First-year students of a Moscow college have created an eco-robot. It can navigate the streets and collect garbage.
The machine developed by Alexey Bespalov and Nikita Sandrak (from left to right in the photo) was awarded the first prize at the 5th National Championship WorldSkills HiTech 2018, nominated in Mobile Robotics Junior category.
Though it did not take them long to assemble the electromechanical cleaner, Alexei and Nikita, students of Tsaritsino college, did put a lot of effort into it. The boys' robot proved to be faster and smarter than those of their rivals at World Skills Hi-Tech.
The rules of the competition are the following: a robot needs to collect the garbage (tennis balls) from three containers of different colours, and then to deliver it to be recycled, using three modes: an autonomous mode and a joystick-controlled remote operation mode (both within and beyond the pilot’s vision). The test field recreates the real traffic conditions, including cars, road signs and traffic lights, so the robot has to collect all the garbage without violating the traffic regulations.
Komsomolskaya Pravda met Alexei, Nikita and their tutor Andrei Zheltikov, a teacher at Tsaritsino college. As it turned out, Alexey Bespalov and Nikita Sandrak are both 15 years old. They both came to college after the 9th grade.
‘Why did we start developing?!’ — Nikita seemed to be surprised by the question. — ‘We wanted to bring changes to our lives! ’And they seem to have brought about some serious changes: Alexey is mastering radio equipment construction, while Nikita is studying computer-system complex.
“Current second-year students were the first to develop the robot, - says Alexey. -
In 2017, they were awarded the second prize in Russia in the WorldSkills Championship. We took their robot as a basis, wrote our program, began to work with it and soon realized that we needed our own robot. As a result, we significantly upgraded the cleaner.
How is it different?
It has become taller due to the increase in the wheel size, and it has made it more manoeuvrable. We have also developed a different manipulator. It is a jaw tool, in other words, the hands of the robot. We needed to modernize both technical and software parts. The robot does not just take out the garbage but it also puts it into trash cans. Trash cans are different in colour, so we taught the robot to distinguish colours.
Will your cleaner be able to collect cigarette stubs from the pavement?
Yes, it is quite easy. It is only necessary to change the gripper. The main base of our development is useful because it can be used for different tasks. The robot can collect any garbage. In other words, you can accomplish many tasks.
There is no doubt that this robot will play a significant role in Alexey and Nikita’s future careers. Now the students are not only learning to solder but they are also improving logical thinking and study operating procedures. But is there a place for ecology in this field?
This robot may go out and work, tentatively speaking, as a yard-keeper, — the coach Andrei Zheltikov says. — But this requires certain conditions. The same goes for our students. They will learn, gain knowledge and experience, and will be able to create high-tech developments in Russia, including those that will be able to maintain the ecological balance in cities. In Japan, the range of robots’ functions is quite impressive. We could reach the same results here.
Source: “Komsomolskaya Pravda”
November 30, 2018.