SEMARANG – In the midst of Covid-19 pandemic situation where educational institutions are not allowed to conduct face-to-face meetings until the end of 2020, Diponegoro University (Undip) prepares the use of robots in the graduation procession. The inclusion of robots representing graduates in the graduation inauguration procession was prepared by the Undip Robotic Team at the Center for Higher Education Science and Technology (PUI PT) Health Technology Center for Bio Mechanics, Bio Materials, Bio Mechatronics, and Bio Signal Processing (CBIOM3S).

Undip Rector, Prof. Dr. Yos Johan Utama SH MH, said that after the 158th Graduation ceremony, Thursday (6/18/2020). According to the Rector, by considering various things, where the health and safety of all citizens must take precedence, at the 159th graduation ceremony to be held in July 2020, the University will try to develop a better virtual graduation model. “One of them by using a robot,” said Prof. Yos.

This creation is one of the alternatives available, around the condition of the pandemic that is still happening. As a public university institution with the status of PTNBH (Public University Legal Entity) Undip must comply with all the provisions made by the Ministry of Education. On the other hand, the safety and health of all citizens, including the Undip community, must be the main consideration. For this reason, virtual or online graduation still has to be done at least until the end of 2020.

Yos Johan admitted that all graduates and their families, as well as university officials, had the view that the physical graduation procession is an ideal moment and is also longed for. Students with all the effort that is not easy to struggle to finish their education, means that it is natural to want to celebrate their achievements in an academic ceremony as is usually done. “We understand very well. But once again the situation is not possible, so Undip is looking for alternatives that can be done to reduce the disappointment of the graduates and their respective families, “said Yos Johan.

Regarding the creation of robots to represent graduates, prepared by PUI PT CBIOM3S Undip under the leadership of Dr. Rifky Ismail ST MT as the head of the institution. Rifky admitted, robot technology prepared to represent graduates interacting with the Rector and the Dean in the graduation or graduation inauguration procession, is actually just a simple thing. However, its presence is significant because the current condition of the corona outbreak does not allow large events to take place in the form of physical gatherings.

“Indeed, a robot for the graduation procession is the same as making another robot. It’s not even as complicated as a robot to deliver food and medicine to infectious patients like Covid-19 patients. Hopefully for this July 2020 graduation, the robot can be prepared well, “said Rifky who managed to design a bionic hand with these eight functions.

Rifky, a doctor who graduated from Twente University in the Netherlands, continued to ripen a robot that will be prepared for Undip’s 159th graduation. He revealed, that in fact the prototype is ready, but for the accuracy it was necessary to test them several times. When being asked about what was special about the robot representing the graduates, Rifky dodged it. “If you open it now, you won’t be surprised anymore,” he said.

Plt. Undip Vice Rector 3 in Communication and Business, Dwi Cahyo Utomo, SE, MA, PhD, acknowledged complaints from graduates and their families by conducting graduations online. “Indeed, there are complaints like that. But we must comply with government regulations. The creation of robots in the graduation procession will be followed by other creations so that graduates and their families can feel their presence feels real even though the procession is done online, “he said.