Navi Mumbai kids win top robotics prize

Top performance:The winning trio is looking forward to the international meet in Costa Rica

Top performance:The winning trio is looking forward to the international meet in Costa Rica  

Their robots, which collect waste from water bodies and plant seeds, get them entry to Costa Rica event

Mumbai: A robot that combs the surface of water bodies to pick up particles of waste, and another that can pilot across tough terrain to plant seeds on its own recently won three students from Navi Mumbai the first prize at the World Robot Olympiad, held in Noida on October 7 and 8.

The World Robot Olympiad India, non-profit competition jointly organised by India Stem Foundation and the National Council of science and Museum, is one of the largest robotics competitions for students aged nine years to 25 years, and has been held since 2006. This year, the first place in the open category for secondary school students was won by Vedant Thakar, Bharat Anand and Yuvraj Kubdargi, who will go on to represent the country at the WRO International Championship in Costa Rica between November 10 and November 12.

Ecstatic over the win, Vedant said they were given a theme around which they had to imagine robots, rather than create ones to perform specific tasks. The theme this year was Sustainable Bots that could improve life on land. The first of their robots, called SCAR (Surface Cleaning and Aerating Robot) is designed to comb stagnant water bodies and collect floating waste. “It takes a triangular path through the water body and sensors detect floating waste,” he said. The robot also has a pump that helps transfer water from the bottom to the top. “In stagnant water bodies, the water at the bottom does not receive oxygen. So, if water is pumped to the top, it will aide in aerobic bacterial growth,” Yuvraj added.

The second bot, called AST (Autonomous Seed Planter), was built to combat deforestation. The robot makes furroughs in the soil and its sensors allow it to detect obstacles. “If it’s a moving object like an animal, a horn is sounded so the animal can move away. In case of a stationary object, the robot can navigate around it,” Bharat said.

All three have been friends for years, and attend Delhi Public School in Navi Mumbai. The robots, they say, took them about four months to create. While they have participated in the WRO earlier, this is their first time in the open category. Next on their agenda: support and ways to raise funds for the trip to Costa Rica, since travel expenses will have to be borne by participants.

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Printable version | Jun 5, 2020 8:51:48 PM |

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