A team demonstrates their invention at Salahaddin University on Monday. Photos: AC Robinson/Rudaw
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Aspiring engineers showcased their inventions and competed for a cash prize at Erbil’s first robotics contest, held at Salahaddin University on Monday.
"We organized this event to motivate our students to do their work, not only in studying but to do it in a practical way as well," said Sarah Ahmed, lecturer in the Mechanical Engineering Department at Salahaddin University and one of the organizers of the event.
There were a total of 16 projects created by of 27 people from several different universities, institutes and schools across the Kurdistan Region.
"Thank God it was a special experience for them and we hope they will improve themselves in the future," said Ahmed.
One invention vying for the prize was named the "Under Bot." It was a small device on wheels with a light attached and controlled by mobile phone. It was created to help people search for things in dark or hard to reach places.
"I got this idea when I saw my mom kneeling down to look for a key that she had lost under the sofa," said Lillian Aryan, the youngest contestant at age 12, who submitted a project along with four other friends and classmates from IDEC School in Erbil.
"I had this idea that it would be easier if this robot could help my mom or anyone else find what they lost under the sofa,” she explained.
Aryan added that in this modern generation, most youths are interested in electronics and technology and that it only took her team 2-3 days to create the device.
"Don't be scared to express yourself and it doesn't matter what others think. It matters what you think," Aryan added as a message of inspiration to other young aspiring engineers. "And if you are proud of yourself, you can do anything."
Ahmad Jafaar, a student in his fourth year in the Mechanical Engineering Department at Salahaddin University, won first place for his invention, the "Auto Level & Temperature Liquid Controller," a device designed to regulate the temperature of any type of liquid.
"I created this to help people," Jafaar said of his invention that took 100 hours to create. "It can be used in the factory, in the home, in any business."
He said he hoped that his invention would one day be marketed to improve society in Kurdistan.
When asked how he felt about winning first place in the competition, he replied, "This is the most amazing feeling I've had in my life. Words can't describe it."
He took home $500. Second place was awarded $300 and third place $200.
The contest was hosted by the Department of Mechanics and Mechatronics at the College of Engineering in Salahaddin University and sponsored by SOFTMAX Company.