Kindergarten Starters steals the show at UOWD’s Annual Robotics Competition
Sunday, 28 May, 2017
Nearly ten schools from across the UAE attended the University of Wollongong in Dubai’s (UOWD) 6th Annual Robotics competition over the weekend with teams of school children impressing the panel of industry judges with their innovative robotic creations and their technical abilities. “This year, we had a wide range of age-groups participating,” said Dr Zeenath Khan, Chair of the Logistics Committee for the competition this year. Children from as young as eight took part in the robotics challenge which saw the teams competing in three categories to test their expertise – mini volleyball, the storage challenge and the open category. The competition provided them with an excellent platform to exercise imagination, problem solving skills and teamwork. The judges were blown away with the inspiring and creative robotic displays designed by the pupils and their mentors. Whilst the judges and organisers tallied up the scores, the senior children attended a workshop session on building an interactive sound synthesizer on an embedded platform presented by Dr Joel Kennedy, Assistant Professor, whilst the juniors had an entertaining hour of Minecraft coding fun with Ms Sonia Hajri, Instructor at UOWD. The GEMS Our Own Indian School was among the top performers, picking up the first prize in the mini volleyball category with the New World Private School being awarded the second prize. “This was our first time competing in such a challenge and it was an amazing experience. For us, there is no such thing as limits. We always try to find solutions to problems. This event certainly triggered our interest in robotics – an area of interest we may pursue in future studies”, commented Aman Muhammed on behalf of his team. In the storage category, The Emirates Science Club won the first prize, demonstrating their robot’s ability to move storage boxes to a specific destination effectively. The showstopper of the competition was the Kindergarten Starters who unanimously won the open category for their innovative project on how to find your way around a mall with a robot which uses movement sensors to detect the speed of movement and can act upon identifying colours such as red and green. The second place was awarded to the GEMS Modern Academy. Rahi Kadam, Digital Learning Coach at Kindergarten Starters said: “This is a great platform for children to encourage them to open their imagination and to bring to life such remarkable and creative ideas”. “Today we have seen truly impressive and innovative projects but moreover, it was presented with confidence – a key skill which is a necessity in the job market. Engineering is all about finding solutions to problems with available resources. We have seen our future engineers in action as they clearly demonstrated their ability to apply critical thinking in order to find solutions and we would like to encourage them to keep on developing those unique skills”, commented Dr Farhad Oroumchian, Associate Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences, and founder of the Robotics Competition.