The IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (RAS) has become the first IEEE society to establish a Special Interest Group on Humanitarian Technology (SIGHT), a program that aims to promote the mission of IEEE regarding humanitarian technology activities.
RAS-SIGHT’s mission is to contribute sustainable robotics and automation techniques to improve the quality of life in underserved and underdeveloped parts of the world. The group educates students about robotics through competitions and by collaborating with organizations like Engineers Without Borders-USA on projects. It is also identifying areas where robots can search for survivors in disasters, clear land mines, and monitor endangered species.
In a recent project held in conjunction with the African Robotics Network, RAS-SIGHT sponsored a robot design challenge for high schoolers in Africa, with an aim to get students interested in robotics while demonstrating how robotics can help boost education in the continent. The students were given the task to build affordable robots with just $10 to buy parts.