Welcome to the Robot Car Race Day pages! This annual race is hosted by the University of Pretoria's Department of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering under the auspices of the Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and IT. The race involves Microcontroller-based Autonomous Robotic Vehicles (MARVs) built by teams of students who compete against one another to complete our track in the shortest possible time.
The Department of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering annually hosts a robotic vehicle race for the third year students in electrical, electronic and computer engineering. The students design and construct a microcontroller-based autonomous robotic vehicle (MARV) for the practical component of the Microcontrollers module EMK 310. From 2016 onwards, the module Analog Electronics ENE 310 was also included in the development of the robot cars to teach students an integrative approach to EEC engineering. The cars participate in a racing event to showcase and celebrate the students' hard work and accomplishments. Both EMK 310 and ENE 310 form part of the curriculum of all three degree programs presented by the Department. The development of the MARVs aims to equip engineering students with the necessary skills to survive and excel in today's embedded control driven technological society. Through this project aspiring engineers are guided through a carefully planned process to develop a fundamental set of engineering skills which include hardware and software design skills, design of peripheral sensor systems, systems integration skills, the ability to work and function in a team, time management skills, perseverance, and the good old indispensable “engineering gut feeling”, which comes only with experience in the execution of engineering projects.
THE VALUE OF THE RACE
The Race has become a highlight on the Faculty’s calendar and is supported by industry through attendance and sponsorships. We welcome industry involvement and support since it provides an opportunity for feedback so that we may keep our curricula current and appropriate. Partly because of our commitment to serve and involve industry, the module EMK310 has won the Faculty of Engineering, Built environment and IT's teaching and learning award, a laureate for teaching excellence and innovation from the University of Pretoria and a national excellence in teaching and learning award from the Council on Higher Education and the Higher Education Learning and Teaching Association of South Africa, all in 2015. Efforts towards the Microprocessors module, among others for the success of Race Day, has also earned the module the University of Pretoria Chancellor's award and medal for teaching and learning in 2017.
Race Day is supported by a number of industry partners. Please visit our Industry Partner's page for information about the companies. For 2021 the following sponsors have already invested in our future engineers.
Please contact Prof Tania Hanekom if you or your company would like to support this initiative.
Prof Tania Hanekom
Microcontrollers lecturer and Race Day organiser [email protected]
Mr Willem van Jaarsveld
Microcontrollers laboratory instructor and Race Day co-organiser [email protected]