Honolulu Community College students Harris Okazaki and Ryan Yamada, recently participated in the 21st Annual International Micro Robot Contest in Nagoya, Japan.
The competition featured over 130 robots from Japan, Indonesia, South Korea, Thailand, Taiwan and the United States competing in four categories.
Okazaki, a construction management major, and Yamada, a liberal arts student, participated in the most difficult and most prestigious category, which required the microbots to navigate a maze with no assistance from the students. Yamada placed fourth and Okazaki placed seventh in a field of 19 contestants.
The skills students develop through this process could lead directly to good jobs in the private sector, according to Honolulu CC Assistant Professor and Robotics Club Advisor Norman Takeya.
“There is a growing demand for workers in the industrial and manufacturing space who have the mechatronic skills needed to maintain, diagnose and repair sophisticated, automated systems that characterize manufacturing in the 21st century,” explained Takeya.
Although Honolulu CC does not have a mechatronics program, the potential demand for these skills from the business sector could put the college on course to develop this area further.