Saturday, November 7, 2015

World Robotics Olypiad - Doha

We had the best time at the World Robotics Olypiad this morning!  The competition was held here in Doha and there must have been over 200 teams from over 20 nations.  We saw some awesome robots and met the most amazing kids from around the world competing.  We were completely astounded!!!  And it was a free event (including a free lunch!  What??!!!  Only in Doha!).

This year's theme was "Robot Explorers" and the competitors were challenged to create robots to explore parts of the world where human exploration is difficult.  The elementary school teams created robots that would "dive for a pearl" (not really under water).  The junior high school created robots to hunt for treasure and the high school teams created robots that could "climb mountains."  There were also soccer matches and bowling teams.  It was great fun to watch!

Main stage with video screen showing competitions.  Each team had a white booth and the competition took place at the front and back tables. 

Event venue ... gold buildings were the "Souk" where the sponsors and robot enthusiasts had a booth.  We spent at least 2 hrs checking out all the cool robots in this area.
Bowling competition (it's hard to see the tiny little bowling pins in front of the black board).  The robot picked up the ball and rolled it down the floor to knock over the pins.  I think only college teams entered this part of the competition.  You can see the robots lined up on the right side of the picture.
 After arriving and getting a lay of the land, we explored the "souk" and had a blast watching and interacting with the robots on display!

Maersk Oil was a sponsor for the event and the boys loved looking at this Lego display of offshore drilling.  The glass case represented the water and the bottom was the ocean floor while the boats and drill rigs were above water.  A great display with Legos!

Some girl from the Netherlands built this shark from Legos and programed it to move around the table and turn/backup when it bumps the edge or the fish.  The girl couldn't have been more than 20 yrs old and this is a hobby for her!

The fish were remote controlled and the kids loved playing the game to keep the fish away from the shark!  Super fun!!

A guy from Canada built this robot ... does it look like ET??

The same Canadian also built this R2D2.  It took him a year to design and build.  He sent it via DHL to the competition and it arrived in pieces!  Took a team of 5 guys to put it together in 2 days for display at the competition.

Close up of R2D2

Ken's favorite was the Rubik Cube solver.  This man from the UK built a robot out of legos and programmed it with an iPhone to solve a Rubik cube in seconds.  It was amazing!!!  And apparently it's in the Guinness Book of World Records.  It took him 3 months to build and program.  There are some amazingly intelligent people in this world!  Inspiring!!  It solved one in less than 1.8 seconds.  Watch the video if you don't believe me!


 After the sponsors and robot enthusiasts booths, we walked through the student booths.  So many amazing creations, but I won't bore you with all of them.  Here were our favorites.

Team China created a robot that responds to human movement.  The high school student is wearing a suit and if he moves his right arm up, the robot will imitate the movement. 

This team from Malaysia let the boys play with their creation.  The robot was designed to maneuver over rocky terrain (over Nicholas' foot to demonstrate).

All eyes on the robot.

Another Malaysian team ... 10 and 11 year olds!!  Designed a robot that scans the earth is search of precious metals, feeds the information back to the computer along with exact GPS coordinates.  Then designed a drone to fly to the exact coordinates and take pictures (infrared and regular digital) of the area to confirm the location of the mineral.  Seriously??  At 10 and 11 years of age??!!!  It was CRAZY!!!  And they presented better than most college students!!!  Answering questions and explaining their process.  I was most impressed with this team!

Our final stop was with the virtual reality booths.  Jaden's first virtual reality game.  He had to "walk the plank."  He loved it!

This was a virtual welding machine in order to train people how to weld.  Brilliant!! 

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