A group of seven Indian students has bagged two awards on 19 July at the first Global Robotics Olympiad in the US where 157 countries participated.
The students, hailing from Mumbai, have won gold for the Zhang Heng Engineering Design Award and bronze for the Global Challenge Match at the international robotics challenge organised by FIRST Global in Washington.
Led by 15-year-old Rahesh, the team was comprised of, among others, team spokesperson Aadiv Shah, alliance strategist Harsh Bhatt, alliance analyst Vatsin, robot tactician Adhyyan, robot controller Tejas, and the robot driver, Raghav. Speaking to The Logical Indian, Aadiv Shah, the team’s spokesperson said, “It was a mega event and the fact that we could be a part of the event was itself exhilarating, the award was a cherry on the top. We learnt a lot while working and collaborating with the other participating teams.” Aadiv had always been interested in science and from the tender age of 3, he knew this was what he would want to pursue.
“All of us hail from different schools in Mumbai but it was in a robotics workshop, Creative Technologies in Juhu, that we met,” Aadiv explained. The team members have been learning and honing their skills in robotics and have gathered a lot of expertise. “Participating in this event was something all of us wanted to do – this was a great chance of showcasing our talents and also learning more,” he said. “This event was no less than an Olympics for robotics,” he added.
For each match, there were two alliances which comprised of three participants who were randomly chosen. “We had to come up with impromptu strategies and this allowed us to have a lot of interaction with others in the competition. We were given just one kit and had to work using that only – working around this was also interesting,” Aadiv said.
The robot was named ‘Neutrino’ by the team. It can collect orange and blue balls from the ground and sort them accordingly and can also climb to 2.5 feet. The robot was made keeping in mind the theme of the competition i.e. water conservation. Aadiv said, “FIRST Global has decided to pose 14 grand challenges Earth is facing as the themes of the competition since this year. Neutrino could collect the blue balls that represented clear water and put them in the reservoir, whereas the orange balls symbolising dirty water went into the laboratory for treatment.”
The Logical Indian also had the opportunity to talk to Mr Nilesh Shah, team mentor and Aadiv’s father. He sounded very optimistic as talked about the scene of robotics in India – apt for the youth of this country. “As for me, this gives me a chance to spread awareness about science programmes in India. I have got a commitment from each of the seven members who have decided on furthering the cause in some way or another,” he said.
Mexico will be holding the next competition.
This contest also turned out to a boon for the all-girl team from Afghanistan, whose visas were denied twice by the State department but could later arrive over the weekend to participate in the competition after an intervention by the USA President.
The Logical Indian Community congratulates the Indian team under the leadership of young Rahesh for their achievement. The future of the country lies in the hands of the youngsters, and it is inspiring to see them making such accomplishments. It is essential that the country has more opportunities for candidates who aspire to pursue in robotics.