News Science, 04/11/2019

Kharkivites in Top-10 at World Robotics Competition in Dubai

The Ukrainian National team finished 10th among approximately 180 participants at the First Global Challenge, a yearly Olympics-style robotics competition, which took place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on October 24-27.

Ukraine was represented by teenagers aged 15 to 18 years: Kharkivites Oleksandr Plotnytskiy, Victor Zhernokleyev, Valentyn Rubinskiy and Yulia Shevchenko from Kyiv.

This year’s challenge is called Ocean Opportunities and is themed around clearing the ocean of pollutants. Young Ukrainians built a robot that cleans up the plastic in the oceans.

Every team played nine matches in an alliance with two more countries, which were changed each time. The alliance of three teams each attempted to score large and small balls representing pollutants into processing areas and a processing barge. The processing barge has multiple levels, with higher levels worth more points.

After six missions, Ukrainians decided to take a chance and radically rebuilt the robot focusing its work on cleaning large balls. As a result, their robot operated more efficiently and stable, which helped Ukrainian teenagers gain more points and significantly break ahead and enter Robotics Olympics’ play-off.

Participants of the Ukrainian national team worked hard to prepare for the world championship, trained and took part in many competitions in Ukraine, they attended the STEM-school Inventor.

Ukraine has taken part in a similar contest for the third time. In 2018, the Ukrainian team was ranked first at World Robot Olympics-2018 at the advanced robotic challenge category in Thailand.

Reference: The First Global Challenge is a yearly Olympics-style robotics competition organized by the International First Committee Association. It promotes STEM education and careers for youth and was founded by Dean Kamen, an American engineer, inventor, and businessman, in 2016 as an expansion of FIRST, an organization with similar objectives.

The contest has now taken place for the third time. Previous competitions were held in Washington DC, the USA, and Mexico City. Preceding events’ topics were alternative energy and saving the world from the water crisis.

The First Global Challenge aims to increase knowledge of Maths and engineering among children.

The organizers of these Olympic-style competitions believe that in the future, these children will become the scientific leaders who will solve the planet’s problems: from food security and access to safe water to creating new medicines and safe cyberspace.

Text: Natalia Ivanova

Photo: STEM school Inventor