a specific duration – to determine if Mars could support life, to study the geology of the planet and to help prepare for human exploration.
UTM team supervisor, Assoc. Professor Dr Yeong Chee Fai said that in this competition, the participants were expected s to use the industry-leading NI hardware and software to design an engineering solution based on a specific theme.
“In this year’s competition has witnessed 11 teams of students from five local institutions of higher learning (IHL) namely UTM, USM, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP) and Penang Skills Development Centre (PSDC).
“All participants were trained by trainers from NI and a unit of myRIO 1900 was given to each team during the program. All participants also received RM1, 500.00 to allow them to build a robot, a track and other items,” said Dr Yeong.
UTM sent two teams from Faculty of Engineering namely UTM Airost Team X and Airost Team Y supervised by Assoc. Prof. Dr Yeong Che Fai and Assoc. Prof. Dr Eileen Su Lee Ming respectively. The students were from the School of Electrical Engineering and the School of Mechanical Engineering.
1) Chia Ching Seng (Mechatronics Engineering 3rd Year)
2) Ng Wen Da ( Mechatronics Engineering 3rd Year)
3) Pua Khe Leng ( Mechatronics Engineering 3rd Year)
4) Tan Kui An Andrew ( Mechatronics Engineering 4th Year)
1) Maximilian Fam Khiung Vui (Mechatronics Engineering 3rd Year)
2) Goh Chien Nam ( Electronics Engineering 4th Year)
3) Moh Jun Zhou ( Mechatronics Engineering 3rd Year)
4) Kimberly Foo Ming-Xia ( Mechanical Engineering 3rd Year)
It was a nerve-wracking competition with all teams fighting for the top positions. Both UTM teams were fortunate to be able to secure the top two places. With the ease of the NI platform, both UTM teams managed to focus on developing the application with a high level of complexity including PID and Image Processing.
“This is a very good initiative by National Instrument to organise NIARC to promote STEM Education as well as to bridge collaboration closely between university and industry.
“The students really benefited from this program in learning about robotics and technology in a very short time. I hope this program will continue every year and other industry can emulate the similar program”, said Dr Yeong.
The teams received various supports from different sources including National Instruments (NI), UTM, Center of Artificial Intelligence and Robotic (CAIRO), Airost and UTMXcite.