Coordinator of Guyana’s first ever National Robotics Exhibition, Karen Abrams has told Stabroek Business that the event provides the local private sector with “as good an opportunity as is available to the business community to make a meaningful investment in the qualitative growth of the country, not for this year and the next but for generations to come. It would be unfortunate if the private sector stands on the sidelines on this initiative,” Abrams told Stabroek Business from her Atlanta-based home earlier this week.
The Guyanese-born, Abrams, who, with the support of the Office of the First Lady, initiated the well-received Guyana Summer STEM Camp last year told Stabroek Business that the Robotics Exhibition, which will be held at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall, seeks not only to take local appreciation of technology to the next level but also to conduct a survey of the extent of interest among young Guyanese “in better understanding the technology that underpins robotics and even contributing to the practical application of robotics to helping to respond to Guyana’s developmental ambitions.”
The country’s first ever robotics exhibition is being executed around a number of themes including food security, oil and gas, healthcare, education, the environment and crime control. These themes, Abrams said, are at heart of Guyana’s developmental priorities and one of the hoped-for outcomes is that the event will be able to create, for participants and attendees, some degree of insight into how “robotics can take Guyana forward in those disciplines that we have chosen as themes. If we can begin from here to develop ideas around which careers can be built then that would be an accomplishment”.
Abrams said that the event’s appeal to the private sector to make a meaningful contribution was driven by the view that “in the final analysis the practical returns from an event of this kind are likely to contribute to the innovative transformation that will be necessary if today’s business houses are to expand and to prosper.”
Some weeks ago Abrams announced that arrangements had been put in place for a team from Guyana to participate in an international robotics competition in Washington in July and the organizers are treating the June Robotics Exhibition as an event designed to raise awareness of the discipline ahead of the departure of the team for Washington.
Meanwhile, Abrams told Stabroek Business that the Ministry of Education has been “challenged” to create an informational/demonstration booth at next month’s event. “Our goal here is to attract the participation of school-age children in order to share new technologies with young people of Guyana because we want to help to inspire them to pursue an education which will prepare them for the technological future that Guyana has to embrace,” she said.
Attendees at the event will get an opportunity to learn to build and programme robots, view projects created by local STEM clubs and see Lego Mindstorm EV3 robots – third generation robotics kit in Lego’s Mindstorms line used in the creation of robots for the World Robot Olympiad – in action. The robot built by the Guyana team for the July Washington competition will also be on display at next month’s robotics exhibition.