Muntinlupa City Raises Future Mechatronics Engineers and Robotics Experts

The City of Muntinlupa, one of the faster growing cities in Metro Manila and dubbed as the "Emerald City" for its large green areas, may soon be known for another monicker: that of Metro Manila's birthplace of future mechatronics engineers.

For the past five years since 2018, Muntinlupa's Colegio de Muntinlupa (CDM) has been partnering with the Department of Science and Technology-NCR to organize a Robotics Fair and Exhibits to encourage and provide a platform for the students' creative minds and innovative ideas. This year's 2023 Muntinlupa City Robotics Fair and Exhibits, which was held from November 14-16 at the CDM Campus, was a collaborative undertaking with the Local Government of Muntinlupa, Department of Education Schools Division Office of Muntinlupa, the Mechatronics and Robotics Society of the Philippines, and the De La Salle Santiago Zobel School where robotics has been integrated in the school's curriculum since 2013.

Dr. Teresita C. Fortuna, CDM President, said that their primary objective in starting the annual Robotics Fair was advocacy. With robots and intelligent machines being increasingly a part of day-to-day lives, the purpose in holding the fair has turned to research.

There is indeed a growing market for robots. In 2022, the global industrial robotics market was placed at around USD 48.5 billion, growing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of a little above 11.4% between 2023 and 2032. Among typical examples of robots in day-to-day lives are collaborative robots (Cobots) that are controlled by a human operator, domestic robots designed to help with household tasks, industrial robots that are used in manufacturing, medical robots, entertainment robots, and educational robots.

DOST-NCR Regional Director Engr. Romelen Tresvalles noted that in developing countries like the Philippines, the application of robotics can be especially useful in healthcare and in disaster risk reduction and management services.

To encourage the youth's interest in robotics, the three-day fair featured a mix of several activities to provide a fun learning experience for students and visitors. Seminars tackled topics like the Fundamentals of Industrial Robotics and Artificial Neural Network Applications, Ethical Use of AI, Digital Transformation for Enabling AI for Business and Organizations, and Cybersecurity Risks and AI. There were also Robotics Workshops, a Cosplay Contest, Science Quiz Show, and a competition on 3D Printing called Design to Fabrication with Additive Manufacturing.

The rise of mechatronics and the use of robots is inevitable. The City of Muntinlupa through the Colegio de Muntinlupa is ensuring that its citizens are prepared to live with and maximize the use of new technologies. After all, the road to being a Smart City starts with investing in people, especially the youth who will be navigating in tomorrow's workplace.