Wednesday, 1 July 2009

RP hosts 2010 World Robot Olympiad

The Philippines will host in 2010 World Robot Olympiad for the first time ever.

Robots of all shapes and sizes from at least 30 countries will try to outsmart and outclass each other during the prestigious international competition.

Mylene Abiva, president and chief executive officer of the Philippine Robotics Olympiad said that after three tries, the country finally won the right to host the international competition.

More than 1,200 foreign students and coaches are expected to participate in the Manila edition of the WRO, according to Abiva, who also heads Felta Multi-Media, Inc., which runs the local robotics contest.

The WRO aims “to bring together young robotics scientists from all over the world to develop their creativity and problem-solving skills through computer technology, basic engineering, mechatronics, and communications,” said Abiva.

It will be “another challenge for local robotics experts to show the world that they can be the best,” added Ruby Cristobal, head of the science and technology culture development program of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

In the past seven years, “the Philippines has won two WRO gold medals, courtesy of robotics entries from FAITH (First Asia Institute of Technology and Humanities) in Tanauan City, Batangas and Grace Christian High School in Quezon City. The Philippine contestants also won two silvers and a bronze, Cristobal.

All five medals were bagged in the theme-based “open” category of the contest.

Both Abiva and Cristobal expressed confidence that Filipino students would again win medals in this year’s WRO in Gyeongbuk Pohang, South Korea.

For 2009, the Philippine Robotics Olympiad will be held in September to determine who will represent the country in the WRO in early November in South Korea.

Robotics teams from over 300 public and private elementary and high schools nationwide are expected to take part in the local contest.

The PRO is open to elementary students aged 10 to 12 and high school students 13 to 15 years old.

Preliminary and final judging of entries will be held on Sept. 23 and Sept. 25, respectively, at SM North Edsa Mall in Quezon City.

Last year’s Philippine team was composed of students from Grace Christian College, FAITH, Nemesio Yabut Elementary School, International School Manila, Philippine Science High School (Bicol), and Benigno Aquino High School.

Robotics, a technology that uses computer-controlled robots to perform various tasks, has been integrated into the curriculum of many private elementary and high schools nationwide. Robotics clubs have also been formed in these schools. (


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