How IBM and MDEC got Malaysian students to build cardboard robots

In a bid to spur the transformative spirit in young Malaysians further, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) and IBM Malaysia recently co-hosted the IBM Watson Maker Workshop for SMK Kompleks KLIA. This workshop was designed to introduce students to beginner’s maker and coding skills, and artificial intelligence in a fun way.

The IBM Watson Maker Workshop is one of several IBM’s corporate social responsibility efforts in support of #mydigitalmaker movement geared at transforming Malaysian youth from digital users to producers in the digital economy. 

Volunteers from IBM Malaysia guided 30 students in building and assembling ‘TJBots’ from laser-printed cardboards and Raspberry Pi 3 boards before connecting them to Watson Speech to Text application programming interface (API) service available on IBM Bluemix. The IBM TJBot is an open-source project and a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) kit that allows anyone to build their programmable cardboard robots powered by Watson.

Speaking at the event David Raper, Lead of Corporate Citizenship, IBM Asia Pacific and Greater China Group said: “It is gratifying to see students team build their own robots while learning and exploring technology.  Technology is all about keeping experiments going and coming up with something truly life-changing for the world and the community. By exposing students to coding, robotics and artificial intelligence, we are preparing them for the future where digital technology is disrupting businesses. It was great to see the commitment from MDEC towards the #mydigitalmaker initiative to skill up youth in the ecosystem.”

Sumitra Nair, Vice President, Talent & Digital Entrepreneurship Division at MDEC added:

“Technology, as we know it today, is a part of everyone’s life, and it is time we educate students, teachers as well as parents in unfolding its depths and potential. The #mydigitalmaker team are committed to coaching the younger generation and teachers with the correct education plans and effective workshops so that they can embrace technology as a skillset and be digital-ready in this digital economic future. This will help empower our younger generation to be trained problem solvers, and their ideas soon will benefit the society and fuel the nation’s digital economy. The MDEC and IBM Watson Maker Workshop is definitely a good start, and we are hoping to organise similar workshops this year for students from other schools to keep the momentum going, especially with the much-anticipated #mydigitalmaker Fair 2017 inching closer.”



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