Request for crowd funding towards attendance of Kenya’s  robots contest

Professor Senya Kiyasu; Faculty of Engineering, Nagasaki University

This project is in an all or nothing format 

The amount to be raised is 1,500,000 Japanese Yens, to be raised by Friday 31st March 2017. Amount raised will be confirmed by 23:00 O’clock, Japan Time.

Outline of the project

The Kenya robots contest will be held this year in May during the annual science week. College and university students participate in the contest. It is usually the most exciting side event of the science week. The contest has been held every year since 2009. It provides students with an opportunity to apply knowledge as well as stimulating their creativity in technology. Nagasaki University, through Faculty of Engineering has been supporting the contest by providing judges and prizes for winning teams. The judges participate in evaluation during the contest. They also conduct a seminar on robotics hardware and software engineering. These seminars have significantly contributed to improvement of robots over time.

Detailed description of the project

My name is Professor Senya Kiyasu from the Faculty of Engineering of Nagasaki University. Our University has been supporting Kenya’s robots contest since 2012. Support has been through volunteer faculty members with some financial support from the university to cater for travel expenses and other expenses while in Kenya. However, due to arising financial constraints, the university will not be able to sponsor this brilliant event this year. I launched this project due to my desire to continue participating in the contest and more specifically, to impact the future of Kenyan students through enhancing their skills and knowledge in robotics, and technology at large.

Students from technical colleges and universities participate in the contest. The students make the robots by themselves using locally available or improvised materials. Each contest usually has a theme, and is based on a predesigned task. In 2016, 29 institutions participated in the contest. Institutions from Uganda and Rwanda have previously participated in the contest.

Most robots are able to complete the task. The students however encounter some challenges during construction of the robots including errors design and programing that affect functionality of the robots. Some robots even break down during transportation. Despite such challenges, a lot of innovativeness and creativity is exhibited by the students. Interest in robotics is also notable. Students actively participate in the contest, cheering up the robots while making the event very lively.

Kenya is an economic and technology hub for East Africa. Developing engineering and technological human capacity in Kenya will impact not only the region but also Africa at large. And Africa is a continent where lots of technology growth is expected in future in the world.Empowering young people with knowledge and skills in engineering and technology is necessary since the young people are key contributors to technology development.  Sustaining the robots contest is therefore critical as it provides an opportunity for the students to apply knowledge, learn and motivate each other while growing passion and ingenuity that go a long way into training of young engineers. These then support continued growth and development of science and technology in African countries.

This year, the robots contest is scheduled in May. Two faculty members from the faculty of engineering will be available to participate in the contest as judges. They will also conduct a seminar to train students and their technical instructors on robotics engineering and programing. The faculty also wishes to purchase prizes for winning teams.

To support my capacity enhancement initiative for young Kenyan engineers and technologists, kindly contribute in this project. Let us positively impact Kenya and Africa together!

About the project

・Robots contest date and time: May 2017
・Robots contest  venue: Kenyatta International Conference Center in Nairobi, Kenya
・Sponsors: Kenya Ministry of education science and technology
・Use of proceeds: travel expenses of the judges, purchasing of prizes for winning teams, facilitation of robotics seminar


Professor Senya Kiyasu, Faculty of engineering; Nagasaki University
Nurturing excellent engineers for sustained growth and development of science and technology in Africa



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