Last weekend, 9 November, more than 3,000 young robot enthusiasts showed off their designs in Qatar for the 12th World Robot Olympiad. The students, from over 40 countries, designed, built and programmed robots, largely from plastic LEGO blocks.
These were then tested against a number of challenges including a Malaysian team demonstrating a mining robot which automatically activated a gas mask on the face of nearby miners if dangerous gasses were detected.
Each team was judged on their creativity and ingenuity
"We have luckily now and then seen something that is way out of the box," says Rasmus Lunding, a member of the team of judges for the category, and a former student who participated in previous events. "Like someone who found microorganisms, which you can say is a natural resource."
Teams from Taipei won many of the prizes, but a Malaysian team took the top prize.
Malaysia emerged as the overall champion for the fifth time in seven years in the Olympiad by beating 43 other countries
“We beat 43 other countries in this competition and we are very proud of this victory,” Education Ministry Co-Curricular and Arts division director Rozainum Ahmad told reporters after welcoming the return of the national contingent from Doha, Qatar at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport on 10 November.
In total, 57 high school students from Malaysia were representing 19 schools, winning 3 gold medals, 2 silvers and 2 excellence awards
One of the gold medals was bagged by the YC Adventure Kidz from Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan © Yuk Chai, Petaling Jaya, in the Open Primary School category. The second gold was won by the Robotist team from Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan USJ 4, Subang Jaya in the Open Lower Secondary category.
The Aramaitee team from Kota Kinabalu Mara Junior Science College, Sabah bagged the third gold for Malaysia in the Gen II Football category. Watch the robotic football match below:
Aramaitee team representative Zahin Arif Saiful Azian, 15, said their robot defeated Greece 5-3 at the final of the Gen II football category. “We competed a number of times in the WRO but only made it to the quarterfinals, and this time we are very satisfied to bag the title,” he said.themalaymailonline.com
3 students from SMK USJ 4, Selangor won a Gold Medal for their robotic suit, designed to help miners work in dangerous conditions
They designed a robotic suit, equipped with its own drone and a moving camera system, to help miners who work in dangerous conditions. Their winning project for the lower secondary schools category is called the MECH, which stands for Mechanically Enhanced Crisis Handler.
"Its main purpose is to help miners with their task and also to protect them when there is a crisis," said Liew Chan Yue, one of the team members, adding, "The body suit will also automatically activate a gas mask if dangerous gases are detected."
Another team member Ruhanesh said the suit, equipped with a camera system called Alpha, would explore the mine before the miners go in. "There is GoPro camera attached to it, with a 360° view of the mine. There is also a gas sensor, so that when it detects harmful poisonous gas, it will send a signal to the suit. Once it is activated, a mask on the body suit will be turned on," he added.
The drone, which is equipped with a GPS device, can detect the user’s nerve senses and emit signals to the system which could help identify the wearer’s location. Asked what inspired the project, he said the group was moved by the Chilean mining disaster in 2010 known as the Copiapo mining incident.