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Change the world

02/10/2023

Reasons to be Proud R2bP:  Extremely well-trained and rehearsed Chinese teams earned the gold and silver medals with Russian teams taking the next three places after Mandela University’s team of four.

 

From left, bronze winners Lupiwe Mgxabayi, Innocent Mateyaunga, Jarryd Roote and Wilson Nemukula together with Damian Mooney.  

Reasons to be Proud R2bP:  Extremely well-trained and rehearsed Chinese teams earned the gold and silver medals with Russian teams taking the next three places after Mandela University’s team of four.

A total of 34 international students from China, South Africa and Russia participated in the three-day competition, which required five tasks spread over two days involving intensive building, testing and challenge flying.

The final day was dedicated to a “Dragon’s Den” style presentation where students had to promote their designs and choices in front of a judging panel.

Mandela University’s Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) consultant Damian Mooney’s commitment to education has led him to serve as South Africa's drone expert and mentor for the students participating in both the BRICS Future Skills and World Skills competitions from 2018 to 2023. 

Over the first two days, participants designed and assembled drones using supplied components, requiring skills in design, soldering and programming. Test flights were conducted culminating in a scored obstacle course race, Damian said.

Concurrently, students initiated the design and fabrication of a robotic gripper hand using CAD, hand skills and 3D-printing, enabling their drones to pick up payloads while hovering.

With the gripper tested and functioning, the students had to develop a circuit and write code that would allow them to detect which payloads had magnets hidden in them.

With a working gripper and electronic magnet sensor in place, the students had to fly their drones through an obstacle course, picking up the scattered payloads and delivering them to the correct bins based on their magnetic content.

On day three, the students had the morning to develop a PowerPoint presentation, using media from the first two days, that demonstrated the effectiveness of their drone and highlighted their individual unique design choices.

Late afternoon the students presented their work to a panel of judges for a five-minute period followed by questions from the judges and audience members.

The South African team was commended on their friendliness and willingness to assist other teams experiencing difficulties during the event caused by language or technical issues.

Contact information
Ms Elma de Koker
Internal Communication Practitioner
Tel: 041-504 2160
elma.dekoker@mandela.ac.za