About CyberKnights Uganda

CyberKnights Uganda is the first East African robotics team to participate in the FIRST® program. The team was started by FRC Team 4911, and is coached by Denish Oleke, graduate of the Beacon of Hope College in Soroti, Uganda.  Participating in the FIRST Tech Challenge 2016-2017 season, they will compete at the Israel regional competition in March 2017.

CyberKnights Uganda is now FIRST® Tech Challenge Team 12443!

FIRST expanded my knowledge in engineering and expanded my knowledge in robotics. Right now, I am back at Beacon of Hope College. I am coaching a team which is Uganda CyberKnights or CyberKnights Uganda.

Denish OlekeCoach, CyberKnights Uganda

The Back Story

Devin Caplow, CyberKnights 2013 alumnus, learned about the Beacon of Hope College in Soroti, Uganda. Inspired by a program the CyberKnights started at a community center in south-central Los Angeles, Devin realized the potential opportunities for students from STEM education. He believed that robotics could empower students in Uganda. He spoke to his parents and coach, who were able to make connections with the school.

Shortly after Denish arrived at Beacon of Hope in 2013, our team traveled to Uganda for the first time. With 6 computers, 6 LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Kits and a curriculum plan, we taught the students and worked with the teachers. Denish joined the newly formed robotics class, pursuing his dream of becoming an electrical engineer.

Members of the CyberKnights return to Uganda each year to work with the students and teachers to sustain the class. The school now offers a full year robotics class using the kits and computers we supplied. Throughout the year, we communicate with and support the new members met halfway around the world.

Devin Caplow (pictured right) was inspired to start a robotics program at the Beacon of Hope College in Soroti, Uganda. (2013)

About Denish Oleke

Denish was 8 years old when he was abducted by Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army. He spent three years in the bush, tortured, brainwashed, and forced to kill his friends. He watched as his father was mutilated and his family slaughtered. He was beaten and left for dead. After two days unconscious, Denish was rescued and brought to Beacon of Hope, a boarding school for rehabilitation and education of former child soldiers and orphans of war to enter back into civilization.

In 2013, Denish joined the newly formed robotics class, pursuing his dream of becoming an electrical engineer. In 2015, Denish traveled to the United States, becoming an honorary CyberKnight. He learned to use the equipment in our lab and joined us at all our competitions.In 2016, he and his robotics team were sponsored to travel to the United States, where they met the CyberKnights and competed at the local FTC League meet.

Today, Denish is back in Soroti coaching the robotics team at Beacon of Hope.

Beacon of Hope is a part of Pilgrim Africa, a Seattle-based nonprofit committed to helping African people create a future of sustainable prosperity and health.

Gold Medalist

In April 2016, CyberKnights Uganda participated in GISUTECH, an International Robotics and Technology Competition to encourage young people to apply their imagination, their passion, and their creativity to technology innovations that can make a difference in the world today.

CyberKnights Uganda won a Gold Medal for the hardware control category with a remote-controlled robot. In this category, teams are encouraged to use their imaginations to create a program controlling or cooperating with an electronic or mechanical device.

Their “FIRST” Tech Challenge

In September 2016, CyberKnights Uganda started participating in the FIRST® Tech Challenge, and has built a robot to play in the 2016 game VELOCITY VORTEXSM. Two months later in November 2016, they traveled to Seattle to compete in their first meet at King’s High School. A total of 13 teams around the area, including CyberKnights Uganda, participated in the event.

CyberKnights Uganda is now Team 12443 and plans to compete at the Israel Regional Championship in March.

Read our Press Release about CyberKnights Uganda

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