UP Mindanao's research program named Autonomous Societally Inspired Mission Oriented Vehicles [ASIMOV] held its ASIMOV Program-wide Congress on 13 June 2022, Davao City. ASIMOV is composed of: Project 1: Harmonized Aerial Watch and Knowledge-based Survey (HAWKS); Project 2: Robot for Optimized and Autonomous Mission Enhancement Responses (ROAMER). The conference featured a demo of a prototype robot vehicle with navigation capabilities and the signing of a memorandum of agreement between the program and the agricultural partners in the banana industry.
Davao City Mayor and now Vice President-elect of the Republic of the Philippines, Sara Duterte-Carpio, in her message, said, "Filipinos are known for gadget uses; hence I am optimistic that with their current engagement with technology, you’ll be able to encourage more Filipinos to be involved in empowering their field of research and development, including related endeavors. These artificial intelligence projects are anticipated to produce technological breakthroughs to address specific gaps and bring beneficial transformation to various industries both in the private and government sectors in the succeeding years. Today’s crucial event may open new opportunities for everyone to generate more effective methods that will help in the goal of bringing the country to a more progressive state. Congratulations and good luck in all your future endeavors!"
Program Leader Prof. Jose Ildefonse "Joe" Rubrico (Dept. of Mathematics, Physics, and Computer Science) acknowledged the presence of the Department of Science and Technology through the Philippine Council for Industry Energy & Emerging Technology Research & Development, the DOST Advanced Science & Technology Institute team of Project Roamer, the Philippine Space Agency, the Davao del Norte Provincial Agriculturist’s Office, the Biao Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Cooperative, the Diamond Individual Farmers Cooperative, the Philippine Science High School (PSHS) Southern Mindanao Campus and the PSHS Zamboanga Peninsula Region Campus, and the University of the Philippines Mindanao, lead implementing agency.
Prof. Rubrico, in his remarks, said, "This event was conceived to strengthen our partnerships, build rapport, and increase understanding, leveraging cutting-edge technologies to develop more useful and meaningful applications for the Filipino people. The research program implemented under the close partnership of the University of Philippines Mindanao and the DOST’s Advanced Science & Technology Institute aims to bring mobile robotic research in the country towards the realization of autonomous mission-oriented robots that are responsive to society's needs. This involves developing and implementing core functionalities of autonomous robots that will allow them to operate independently with minimal human supervision in the field, under real-world conditions, especially for productivity applications for agriculture and the banana industry. As program leader, I am proud to present to you the flagship project on artificial intelligence and robotics that is the first of its kind and scale in the whole Philippines. The stars have indeed aligned, and for this cutting-edge research and development to be spearheaded here in Mindanao more importantly in Davao City as this is a strategic region in view of its growth trajectory. Wherein the technologies that will be developed will be readily put to use in multiple areas of application. We in the research programs who hail from Mindanao are honored to offer our research to the country. With Mindanaons among the first who will benefit from its technology, we are fortunate to live in a time of technological vision turning into reality. One man’s dreams can be potent as a collective dream of determined minds in unison is unstoppable. Thank you once again for your time and invaluable support for our joint endeavor toward the growth of artificial intelligence and robotics in the Philippines."
The message of UP Mindanao Chancellor Lyre Murao was delivered by Prof. Cleto Nanola Jr., director of UP Mindanao’s Center for the Advancement of Research in Mindanao. “We would like to inform everyone that our chancellor, Prof. Lyre Murao, fully supports this particular activity, from artificial intelligence to all kinds of research that the university faculty propose and through collaborations. Currently, our university is constructing the building for the Center for the Advancement of Research in Mindanao, which is hosting this project. Anytime soon, you will be visiting a new building, and when it’s finished, it will be a complex to house all kinds of research being planned or collaborated."
Prof. Cinmayii G. Manliguez, department chair of the UP Mindanao Department of Mathematics, Physics, and Computer Science said, "I’m very thankful for the attendance of our different partners from different agencies and I’m glad to see that we have reached different regions that the team has already conducted talks with different farmers and agencies so that they are able to proceed with the project. This project will not be complete and will not be sustainable it will not be a legacy if the project is not useful and used by our stakeholders, which is important. Our memorandum of agreement is important that we are able to give inputs if you like, certain features that we can provide, or what you would like to improve. Please be open. It is your project. It is a good opportunity if you can open up your insights, your specific wants, and desires. I heard from one of our officers from the farmers' agency that they have a list of features that they would like to be included and that is a good thing that is a good start and we can open up what insights we can add to the project and really appreciate that so I hope that you will continue with this communication and continue with our collaboration."
DOST’s Chief Science Research Specialist Edna Nacianceno, in her closing remarks, said, “We emphasize the need to continue embracing the artificial intelligence and robotics in the Philippines. We appreciate the collaboration between our researchers, government, and industry through sharing technologies that are responsive to society's needs and problems and will benefit the concerned stakeholders. The program team is laying the groundwork for the platform for mobile robotics usage that will hopefully and eventually do deployment of field robots for various applications. This is just the beginning of our program's engagement with you and I hope that they will continue in the succeeding activities.”