Wednesday 21 April 2010

Rugby Rucks and Rivalry

Engineering students Raymond Carley, from Killiney, Sam Hajim, from Clonskeagh and Fionan O’Sullivan, from Dun Laoghaire pictured at UCD Belfield ahead of the Siemens RoboRugby

UCD students and their robotic rugby players took part in the Siemens RoboRugby Challenge 2010 at UCD Belfield Campus. The robots, which are made from thousands of individual pieces are the result of a creative, innovative and design exercise by first year UCD Engineering students, UCD Belfield.

The Siemens RoboRugby tournament provides a platform for students to illustrate their ingenuity and problem-solving skills, which are at the root of all engineering, in a fun and interesting way. 19 autonomous robots will compete in this year’s competition, including ‘Rubber Bandits’, ‘The Majestic Turkey’ and ‘Anne-droid’ to name a few.

Siemens, one of the world’s leading engineering companies, sees Siemens RoboRugby as an important and yet fun initiative that stimulates an interest in engineering and technology innovation among undergraduate and graduate students. Ireland is well placed to capture a significant slice of the international green economy, which is likely to create substantial employment opportunities with varying skills requirements and the development of expertise in key engineering disciplines is critical in this regard. 20,000 engineers in the wind energy sector alone will be desperately needed across Europe in the next 10 years.

According to Brian Mulkeen, UCD School of Electrical, Electronic & Mechanical Engineering, “The first-year Engineering students have devoted thousands of hours to this exciting and important part of an Engineering education at UCD. Between designing, building and programming their miniature robots, they have all picked up new skills, including teamwork, that have a much wider application. From strong and heavy to light and agile; complicated to more simple approaches, the Siemens ‘RoboRugby’ competitors aim for reliable robots.”

Commenting on the sponsorship, Dr. Werner Kruckow, CEO, Siemens Limited said, “Siemens has been a keen sponsor of the RoboRugby competition at UCD for six years. The sponsorship enables us to play our part in providing a platform for students to develop their creative and lateral-thinking skills. As a world leader in science and technology innovation, we encourage the development of a green technology industry. Ireland has the natural resources, so it is vital that we continue to nurture and develop the requisite talent and skills for Ireland to realise its ambitions to become an international hub for innovation and green technology.”

Siemens, which employs around 1,000 people in Ireland, is one of the world’s leading electronics and electrical engineering companies operating in the Industry, Energy, Healthcare and IT sectors. The company is the world’s largest provider of environmental technologies, generating €23 billion – nearly one-third of its total revenue – from green products and solutions.

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