You can smell the genius in the air. And there’s a hint of coffee there, too.
The university students taking part in Siemens’ Cyber Junkyard 2014 have conceptualised and built automated machines to address a need in the industries that they nominated.
Some of them offer delicious treats like automated coffee or cocktails, while others have social and business needs in mind.
Cyber Junkyard is an annual competition, hosted by Siemens, in which university students — many of them future engineers — go head to head to develop the best automation projects based on the German company’s technology. Siemens launched the event in South Africa 11 years ago.
In previous years, the teams were required to recreate and automate one of Siemens’ own projects. This year, the teams could build anything they wanted. But they had to include a business plan for their inventions.
The students taking part in this year’s competition have been working for nearly a year to produce their machines. The results include an automated cocktail machine, an air coffee-bean roaster, a gravity-controlled warehouse system, an autonomous vehicle for farming and an autonomous toolbox for the factory floor.
During the competition, the students had to pitch their ideas and business plans to a team of industry experts in a format not dissimilar to the popular television show Dragon’s Den.
The Cyber Junkyard was held at Siemens’ Future of Manufacturing industry event in Johannesburg on Monday and included students from universities across the country.
The winners were announced at a gala event on Monday evening. The first prize was awarded to the College of Cape Town for their automated coffee bean roaster. The team consists of Nisrine Jirari (team leader and process controller), David Dyers (software developer), Bertram Blankenberg (electrical engineering), Kevin Tjihero (mechanical engineering), Aaron Miller (finances), Magdalene Pretorius (marketing); lecturers Mark Wichman, Ricardo Croy and Chris Josephs; and academic manager Pat Lawrence.
The College of Cape Town receives R100 000 in Siemens products, and the students will benefit from R14 000 in Siemens training. Also, each student receives a GoPro Hero 3 Silver Edition.
The second placed team was from the Durban University of Technology for their automated cocktail machine. It’s won them R50 000 in Siemens products, the students R12 000 in training, and a Pebble Smart Watch each.
Third place was awarded to the Central University of Technology for their semi-autonomous toolbox, which follows a worker around the factory floor and plays instructive videos for the installation of parts, analyses faults and troubleshoots problems. The students won R25 000 in Siemens products as well as R7 000 worth of training. — © 2014 NewsCentral Media