UP student takes top honours in SAIEE competition

Posted on December 03, 2013


UP students first entered the competition in 2011 and have, since then, won first prize every year. In 2011, Myrin Naidoo won the competition with his project entitled “Smartphone-controlled unmanned vehicle”, while the 2012 competition was won by Albert Monteith who designed an EEG-based braincomputer interface for controlling a remote-controlled toy car. 

This year proved no different. James Shorten impressed both the audience and the judges with his project entitled “Image guided robotic feeding system for disabled people”. The system functions by scooping food from a bowl using a spoon fitted to the end of a robotic arm, identifying the mouth of the user using stereoscopic cameras, and then navigating a robotic arm to place the food in the mouth of the user.

Asked about the quality of the competition, James said: “I didn't think I would perform as well as I did. There were some really excellent projects … I didn't expect to win.” He also commented on the difficulties he faced with his project: “The most difficult part was the computer vision system. Figuring out a method that could operate in real time was tricky.”

After completing their bachelor degrees, Myrin and Albert pursued postgraduate studies in control systems and bioengineering, respectively, while James is looking forward to applying his skills in industry.

- Author Dr HC Myburgh

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