-- Adds new industry category to 2014 Sri Lanka Robotics Challenge of Moratuwa University --
The Brandix Group has announced a potentially life-changing annual innovation award for a successful robotic solution to an industry-specific challenge, significantly raising the bar for Sri Lankan innovators working in the sphere of automation.
To be presented as a new category of the Sri Lanka Robotics Challenge (SLRC) conducted annually for the university fraternity by the E-Club of the Department of Electronic and Telecommunication Engineering of the University of Moratuwa, the Brandix Innovation Award will also be open to the wider inventor community, and will comprise of a cash prize, a trophy and financial and technical support to develop the invention, the company said.
Brandix is the principal sponsor of the 2014 Sri Lanka Robotics Challenge which will select Sri Lanka's representation at the next International Robotics Challenge (IRC) conducted annually by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Mumbai.
For the inaugural Brandix Innovation Award, Brandix has set contenders the challenge of building a robotic arm that can pick up single pieces of fabric from a stack and place them in a reverse-order stack within a specified area, within five minutes. The entire stack may not be picked up at once, reversed in the air and placed in the new location, and the pieces of fabric cannot be damaged or folded in the process.
The finals of the 2014 Sri Lanka Robotics Challenge are scheduled for 12th December 2014, with the qualification round for the Industry Challenge to be held on 11th December 2014.
The team that produces the best fabric handling robotic arm that meets the challenge will receive a cash prize of Rs 250,000 from Brandix, an opportunity within the Group to build or refine the robot, opportunities to connect with global robotics specialists, an employment opportunity to work on the prototype, and if the product is commercially viable, seed funding and assistance to register a company from Disrupt Unlimited, the Brandix-led start-up seed accelerator.
The robotic innovation that completes the process will thereafter be provided an opportunity to be implemented as a solution at Brandix facilities in Sri Lanka, India and Bangladesh, the company said. A Brandix Innovation Award winner who "successfully fails" in his or her endeavour has the option of continued employment within the Group.
"Innovations that disrupt existing processes are the key to the future of many industries," said Brandix Director Udena Wickremesooriya. "At Brandix, we have taken it upon ourselves to be the stimulus for technological innovation in the apparel industry, where we believe, the potential for transformative technology and processes is infinite."
Launched in early 2014, Disrupt Unlimited is a seed accelerator that seeks to inspire, mentor and fund start-ups with breakthrough solutions to disrupt products, practices, processes and business models in the Apparel, Textile and Accessories sectors. The company's role is to encourage innovators from across industries to develop technology-driven solutions that address challenges at every stage of the supply chains, leading to revolutionary changes in the way apparels, textiles and accessories are made, packaged, distributed and consumed.
Disrupt Unlimited was initiated by Brandix with an intention to fast-track Sri Lanka's evolution into a knowledge and innovation hub for the apparel, textile and fashion accessories sectors. In order to build a stronger ecosystem for innovation in Sri Lanka, Brandix has partnerships with the Universities of Colombo, Peradeniya, Moratuwa, Kelaniya, Sri Jayewardenepura and Wayamba and the Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology (SLIIT). The Group also partners the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Global Start-up Labs (MIT-GSL) Sri Lanka programme, and sponsors the robotics competitions of several other universities and institutions as well.
For more details regarding the SLRC 2014, visit: www.mrt.ac.lk/competitions/slrc