From Left: Eng. B.G.D. Achintha Madhusanka, Eng. [Mrs.] Nimali Medagedara, Mr. Singhe Wijesinghe , Eng. P.D.S. Hiroshan Gunawardane
A team comprising of researchers supervised by Eng. [Mrs.] Nimali T Medagedara and Eng. BGD Achintha Madhusanka of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, OUSL has been selected as the first-runners up in “The Soft Robotics Toolkit Design Competition 2016” hosted by Bio Design Laboratory, John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences in Harvard University USA. The principle researcher, Eng. P.D.S. Hiroshan Gunawardane is a graduate from the Department of Mechanical Engineering who is now employed as a probationary lecturer. A valuable assistance was also rendered by Mr. Singhe Wijesinghe, an undergraduate student from the Department in the fabrication process.
The OUSL competed with around 20 other nations with more than eighty teams from well-known universities, high schools and researchers around the world in three categories. The Soft Robotics Design Team of the OUSL introduced the “Design and Development of a Hand Gesture Controlled Soft Robot Manipulator” which is a novel methodology to control a soft robot manipulator with a three finger soft gripper by imitating real-time human hand gestures.
The competition was judged by nine top researchers in the field of robotics selected by the Harvard University. The winner was Worcester Polytechnic Institute, MA, USA (World Rank 682). The First Runners-Up was the Open University of Sri Lanka(World Rank 4479) and Second Runners-Up was Cornell University, NY, USA. (World Rank 6). Some of the other renowned universities that participated are University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia (World Rank 91), Colorado State University, CO, USA (World Rank 192) and Rochester Institute of Technology, NY, USA (World Rank 387).
- University rankings from http://www.webometrics.info/en
- The Soft Robotics Toolkit Design Competition 2016 web site:http://softroboticstoolkit.com/design-competition-2016 .
- For the more information about the OUSL project you can search YouTube under “Soft Robot Gripper (Team_18 Soft Robotics Competition 2016)” and “Fabricating Soft Robot Actuators (Team_18 Soft Robotics Competition 2016)”.