The top 10 teams from selected schools were invited to showcase, exhibit and present their winning robots at the SITA’s GovTech Conference 2023 at the ICC in Durban from 12 –13 September 2023. Earlier this year, the DBE, together with the State Information Technology Agency (SITA), held a SITA Robotics Challenge 2023 for piloting schools at the University of Mpumalanga where the winning teams were announced. Each team was represented by four learners and one teacher at the event.
SITA’s GovTech Conference is an annual event and a platform for the public and private sector to come together and share experiences; solutions and ideas that can showcase the power of technology to promote better planning, improved service delivery, sustainable development, grow inclusive economies and ensure an immediate recognisable impact on the lives of citizens.
The following inventions were notable: Wesbank Secondary School from the Western Cape designed a robot to assist those with hearing impairments; Shree Bharat Sharda Mandir (SBSM) from Gauteng designed a RoboStop which is a solar-powered intelligent traffic light prototype; Realogile Secondary School from Gauteng presented an automated tap sensor to reduce water wastage in the school environment; Sibukosetfu Secondary School from Mpumalanga designed a robot that pumps water underground using a windmill and transfers water to a reservoir for easy access; Douglas Combined School from the Northern Cape showcased a prototype of an air purifying robot that is meant to tackle global warming by cleansing and purifying air; Bredasdorp High School from the Western Cape demonstrated how their robot's timer and sensor assist the elderly to take their medication on time; Ntulabakayise High School, in KwaZulu-Natal presented a robot tractor which targets to refill and fix potholes to reduce road accidents; Nkgopoleng High School, from Free State, designed Robot Nicole which detects metal objects with the aim of reducing criminal activities in schools; Cosmo City Secondary School, from Gauteng showcased a Smart Automated School, with a turnstile gate and biometric gate link to South African School Administration Management System (SA-SAMS) to identify absent learners and teachers as well as to minimise the number of intruders in the school; and Ozias Davhana Secondary School from Limpopo designed a community assistant robot to assist the elderly and people living with disabilities. The robot has built-in sensors to detect surroundings and to avoid collisions.
Learners extended their gratitude to the DBE and to SITA for the opportunity to showcase their projects to ICT trailblazers and potential investors, stating that the Conference remains a useful platform to engage with ICT gurus and to experience the latest technological advances.