Mang’u students collaborate with American peers to construct robotics

Mang'u High school administration block

Tech-savvy students at Mang’u School have collaborated with their US peers to construct a robot capable of accurately shooting foam rings into a bucket from a distance of seven metres.

Over a period of two weeks, a group of over 30 students from Mang’u High and Horace Mann School in New York, US, collaborated to construct the robot from scratch.

Five members of the robotics team from Horace Mann School visited Mang’u for the second time, following a previous trip in July last year, to assist their counterparts at Mang’u in finalizing the project.

Following an engagement with students from Horace Mann School that started last year, the students from Mang’u High succeeded in creating an automated drone capable of flying within the school premises.

The Horace Mann School ranks among the world’s top contenders in robotics, with its students competing under Team 5806 in the international First Robotics Competition (FRC) since 2015.

The FRC competitions aim to foster inspiration and recognition in science and technology. This international festivity of robotics sees nearly 10,000 teams annually build 70-kilogram industrial robots capable of complex functions like driving, throwing objects, and climbing structures.

In 2023, Horace Mann School was awarded a grant by the Alexander Capelluto Foundation, which encourages students to impact the world positively by creating hands-on projects that enhance conditions in their selected communities.

Utilizing the grant, Horace Mann School conducted a week-long series of robotics workshops at Mang’u, which included basic instruction on constructing, coding, and electrically engineering robots. In the programme, 30 students from Forms Two to Four were chosen for their keen interest and enthusiasm in engineering. By the end of last year, these Mang’u students had successfully built a robot capable of driving.


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This year, the students from Mang’u, in collaboration with their partners, enhanced the chassis constructed last year to develop a robot that can launch foam rings, which would have been a contender in the 2024 FRC season.

“Considering that teams are given two months to build a robot during the official FRC season and Mang’u students accomplished this in just one week, this feat stands as a testament to their immense potential as a team,” said Sebastian Baxter, a student at Horace Mann School.

Baxter mentioned that robotics are increasingly becoming a part of everyday life. “There are dangerous jobs like firemen’s work and even the police. People in the developed world are increasingly refusing to take risks and for sure we don’t want to lose our jobs. We need them to embrace robotics so that the firemen and the police can work more in the background,” Baxter said.

Berk Yilmaz, another student, expressed that we are witnessing a robotics revolution. He noted that in fields such as space exploration, including missions to Mars and Venus, scientists are utilizing robots equipped with Artificial Intelligence (AI) to understand the conditions.

“Our time as members of an FRC team stands out as one of the best experiences of our lives, an experience every student, no matter their background, should have the chance to enjoy. Through competing in FRC, Mang’u robotics students will have the unparalleled opportunity to gain firsthand experience with mechanical, electrical, and software engineering, preparing them to become international leaders in the ever-growing, cutting-edge technology industries,” said Yilmaz.

By Frank Mugwe

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