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Brandix powers Sri Lanka team to international robot competition

Brandix's Chief People Officer Ishan Dantanarayana (Right) and the Vice Chancellor of the University of Peradeniya Prof. Atula Senaratne sign the sponsorship agreement, in the presence of representatives of the University.

Enters into three year sponsorship of Peradeniya University's teams for ROBOCON

Sri Lanka's aspirations to win the 2013 ROBOCON International Robot Competition conducted by the Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) have been backed by Brandix, the country's single largest apparel exporter.

Brandix has accepted an invitation to be the sole sponsor of the University of Peradeniya Faculty of Engineering team that will represent Sri Lanka at this event in Danang, Vietnam, on 18th August 2013, after winning the national competition for Engineering Faculties of the country.

A Memorandum of Understanding between Brandix and the Faculty of Engineering of Peradeniya University also paves the way for Brandix to sponsor the Faculty's teams that will compete at the 2014 and 2015 ABU ROBOCON international competitions, provided they win the national competitions conducted by the Independent Television Network (ITN).

The agreement was signed by the Vice Chancellor of the University of Peradeniya Prof. Atula Senaratne and Brandix's Chief People Officer Mr. Ishan Dantanarayana, in the presence of the Dean of the Faculty of Engineering Prof. Leelananda Rajapaksha, Head of Electrical and Electronic Engineering Dr. A. Atputharajah and Senior Lecturers of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering Dr. M. P. B. Ekanayake and Dr. B. G. L. T. Samaranayake.

Funds provided by Brandix will enable the Peradeniya University team to use advanced and sophisticated technology and materials to produce faster and smarter robots to meet the requirements posed by the new game field and the game challenge designed for ABU ROBOCON 2013. Each competing country team will comprise of three students, one instructor and two robots - one automatic and one manual. Each game lasts three minutes.

Outlining the rationale for the company's support to this event, Brandix's Chief People Officer Ishan Dantanarayana said: "Innovation is the future and gives an edge in every sphere of endeavour. It is one of the platforms on which Brandix competes globally in its own field of business. We are therefore fascinated by the inherent possibilities of innovative use of technology, such as in robotics. This partnership with the University of Peradeniya is an extension of our support to several other Sri Lankan universities in equally interesting areas."

Robots built by competing teams from several countries in the Asia Pacific region, including Japan, Korea, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and India will vie for honours at ABU ROBOCON 2013. The theme and game challenge for the competition is 'The Green Planet.'

Teams from the Faculty of Engineering of the Peradeniya University have represented Sri Lanka at several past ROBOCON competitions including 2005 in China, 2006 in Malaysia, 2007 in Vietnam, 2008 in India and 2011 in Thailand.

In the University's request for sponsorship to Brandix, Dr. Lilantha Samaranayake, Senior Lecturer at the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering of the Faculty of Engineering noted that although the game plans, strategies and designs of the Faculty teams at previous ROBOCON competitions were on par with those of the winning teams, low investment was the constraint to achieving the best by the team. The robots that represented Sri Lanka were heavier and slower than those of competitors, and the sensors and actuators were less reliable.

The game challenge presented by ABU ROBOCON 2013 requires, among others, the use of multi-link robot manipulator arms, a high-end computer to fuse all the sensor information, and a visual system based on actual visual input from a camera.

The Brandix Group, which already has partnerships with the Universities of Colombo, Moratuwa, Kelaniya, Sri Jayewardenepura and Wayamba, employs more than 43,000 people at 42 manufacturing plants in Sri Lanka, at a 1,000 acre industrial park in India and a large operation in Bangladesh. Sri Lanka's single largest apparel exporter, Brandix is also credited with being the pioneer of the concept of 'total solutions' in the country's apparel sector and is a global leader in eco-friendly manufacturing operations.



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