Pupils from more than eight primary schools in Harare are being trained on the science and technology of robots, a study which is expected to assist them appreciate the importance of technical subjects in economic development.
Robotics is the science and technology of robots, including their design, manufacture, and application. A robot is an automatically guided machine, able to do tasks on its own. Robots tend to move around, sense and manipulate their environment and exhibit intelligent behavior.
A robotics expert Moses Chikiwa says Robots are widely used in manufacturing, assembly and packing, transport, earth and space exploration, surgery, laboratory research, and mass production of consumer and industrial goods.
Robots which must work in the real world require some way to manipulate objects; pick up, modify, destroy or otherwise have an effect.
School pupils from eight primary schools, Belvedere, Courtney Selous, Northwood, Tynwald, Dudley Hall, Westridge, Ridgeview, Dominican convent and Harare International are taking part in the training. The programme is expected to spread to other schools and competitions to reward those who excel will be held in June.
But do the pupils understand how important robotics is?
In an interview with ZBC News in the capital, some of the children who are attending the training programme said robotics training will help them understand some ways of problem solving in the real world.
According to the South African Coordinator of the programme Johannes Devries who is in the country to assist in training pupils, for a nation to have experts in technical subjects, training should begin at the lowest level of primary school.
The first digitally operated and programmable robot, the Unimate, was installed in 1961 to lift hot pieces of metal from a die casting machine and stack them.
Today, commercial and industrial robots are in widespread use performing jobs more cheaply or with greater accuracy and reliability than humans.