Students and members of the Faculty of Engineering of the Ghana Communication Technology University (GCTU) in Accra have built a robot to support in providing all the necessary information of the university’s engineering programmes.
Dubbed, “Royal de Robo”, the cutting-edge device has an in-built sensor in its plastic head that turns around to focus on any visitor near it before providing information on available courses within the faculty.
It also tells prospective students and parents the required qualifications needed to pursue Telecommunication engineering, Electrical and electronics engineering, Computer engineering and Mathematics programmes as well as future job prospects awaiting students.
Sitting on a wood and using electricity, the robot has on top of its head an umbrella that opens up automatically during downpours and closes once the rains stops.
With plastic legs and arms, the device was built entirely from electronic waste materials that were recycled to construct it, and it has been dedicated to the Vice-Chancellor of the university, Professor Emmanuel Ohene Afoakwa.
At ceremony to unveil the robot, the acting Dean of the Faculty of Engineering of the GCTU, Dr Ruhiya Abubakar, said: “I am excited that we have been able to develop this robot which is the first of its kind our university has built”.
She said students were involved in the project in a bid to give them hands-on experience to prepare them for bigger projects soon.
“Soon, the faculty will also develop a robot that will give directions on campus and also more insight into programmes offered in the entire university,” she said.
Dr Abubakar indicated that the world was changing into an era of artificial intelligence (AI) where human factor in development was fading out.
“A lot of work has gone into the robot and I think people will appreciate it more when they get to see what is involved in building a robot that provides useful information on its own,” Dr Abubakar said.
Prof. Afoakwa said GCTU would be three years as a full-fledged university with a mandate to transform the university into a communication technology institution.
That, he said, would help the school to be the institution of “call when it comes to human capital development on information and communications technology and all the disciplines and subject areas that come in this area.”
“As an institution, it is part of our mandate to become the centre of excellence of ICT for Ghana and as part of our vision, we want to build an institution that will be the technological hub for Ghana and the West African sub-region.”
“We want to transform this institution to the Silicon Valley of Ghana and that is going to be the centre of innovation, creativity and technological innovation that will lead to the training of human skills to lead the current digitalisation agenda of Ghana,” he said.
Prof. Afoakwa pointed out that the university currently had cutting-edge programmes and mentioned them to include Electrical and Electronics Engineering Department, Computer Engineering Department, Mathematics Department as well as the Department of Telecommunications Engineering that offered telecommunication courses at the diploma, bachelor of science, masters and doctoral levels.
“Within these departments, we want to ensure that they become the engineering centre of our university where most of the technology that we are going to come out with will shake Ghana and the world.”
“We, therefore, are very excited that the Facility of Engineering has started ensuring they do what they are expected to do and lead the way to creating the engineering hub within the university,” he said.