News

Keep up to date with the latest activities and news from the ESL by visiting this page regularly.

Viticulture Project

The ESL has partnered with researchers from the Department of Viticulture and Oenology at Stellenbosch University to assist them in taking multi spectral aerial images of the vineyards at Thelema Wine Farm. Analysing the data will help farmers and scientists make better decisions during the wine making process.

Robmech 2020

A number of our students (Anton Erasmus, Daniel Jansen and Reghard Grobler) represented the ESL and presented papers at Robmech 2020 in Cape Town.

New students in the ESL

We would like to welcome all the new masters and PhD to the ESL.  Good luck with your research.

Griffin and Wasp Flight Tests

Anton Erasmus implemented the ROS technology into his project to send coordinates to Griffin’s flight controller through an external script. This was tested by sending various coordinates to Griffin and observing its response. ROS allows quick plug and play of software packages across different hardware, increasing the deployment of UAV solutions.

 
Reghard Grobler commissioned a new drone, Wasp. Reghard tested the different controllers of Wasp by flying in specific trajectories.

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1st Cape Town-Aachen Robotics Symposium

ESL students and lecturers presented some of the on going projects within the ESL at the 1st Cape Town-Aachen Robotics Symposium between 1 and 2 July. These projects include weather balloons, toolchains used for development, gliders and neural networks.

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Griffin Test Flight

During each student project there comes a time when the simulations meets reality, where we test our project in the real environment for which they are designed to operate. The morning of the 24th of April was the day when Anton Erasmus tested his self-built drone, Griffin, at the Helderberg Radio Flyers Club.

Anton’s project is titled “Control of a rotary wing UAV with a flexible payload”. This practically means his rotary wing UAV must be able to control a payload with no information of the payload’s mass, length and other dynamic variables. Drones will be delivering a variety of packages, and the control system should be able to adapt to packages changing in form and mass after each delivery. This makes the project very interesting and very useful for future technology.

Support was given by fellow ESL students who provided moral support and helping hands. A test pilot was organised to fly Griffin in case any anomaly occurs to ensure the safety of the vehicle and environment. This was done by Mr. Michael Basson, with whom the ESL has a long relationship.

The goal of the flight test was to ensure that the orientation controllers are behaving as expected. From the observed behavior and verification of the measurement data, Griffin successfully maintained a stable flight throughout the test.

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March Graduation 2019

We would like to congratulate all the ESL students (9 Masters students) which received their degrees in the graduation ceremony on 3rd April.

Engineering Open Day 2019

The Engineering Faculty of Stellenbosch University held its annual open day for prospective students on Saturday the 23rd of February.  As is the case every year the ESL was on the official Electric and Electronic Engineering Department tour.  Inspiring the future engineering students with some demonstrations and the projects we are busy with, showing the applications of control systems and robotics.

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