VAMK RobotSoccer News

An exclusive workshop on RobotSoccer was organised by the Department of Information Technology of Vaasan ammattikorkeakoulu, University of Applied Sciences (VAMK) from the 3rd to the 5th of November 2008.  Visits to ABB Motors, Wärtsilä and VACON were also included in the program.

The participants to the workshop came from the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU). UAEU is the first and foremost comprehensive National University in the United Arab Emirates which was established in 1976. During 2007/2008, there were 12 685 students enrolled and 667 faculty members (Ph.D. Holders) spread over nine colleges within UAEU.

The workshop was organised in Technobothnia Research and Training Centre (TRTC).  The Centre is located at the Vaasa Science Park and covers a total surface area of more than 5 000 square meters and integrates advanced laboratories including high and medium voltage power systems, machines and drives systems, automation and mechanical engineering as well as Information Technology, Construction and Environmental Engineering laboratories. The centre is carefully designed to provide an effective framework for high-standard research and professional training and offers an excellent link of cooperation with the industry.

From left to right: Dr . Khalifa Harib, Dr. Nabil Bostaki, Dr. Farag Omar, and M.Sc. Juha Hantula in Technobothnia.

The workshop covered the key issues in the design and implementation of the Botnia RoboCup Small Size League System. The focus was on the impact of the RoboCup project in education and research at VAMK and on the transferability of the knowhow.

“We had a very successful workshop. We gained valuable knowledge and the time was well spent with the workshop attendees.  We have keen interest in the Robotsoccer project and are looking forward to a mutual collaboration in the near future. We also appreciate very much VAMK for the good organisation of the workshop and great hospitality", says Dr. Nabil Bostaki, Head of Industrial Training and Graduation Projects Unit at UAE University.

Mr Panu Kimpimäki, Marketing manager at ABB motors describing the production process at ABB motors in Vaasa.

RoboCup is an international project to promote applied research and education. It integrates a wide range of technologies such as software, telecommunication, electronics as well as mechanics and many more. RoboCup chose to use soccer game as a central topic of research, aiming at innovations to be applied for socially significant problems and industries.

The RoboCup project forms a perfect match for the education objectives of the information technology program of VAMK. The Information Technology Department of VAMK initiated the Robotsoccer project in 2000 and succeeded to create the first generation Robotsoccer Botnia team in 2005. The Botnia Robotsoccer team has participated in many international competitions and achieved good results.

Mr. Ilter Nevzat, Manager at Wärtsilä, presenting the activities of his company. 

The UAE University plans to implement, with the help of VAMK, a similar project and use it as an educational medium and a research platform. The project is meant to offer faculties an exciting way to give their students hands-on experiences with real problems and to support their engineering curriculum. VAMK is willing to share its experiences and transferability of know-how to their partners in UAEU. 

The workshop program included visits to industrial sites that are located in the Vaasa region. The industrial visit started at the Strömberg Park where ABB, a leader company in power and automation technologies, is located.

The second visited company was Wärtsilä, a leader of power solutions. A comprehensive presentation about Wärtsilä Product Factory W20 was given by Mr Ilter Nevzat, Manager followed by a factory tour.  

Mr. Mikko Muurimäki taking a memorial picture with the vistors from UAEU at VACON.

The program ended by visiting VACON Plc, a company that is specialised in designing and producing Variable Speed AC Drives (VSD) and located at the Vaasa Airport Park.  Mr. Mikko Muurimäki, Manager at VACON gave an interesting presentation about VACON with good explanation on the effect of VSD on power consumption and environment. After the presentation, Ms. Katja Lassila, HR Manager took the visitors for a tour in the factory side of the company.

A guided tour in Vaasa was also organised by Mr Vesa-Matti Honkanen, Senior Lecturer at VAMK. This offered a good opportunity to the participants to discover about the uniqueness of the city's location and latest development of its sustainable urban nature base strategies.

Mr. Vesa-Matti Honkanent, explaining the urbanism history of Vaasa.

“I would like to thank VAMK for their outstanding generosity and great hospitality. We felt so welcomed. We are grateful to the workshop team for all of the presentations, companies' visits and city tour. Our view of Finland and its people is no longer limited to Nokia", says Dr. Farag K. Omar, Head, College Requirement Division, UAE University.

Text: Principal Lecturer Smail Menani, Information Technology

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