Retrospective: Inaugural Robotics Conference in Cambodia

Hosted by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, the Inaugural Robotics Conference was a celebration of robotics and a promotion of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in Cambodia.

The event saw presentations and discussions on the future of robotics in the Kingdom. Apart from students, professionals, entrepreneurs and government officials, notable guests such as H.E. LAV Chhiv Eav, Under Secretary of State of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport also attended the conference.

Attendees at the Inaugural Robotics Conference

Attendees at the Inaugural Robotics Conference

Dr C “Nat” Nataraj, Directory of the Villanova University Center for Analytics of Dynamic Systems and Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Villanova University, delivered a keynote lecture on research problems that need to be solved in the field of mobile robotics. With applications in agriculture and mine-action, mobile robotics has the potential to benefit the lives of Cambodians.

Dr. C

Dr. C “Nat” Nataraj participating at the Robotics Conference

Other talks include the Designing and Making Educational Robots in Cambodia, Opportunities for Robotics in Humanitarian Mine Action, and Mind Controlled Robots.

Designing and Making Educational Robots in Cambodia, hosted by Leo Jofeh, an educator from STEM Phnom Penh, covered the potential, demand and the users of robotics. The talk also discussed what has created the current situation of robotics in Phnom Penh and how it can be used to an advantage.

Opportunities for Robotics in Humanitarian Mine Action focused on minefield area reduction. Dr. Garrett M. Clayton, Associate Professor at the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Villanova University, reviewed current technologies, from robotic platforms to sensing technologies.

Mr. UL Dara and Mr. Heng Sokmeng from the Faculty of Norton University discussed Mind Controlled Robots and how they can be used to help the elderly or disabled develop their full potential. They aim to create products and devices to support their movements and fully integrate them into society.

Towards the end of the conference, there was a consensus that the establishment of a professional organisation for robotics engineers, similar to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), could strengthen the growing robotics community in the Kingdom. Other future plans include the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport developing a program to award grants to outstanding technological projects.