Student's "Remote Robot" wins National Midas Third Level Project competition
Final year Engineering student Ruairi Doherty from Ballinasloe declared joint winner
Date Article Written:
Friday, October 23, 2020
A GMIT Engineering student’s project “Remote Robot” has won joint first place in this year’s National Midas Third Level Electronic Project Competition: Ruairi Doherty from Creagh, Ballinasloe, Co Galway, who completed the B. Eng (Hons) in Software & Electronic Engineering this year (2020) and is now employed by Microchip Technology Inc, won the top accolade with a fellow engineering student from NUI Galway Oisín Anderson.
Ruairi’s Remote-Robot is a wireless, hand-gesture controlled robot arm. The initial application was for situations where precision is required, in environments unsuitable for a human to operate in such as bomb disposal, radioactive environments or natural disaster relief. However, with the emergence of COVID-19 new applications for the project became apparent. “It could be used as an aid for people who are elderly, vulnerable, or have mobility issues, for example, if people call to the door to drop off some items such as shopping or a delivery, the Remote-Robot could be used to collect the items whilst avoiding contact,” explains Ruairi.
“It could also provide a mechanism for security as the robot could stream a live video of a person’s premises. It can help with simple tasks that may be harder for people who are sick or immobile, such as retrieving medicine from a bedside locker, turning a light on/off, or opening/closing a door.” says Ruairi.
“The robot arm is controlled using a wireless peer-to-peer communication protocol, similar to what you might find when using a wireless mouse. It has a range of up to 200 metres. This means that it could provide assistance to vulnerable people in a safe manner, by avoiding any human-to-human contact. The Remote-Robot also has a camera attached to it so the user can view a livestream via a web-server.”
“I’d like to thank my supervisor Paul Lennon who provided me with continuous guidance and support throughout the project, and also encouraged me to enter the MIDAS project competition. The lecturers of the Electronic & Electrical Engineering department at GMIT provided me with a very supportive learning environment, which enabled me to obtain a Graduate Software Engineer position at Microchip Technology Inc, Cork.” adds Ruairi.
Lecturer and supervisor Paul Lennon paid tribute to Ruairi for his hard work and dedication: “Well done Ruairi, a fantastic result and an inspiration for all GMIT students. To compete and win against the best of the Irish Universities and IoTs demonstrates how your hard work and belief in your own abilities can produce great results."
There were 24 entries in total to the 3rd Level MIDAS Electronic Project Competition, sponsored by Analog Devices. The winners were each awarded €1,000 cash prize.
Siobhán Walsh, MIDAS Co-ordinator, says: “The adjudication panel was delighted with the positive response to this year’s competition and we congratulate our joint winners Ruairi Doherty (GMIT) and Oisín Anderson (NUI Galway) and runner up, Cornelia Schmitt (Maynooth University) and their supervisors for their efforts this year".
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Ruairi Doherty from Creagh, Ballinasloe, Co Galway, pictured with his project “Remote Robot”. Ruairi completed his B. Eng (Hons) in Software & Electronic Engineering in GMIT this year (2020) and is now employed by Microchip Technology Inc.