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Into the future with robotics

GREENSIDE – The First Robotics Team from Greenside High School shares their passion about robotics with the Gazette.

“The Fourth Industrial Revolution is here and these young people are among those pioneering it.”

These are the sentiments of Greenside High School robotics coach Melusi Shezi. The youth he was referring to were the dedicated robotics team of Greenside High School who met with the Gazette, together with Shezi and fellow robotics coach, Kgomotso Maduenyane, to share their passion for technology and innovation, and the possibilities robotics has for the future.

“Robotics is about recognising needs in society and then finding solutions for these,” said team member, Grade 11 robotics mentor Mizbah Ismail. She and fellow team member Muhammad Siraj Loonat recently worked on a machine aimed at addressing the pothole dilemma on roads.

Other team members also sought to address societal problems through their robotics masterpieces, through for example, machines which take a person’s vital statistics and even dispense medication, or water-powered cars. Maduenyane said he had learned more from the children than they from him. He said young people were at an advantage as far as robotics was concerned, as they saw fresh solutions to age-old problems and societal challenges.

One of the pioneering forces in the team has been Muhammed Hassen who is the robotics captain. Muhammed recently invented a mining robot which has been so successful that he was approached by the Technology Innovation Agency with the view of commercialising the machine, to use in mines. He explained that the machine could take critical readings from mines, and then transmit these to a control room. At the same time, it was designed with the intent of both job creation and retention.

The learners and their coaches said Greenstone High School was a strong contender in the World Robotics Olympiad, the Eskom Expo For young Scientists and the iMbewu North Gauteng Senior Science Fair. The learners said their scientific creations were the result of months of hard work, late nights, and visiting and speaking with professionals, such as a recent excursion they undertook to Netcare Milpark Hospital.
They said they believed this was what learning was all about – being observant and creating solutions.

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