Robot making competition for schoolchildren


New Delhi : School kids can use all their imagination to create robots that obey their command at a competition here on Oct 15. The winners will go on to represent India at the World Robot Olympiad in Taipei in November.

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Techtronics (India) Limited, a Gurgaon-based company, Friday announced a national level robotics championship, ‘India Robot Olympiad (IRO) 2007’, in association with LEGO Education. The competition will be held at Vasant Valley School here. The winners will get to participate at the World Robot Olympiad 2007 (WRO) in Taipei, Taiwan, on Nov 17-18.

“We have had a tremendous response for the LEGO Education’s robotics sets from various schools across the country and are training teachers and developing robotics clubs in schools all across India,” said Sudhanshu Sharma, managing director, Techtronics.

Lego Education kits have created different kinds of robots, having the power to see, touch and hear using sophisticated sound, ultrasonic, touch and light sensors.

“Robotics is an exciting field that integrates science, engineering, mechanics, electronics and programming. It encourages students to learn while building and constructing and helps students to bring out their potential,” said Apurva Kalia, vice president (R&D) Cadence Design Systems, who conducted the show.

The show consisted of many different robots performing simple to complex tasks such as following a black line, or the Smart Bot robot that could park itself between two previously parked ‘cars’.

There was also ‘Train of Alishan’, designed and programmed to locate and collect a coca cola can and return home while negotiating a steep incline. The ‘Chak De’ robot could identify and hit a red ball.

The show stealer was ‘Alpha-Rex’, a biped robot that could see, touch, hear and walk on two legs, just like a human being!

The purpose of the show was adding value to the education process by introducing these activity-oriented courses in schools.

“Techtronics is training teachers and developing robotic clubs in schools across India. Products are specifically designed for schools and come complete with teacher resources, training and course manuals, which would make these products more suitable for education,” added Sharma.