Winning team

4 Raspberry Pi’s for robotic vehicle winners

RS Components Press Release – Race Day

Third year micro-controller students at the department of electrical, electronic and computer engineering at the University of Pretoria had the opportunity to win one of four Raspberry Pi limited edition credit-card-sized single-board computers each on 25 May.  The computers, with HDMI cables and plug-in power, were sponsored by RS Components.

After designing and constructing Autonomous Robotic Vehicles (ARVs) as part of the practical component of the micro-controller module, the students participated in a racing event with the ARVs to showcase and celebrate their hard work and accomplishments.

“We were very impressed with the entries because it showed that the students have put a lot of hard work and effort into designing the robotic vehicles,” says Professor Tania Hanekom from the Department of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering at the University of Pretoria.

The micro-controller module forms part of the curriculum of the electrical, electronic and computer engineering degree programmes. It is designed to equip students with the necessary skills to survive and excel in our embedded, control-driven technological society.

Brian Andrew, General Manager of RS Components South Africa, says sponsoring the project is in line with their strategy to contribute to the growth of technology in South Africa by encouraging students in electrical, electronic and computer engineering to strive to be the best. “By showing students what they can do, we prepare them for the market where they will have to match their skills against the best in the world,” he says.

RS Components also hosts, an online technical community for engineers with more than 300 000 members, which can be of assistance to students in real world applications or even when entering a competition such as this. “DesignSpark offers members some of the industry’s most popular design tools, with resources created to save time and money” says Andrew.

DesignSpark is also home to DesignSpark Mechanical, DesignSpark PCB and RS University. DesignSpark Mechanical offers 3D design software. This can assist members in creating and printing new concepts in 3D, faster than ever before. DesignSpark PCB offers intuitive and powerful electronics design software for fast prototyping. And the RS University programme supports engineering educators by offering resources to help train future engineers. All these services are available free of charge and saves time because it removes technical barriers to product design, while it is also easy to learn and use.

Hanekom explains that the project’s aim is to guide aspiring engineers through a carefully planned process that will help them to develop a fundamental set of engineering skills, including hardware and software design skills, systems integration skills, the ability to work and function in a team, time management skills and and the good old indispensable ‘engineering gut feeling’, which comes only with experience in the execution of engineering projects.

The winning team’s members were: VT (Vusumuzi) Dube, BH (Byron) Ferreira and DP (David) van Niekerk.

Winning team

About RS Components

RS Components is the market leader in the high service level distribution of electrical, electronic, mechanical, tools and industrial products. Operating in 26 countries whilst serving a further 100 through third-party distributors, RS serves every sector of industry in the procurement of their products relating to maintenance, repair, operations, low volume production, research and development.

With over 500 000 products across 2500 leading brands, the company is committed to ensuring that their 1,5 million customers have fast access to a broad, as well as deep range, of products and technologies, all under one roof.

RS’s customers, whether ordering single or multiple items, experience a quick, easy, secure, painless and cost effective process.  The RS catalogue, available at, offers full colour pictures with extensive clear product specifications.  Free access to thousands of datasheets ensures the correct product choice.  Order placement is easily facilitated through, the call centre, e-mail, fax and trade counter.  Locally held stock is delivered to customers within 24 hours, and products held internationally, within four to six working days.

For more information, please visit the website at

Press Office:                                                               

Tanya Erasmus

Marketing Communications Manager

RS Components South Africa

+27 11 691 9345