A small, eight-legged robot skittering across a table at the Orchard Hotel yesterday could help Singapore's military defence in the future by carrying ammunition over uneven terrain or surveilling enemies.
Created by a team of four 17-year-old students, the robot was a prototype from last year's Young Defence Scientists Programme (YDSP), where more than 400 students from 19 schools learnt about defence science and technology through research attachments, activities and technology camps.
Many of the students shared their ideas, research and experiences at the YDSP Congress yesterday at the Orchard Hotel.
National Junior College Year 5 student Sharon Tan, who helped create the robot, said the project gave her hands-on experience in 3D printing.
Raffles Girls' School Year 4 student Clara-Ann Cheng Ling, 16, attended a five-day camp which introduced students to concepts behind space technologies. She and four teammates developed an unmanned aerial vehicle as part of the camp.
"My favourite lecture was one on systems engineering, because it showed me how space exploration requires the co-operation of many people, with the systems engineer keeping everything in balance," she said. The annual programme, started in 1992, is run by the Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA), and defence research organisation DSO National Laboratories.
Minister of State for Defence Mohamad Maliki Osman, the guest of honour at yesterday's event, said: "Anyone can dream about the future, but engineers are the ones who turn ideas and concepts into reality... We need more bright and passionate engineers."
He gave out 30 scholarships and 70 awards for outstanding academic achievements in science and technology, and mathematics and physics.
This article was first published on April 22, 2015.
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