Hephestus Project: Bringing robotics to Mindanao youth
Eyeing a future in which robotics aid in education and learning, the University of Mindanao through the Academic Planning Services (APS) is set to launch the Hephestus Project, an educational robotics course for planning, invention, and development of robots and droids.
Named after the Greek god who served as blacksmith of the gods, the Hephestus Project has four components integrated in its short, medium, and long-term goals.
According to a primer provided by the APS, the first component is the Open Robotics Literacy Program, which is a short term objective aimed at the Senior Highschool program. Implementation of the Open Robotics Literacy Program is in partnership with the Lego Robotics Education.
The University of Mindanao shall become the exclusive delivering school for the robotics program as a LEGO Educational Robotics and Computer Technical Training Center.
For the medium term objectives, the In-House Robotics Literacy Program and the Robotics University Consortium and Robotics Olympics are geared toward senior high school and college students, and will see partnerships and collaborative undertakings with other Philippine schools who have integrated robotics in their curriculum.
Advanced Robotics Education meanwhile as the final component and integrated in the long term objective, is where a robotics track curriculum for higher education students, which can be made a requirement or elective for CCE, CEE, STEM and other natural sciences programs is done. This is also the component where a UM Robotics Institute is seen established. The Hephestus Project under this component is also aimed at “undertaking R&D activities to explore and develop industrial robotics prototypes with commercial application,” according to the APS primer.
Introducing higher technology to young minds and making the research, technology and opportunity to learn closer to home is an exciting prospect.