CUT scoops Cyber Junkyard prize with mobile toolbox


A SEMI-AUTONOMOUS toolbox that follows a worker around a factory floor scooped third spot for its creators from Bloemfontein’s  Central University of Technology during the 2014 Cyber Junkyard Challenge.

According to a statement, the maintenance assistant named Betsie helps factory workers by following them around and playing instructive videos for the installation of parts, analyzing faults and troubleshooting problems. First prize went to the College of Cape Town for its fully automated coffee roaster and the Durban University of Technology came second with an automated cocktail machine.

Eight teams from South African tertiary institutions competed in this year’s Cyber Junkyard Challenge, which has been presented by Siemens for 11 years. It is aimed at challenging students to engineer the solutions of the future, as well as giving them an opportunity to practically apply the skills they are being taught.

The winners were announced in Cape Town last night.

Other projects included a cup-cake decorator from North-West University, a biogas heating system from Northlink College, a gravity warehouse system from the Tshwane University of Technology, an autonomous vehicle for the agriculture and manufacturing industries from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, and a micro-grid stabiliser for electricity grids.

Siemens Southern and Eastern Africa Vice President: Process Industries and Drives, Raymond Padayachee, says, “South Africa needs dedicated and well trained engineers.

“But we also need people with a vision for the future. People with creativity and a talent for engineering solutions beyond everyday thinking,” he says.