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26 February 2024

Mobile Robotics workshop inspires Jamaica’s future innovators

WorldSkills Jamaica and Studica trained WorldSkills Lyon 2024 Competitors and Experts, as well as teachers from national high schools and TVET institutions.

A week-long workshop hosted by WorldSkills Jamaica and Global Partner, Studica Robotics, has given future Competitors in Autonomous Mobile Robotics a taste of what awaits them at WorldSkills Competition 2024 in Lyon, France, and beyond.

HEART/NSTA Trust’s Autonomous Mobile Robotics Invitational Training Camp, which took place from 15 to 19 January, was more than just training for teams participating in the Competition this year. It was an opportunity for Jamaica to introduce local mobile robotics teachers to WorldSkills Occupational Standards, enabling them to guide and support the future workforce across crucial sectors.

“As we unveil the incredible possibilities that autonomous mobile robotics present, we aim to ignite a spark in the next generation of robotics enthusiasts, particularly in the secondary school system,” said Taneisha Ingleton, Managing Director of HEART/NSTA Trust, CEO and Official Delegate of WorldSkills Jamaica.

“We want to promote robotics not merely as a subject or an extracurricular activity but as a viable and exciting career path, opening doors to endless opportunities.”

During the workshop, trainees were introduced to components of the Stack Robot Kit and the WorldSkills Competition 2024 Autonomous Mobile Robotics Kit, which they were able to assemble and program to perform specific tasks. They received initial instructions in the theory and operations of Mobile Robotics, and learned about the design, programming, and manufacturing aspects of Mobile Robotics.

The event was attended by teachers and instructors from twelve learning institutions from across Jamaica, including eight high schools and four HEART/NSTA Trust institutions, as well as Experts from Trinidad and Tobago, South Africa, and Singapore.

Competitors from Singapore, who also took part in the training, participated in a friendly competition with Jamaican competitors closing an exceptional week of learning and cooperation. All were able to assess their newly acquired skills before the Competition in Lyon. Students from across Jamaica followed the week’s events closely, watching problem-solving in real-time, and appreciating the precision required to reach a world-class level.

WorldSkills Champions Trust representative for the Americas, Sonya Hill, was present throughout the week. Sonya, who represented Jamaica in the skill of Mobile Robotics at WorldSkills Competition 2022 Special Edition in Bordeaux, France, was able to reassure Competitors by sharing her experiences of the Competition.

“The atmosphere of the training was engaging, competitive, and supportive. There was a combination of theoretical knowledge and hands-on exercises, which provided a more comprehensive learning experience, aligning them with the standards expected at international competitions and in industry,” she explains.

Sonya noted that teachers and instructors who attended are now more equipped to teach the youth of Jamaica in the area of Mobile Robotics, while Competitors and Experts will feel more confident as they prepare for the upcoming Competition in Lyon.

For WorldSkills Jamaica and the HEART NSTA Trust, this marks a significant milestone in advancing Jamaica’s technical vocational education and training system, fostering collaboration, and inspiring future innovators in the dynamic field of Mobile Robotics.

The city of Lyon, France will host WorldSkills Lyon 2024 from 10 to 15 September 2024, where over 1,500 Competitors from over 65 countries and regions will compete in 62 skill competitions.