A 15-YEAR-OLD Proserpine State High School student has created a brilliant robotic arm that could potentially aid recycling in the future.
Sam Rogers’ ingenious idea – a robotic invention called Autonomous E-Waste Sorting Robotic Arm – has taken him far.
From the Queensland Science Contest, to the national BHP Science and Engineering Awards and, finally, to the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in Atlanta, Georgia, between May 7 and May 13.
Sam represented Australia, together with six other students, and was awarded third place in the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence category among 1,800 other competitors from more than 80 countries; he also won second place in the category of Environmental Engineering.
Over the years, Sam became passionate about electronics and science and how to apply this knowledge to find solutions to help the environment; this passion, together with a connection to the Whitsundays, led him to creating his robotic invention.
“I became interested in the environment, particularly how automation could be used to solve environmental problems,” Sam said.
“Being passionate about electronics, I became very concerned with the massive impact E-waste was having on our environment.”
But what does Sam’s AI electronic sorting robotic arm do and why is it so innovative?
The idea is very clever, as Sam has developed what is said to be the world’s first autonomous electronics waste sorting robotic arm that can detect, pick and sort environmental recycled pollutants, by using an electromagnetic-suction cup gripper.
Inventing such a device took only 10 months but there was a lot of research, perseverance, trial and error during the process, to give the best shot for the international competition, in USA, which all paid off.
“While I went through countless iterations of particular parts, after the national competition I redesigned the machine from the ground up to give myself the best shot for internationals,” Sam said.
Although Sam is now focusing on school and has put his project aside, his ideas are still bubbling, as well as his desire to continue pursuing a path in automation to invent more clever solutions to help the environment.