By Isaac Akugizibwe
KIU, Western Campus - Junior Kavunga Kambale, Gabriel Mvuyekure, and Emmanuel Ogubuike Emejuru all graduates of mechanical engineering at KIU have vowed to start practicing all the skills they have gained from Uganda's leading Private University. The trio graduated during KIU'S 26th graduation ceremony.
The three extraordinary scientists invented the ‘Pick and Place Robotic Arm’ using an Arduino control system under the guidance of Dr. Milon Selvam Dennison, Senior Lecturer for Mechanical Engineering at the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS).
The ‘Pick and Place Robotic Arm can pick and place objects at a mass ranging between 10 grams and 1000 grams and can be used for industrial applications.
It comprises components such as six servo motors, Arduino Uno Rev3, Base Frame, Gripper Claws, Supporting Frame, Servo Mounts, Castor Wheels, Resistors, Capacitors, Transistors, Cables, Connectors, Diodes, PCB and Breadboards, LED, Transformer/Adapter, Push Buttons, Switch and IC Sockets.
It can be controlled and operated using an android Smartphone interfaced with an easy-to-use GUI android application.
The robotic arm gripper is made up of two claws and the gripper has180 a degrees of orientation to pick and place the objects.
According to Dr. Dennison, modern-day robots are combinations of advanced mechanisms and programming with powerful hardware.
“These robots make use of smart sensor technologies to interact with real-time problems in the world,” Dr. Dennison reveals.
“In Industry 4.0, advanced robotics and automation are used to facilitate the manufacturing process without human oversight, especially in automobile/aviation sectors, food and pharma industries,” he adds.
The trio admits to having done extensive research before and during the invention of the robotic arm which also served as their research project. Their innovation has been a landmark for both the inventors and the University.
"We Tried to Fabricate a Pick and Place Robotic Arm Using ARDUINO Control System by Phone. It was Marketable Research, many Areas of the World Liked it Especially Africa ( Uganda, Rwanda, Nigeria, Kenya, and Congo) and Europe ( ITALY, Spain, and Portugal)," says Gabriel Mvuyekure.
"I feel I cannot Stop from Here! Technology is Increasing day by day and when you sleep you’re lost," he adds.
Mvuyekure notes that the trio was limited by time and resources in the course of their four-year degree. He says that they have graduated, and time won't be an issue but financial resources.
"When we were doing our research, we had little time for research, investment was not high, and availability of Materials was also a problem.
Now I wish to get enough time to do more Robots, I need support also in terms of Income," he explains.
He is looking forward to pursuing a Masters's Degree to take his research to a higher level.
I would love to Keep on Exploring the Heights and that's my first plan as of now," he discloses.
"The second plan is to Work, We Wish to go and Serve the public as the main task of a Professional Engineer," he adds.
Their robotic arm was part of KIU'S exhibition at the National Science Week 2022 in October at Kololo Independence Grounds. This innovation fascinated many people and there was wide demand thereafter.
"We Wish to go and put into practice what we have studied at Kampala International University," Mvekure notes.