Smart Green Island Makeathon: igus promotes innovative ideas for the sustainable technologies of tomorrow

igus promotes an innovation festival on Gran Canaria and supports creative minds there with expertise and low-cost robotics

large group of igus employees during the Smart Green Island Makeathon

At the sixth Smart Green Island Makeathon, international students worked in interdisciplinary project teams on prototypes for sustainable, innovative technologies. igus supported the participants with its expertise and low-cost robotics. (Source: ITQ GmbH)

4 April 2023 – The Smart Green Island Makeathon in Gran Canaria centered around designing, building, and coding. Recently conducted for the sixth time, the event was organized by ITQ GmbH. This prototyping event unites students, academic institutions, and businesses from across the globe to create groundbreaking, eco-friendly technologies for the future. Emphasis is placed on areas such as robotics and automation, intelligent green energy, and smart transportation. A key sponsor, igus®, provided on-site assistance and affordable robotics to the bright, up-and-coming participants.

Innovation thanks to Education 4.0

Education 4.0 fosters innovation, which is the driving force behind ITQ’s Makeathon. This event assembles interdisciplinary project teams that spend four days developing prototypes for cutting-edge, sustainable technologies. Targeting international students and instructors from technical fields such as programming, engineering, and IT, the innovation festival offers a platform to collaborate with industry professionals and experts, addressing real-world problems and devising inventive solutions. Challenges may be presented by companies or formulated within the teams themselves.

Participants form multidisciplinary groups, allowing each member to contribute their unique talents. Numerous inventive technical projects have emerged from this approach. This year’s Makeathon saw 364 individuals from 29 countries, including 227 young talents from 48 colleges and universities, all supported by 25 companies.

Solutions for the digital future

The Smart Green Island Makeathon is focused on the digital future. It addresses various topics, such as smart homes, IoT, automation, robotics, smart farming, smart production, smart health, smart and green energy, smart mobility, and connected systems. Students work on projects such as smart traffic monitoring and regulation or develop automated urban cultivation systems to produce fresh, sustainable food close to the city. They can also puzzle over innovative robotics applications, for instance, for waste handling.

How robots can support sustainability

As a manufacturer of technical products, igus places particular importance on sustainable materials. It develops and produces plain bearings from regranulated production waste and renewable raw materials, for instance, and makes cable carriers from 100% recycled material. Therefore, the Industry Challenge igus set for the students was to build a robot that quickly harvests seaweed (a renewable raw material), cleans it, and prepares it for insulating material in the construction industry.

The plastics specialist supported the participants with its expertise and provided a wide selection of equipment from its Low Cost Automation range: the ReBeL cobot, delta and linear robots, individual axes, motors, control systems, and partner products from the RBTX online marketplace, such as grippers and cameras.

“The Smart Green Island Makeathon lets us start a direct dialogue with students. It’s exciting to see how our cost-effective automation products can be used in sustainable solutions,” says Alexander Mühlens, Head of Low Cost Automation at igus. “At the same time, we want to share our knowledge to encourage young tech enthusiasts. Having fun is always a priority. New concepts and formats, such as the ITQ Makeathon, offer new opportunities for knowledge exchange, networking, and the joint development of innovative technologies of tomorrow.”

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