Robotics

Futbol: The Beautiful Game

By Heldana Michael

Futbol! The prince of sports! A brain sport in this case. Where students sweat their brains to enable robots to play this great game.

The fourth RoboSoccer Cup was held between the days of August 16th and 17th at Kana Studio alongside Solve IT 2019. Although only three of the expected four teams showed up to the tournament, each of these teams was phenomenal in their respective games and gave the other team a run for their money. Our newest addition to the team was Bahir Dar University and the team proved to be an equally tough team to beat. Moreover, the members of this team were high school students coming from the university’s (Bahir Dar) STEM center.
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Humanoids: the new era in robotics

By: Selam Temesgen

Humanoids, as their name gives it away, are robots that look like humans. We all have seen them in movies where they do everything human beings can, and sometimes more, while appearing positively indistinguishable from people. Currently, science, although still way behind, has come a long distance in terms of achieving that aspiration.

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March 3, 2017

By: Taika Alemu

The long awaited grand event for the Makers Initiative was underway at the premises of Ministry of Science and Technology on March 3, 2017. While I was watching the little cute toys on the pitch, it occurred to me that they never get tired; lifeless expressions! Then I saw the competing students and ah and I saw the familiar signs, weary, worried, but determined. How did we get here?

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Des geeks éthiopiens veulent fabriquer les robots de demain

By: Emeline Wuilbercq (contributrice Le Monde Afrque, à Addis Abeba) En savoir plus sur

Photo Courtesy: Emeline Wuilbercq

Photo Courtesy: Emeline Wuilbercq

 

Le robot noir et blanc s’immobilise. Ses yeux, deux petites lumières rouges, s’allument. Il fait une rotation de 90°, reconnaît l’objet bleu à quelques centimètres de lui, s’avance et tape dans une balle en plastique. « Le robot est chinois, mais le processeur est “made in Ethiopia”, c’est un étudiant qui l’a mis au point, explique Getnet Aseffa. Dans quelques mois, nous allons organiser la première compétition nationale de football entre robots, dans la même veine que le tournoi international RoboCup ! »Bienvenue dans la salle des expériences d’iCog Labs au cœur du quartier universitaire d’Addis Abeba. Getnet Aseffa, 28 ans, en est l’un des cerveaux. En 2012, fraîchement diplômé en informatique, ce passionné de robotique, lecteur fervent du chantre de la singularité Raymond Kurzweil, a co-créé le premier laboratoire éthiopien de recherche et de développement en intelligence artificielle, avec l’aide du chercheur américain Ben Goertzel.

Des clients étrangers

« Nos programmeurs ont les mêmes compétences que les Chinois, les Américains et les Européens, assure M. Aseffa. La seule différence se trouve dans le fossé économique et les défis auxquels nous faisons face quotidiennement. » Parmi eux : le manque d’infrastructures, la connexion Internet erratique et les coupures fréquentes d’électricité. « Au début, les développeurs perdaient des centaines de lignes de code, poursuit-il. Maintenant, ils sauvegardent les données presque toutes les minutes. » Les serveurs du laboratoire se trouvent en Allemagne pour plus de sécurité.

Artificial Intelligence Catches Fire in Ethiopia

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Young Ethiopian with robot whose AI software was created in his country.

Young Ethiopian with robot whose AI software was created in his country.

Ethiopia has come a long way from its nightmare past of famine and war. It still has splendid 12th century rock churches carved into the ground, the plateaued Simian Mountains, the ancient city of Gondar and of course, the human ancestral fossil Lucy, its oldest hominid ambassador. But now computer science is thriving in its capital, Addis Ababa. And Ethiopian artificial intelligence R&D is on fire.

The driver for this unexpected artificial intelligence (AI) industry sector is the autocratic government’s massive multi-billion dollar, ultra-high tech, industrial plans and its fervent development of higher education to support them. Today, there are over 30 official universities and 130 or so polytechnics, most of them emphasizing technology. Many of them are in the capital and, in 2012, the Ministry of Science and Technology established its own university and a $250 million dollar tech park nearby.

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