Students to learn about robotics and renewable energy

January 18, 2014 by  
Filed under Green Energy News

Students to learn about robotics, renewable energy
and smart devices

January 19,

High school students interested in a
career in robotics, renewable energy, nanotechnology and the
next generation of smart devices will be fascinated by the
University of Canterbury’s E-Week camp from January 20 to
The one-week camp provides a special
opportunity for Year 12 and 13 students to get hands-on
laboratory experience, visit local companies, drive an
electric go-cart, build and programme their own robot and
build a solar cell. 
The activities, provided by
the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, are
designed to open students’ eyes to the teaching and research
that occurs at the University of Canterbury (UC).

Professor Phil Bones says students can experiment on
solar cell construction in the nanotechnology laboratory,
which is part of the McDiarmid Institute for Advanced
Materials and Nanotechnology.
“We will show
students the rudiments of programming a microcomputer to
control a robot. This relates well to research by Dr Chris
Hann who is helping with the Canterbury rebuild. 

“His team’s Rover robot, designed to inspect for
damage to piles under buildings, is being used by a
government-owned company responsible for settling claims
from the earthquakes. Southern Response/Arrow International
has been using the UC Rover robot since September.

“The students will spend a day during the week
looking at aspects of electric power engineering.
“The department has a strong link to New
Zealand’s electric power industry in the form of the
Electric Power Engineering Centre (EPECentre), which is a
sponsor of E-Week, and has won a large research funding
grant to improve and provide a stronger national green
“The result of the research will be an
efficient, cost-effective and robust electricity network
meeting the ongoing and changing power supply needs of New
Zealanders. The research is led by Dr Allan Miller of the
UC EPECentre.
“Students will also get to see the
activities of local companies that employ electrical and
computer engineering graduates to perform a wide range of
engineering tasks.  The companies this year are Tait
Communications, Enatel, Transpower and Bluewater
Systems,’’ Professor Bones


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