Inspiring the future engineers of SA

P24 Interconnect would like to congratulate Byron Norval and Tristan Sutherland for their recent achievements at two international science fairs in Spain.

The two Sutherland High School grade 11 pupils were invited to compete in the University of Valencia Experimenta Science Fair on 7 April where they were placed 1st in the Technological Applications Category. They also took a 3rd place at the Maria Enriquez – Gandia International Fair, held from 8 – 10 April.

Both learners have worked extremely hard over the past two years on their 6D-Bot Explorer robot and received a Gold Medal, 1st in their category and 2nd overall in the North Gauteng Senior Science Fair 2018. They then went on to achieve another Gold Medal at the SA Youth Engineering Symposium (SAYESS) 2018.

The 6D-Bot is built and designed to explore water pipes, mine and cave tunnels which are inaccessible to humans. To achieve this, the robot has a custom chassis as well as custom wheels made of soft compound for rocks and a harder compound for mud. The robot has a 6 drive power system and is capable of capturing exploration data, which includes Lidar 3D mapping combined with two video camera live feeds, temperature, humidity and carbon monoxide.

To assist the remote driving, an accelerometer and gyroscope give the driver tilt, yaw and roll. A custom written Delphi application captures all the information being transferred from the 6D-Bot via an Ethernet cable, to log, process and display the information.

According to Byron, the idea for the 6D-Bot came in three waves. “The first was the concept derived when we entered the GrottoBot Challenge in 2017. The second inspiration came from a visit 12 months later to a local company that builds tunnel robots for automated inspections. The final decision to proceed with the 6D-Bot was an accumulation of all our ideas and experience.”

“We hope to build the next generation robot, as soon as time permits. We both want to go on to be young engineers and inventors pioneering new technology for South Africa. I am interested in studying Mechanical Engineering and Byron is keen on Electronic/Electrical Engineering,” says Tristan.

“Projects like these are exactly what South Africa needs to drive it’s Electronic Industry into the future,” says P24 Interconnect CEO, Quentin van den Bergh, “and we would like to offer Tristan and Byron further support by granting them access to our business network, engineering team and production facilities for all their upcoming projects.”