Robots in Uganda teach a new generation of innovators

FundiBots, a Uganda-based organisation is using robotics training in schools to inspire young Ugandans to be the designers, makers and innovators of the future.

Founded by Solomon King Benge in 2011, FundiBots is teaching school-going Ugandans to innovate. An amateur roboticist himself, King Benge’s passion for electronics and his passion for working with kids drove him to establish FundiBots.

Through the process of building robots, the organization challenges primary and high school students to look at the world around them from a practical, solution-oriented perspective. Fundibots is a school-based programme that involves a speaker presentation, hands-on robotics training, and a robotics club that holds weekly meetings at the school.

There is also a holiday programme where children are not only given an intensive crash-courses on robotics, but are also challenged to build a robot by the end of the week.

The programme breaks down the misconception held by many that science and robotics is only for “clever” kids. The organisation aims to expand to Rwanda where ICT development is a vital part of the Rwandan government’s mandate.

Around half of the Ugandan population is under the age of 15 and King Benge believes that Uganda is filled with raw talent and endless possibilities.

FundiBots wants to create an environment where children know they can be a part of finding the solution to social, commercial, and local problems in Uganda. 

FundiBots doesn’t only teach children to be problem solvers; the company also uses their robotics knowledge to create community-based solutions for Ugandans.

Their latest innovation is an automated irrigation system that connects to the water source at the tank. The system is set to begin irrigating farmers’ land when evaporation is minimal in the atmosphere. The system is powered by a solar panel that caters to areas where there is no power connection. The system checks the moisture level of the soil, with the help of its sensors and if it’s low, the irrigation will begin.

“Fundi” is Swahili for maker or artisan. The aim is for every school in Uganda to have a robotics club, where students can exercise their curiosity and find problems waiting for solutions.

All images courtesy of Syliva Bamusime via