8th Indian Robot Olympiad conducted at Indian Public School

For most kids, the closest they would have come to robots would be at some expos or films. Few would have ever thought such robots could be built in India, much less by the students themselves. That was exactly what went on at the 8th Indian Robot Olympiad at Indian Public School here on Sunday.

With conservation of world heritage sites being the theme of the event, the students were given specific challenges to overcome.

One such challenge was designing a robot that could venture into an island filled with Komodo dragons and carefully remove just one egg without damaging other eggs. The students have to write programmes so that the sensors could read the topography and navigate on their own. Another challenge was to cross a valley and lift a damaged statue without breaking others. Towards this, the students had designed robots that had retractable bridges to cross a gap in the table, descend the stairs without toppling over and approach a group of four statues and lift just the damaged one through the mechanical arms. Perhaps, one of the show stoppers was the huge afforestation robot that could plough the soil, plant saplings and remove weeds. Running on solar power, the robot was powered by 14 motors. It was accompanied by a smaller robot to water the plants.

The teams were given four months to prepare. However, the robots have to be assembled only on the day of the contest. The entries are judged on the basis of the software programme and efficacy of the construction.

The models were demonstrated for the judges on Sunday, according to Christopher Dhas of EduTech.The Olympiad is held across the country for students aged between 9 and 19.The regional contests have already been held at Chennai, Bangalore, Bhopal and Pune. After Coimbatore, he said that the event would also be held at Mumbai, Chandigarh and New Delhi

The top teams from across the country will go to the national finals to be held in New Delhi on September 15.

The winning teams would represent India at World Robot Olympiad to be held in Jakarta on November 14.

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