UAE: Eight teams qualify for the World Robot Olympiad finals in Germany

They won the national round and were selected from over 500 teams



by

Ismail Sebugwaawo

Published: Wed 29 Jun 2022, 3:19 PM

Eight UAE teams will compete at the World Robot Olympiad (WRO) finals in Germany this November after they fended off competition from more than 500 teams during four intense days of the UAE National Qualifiers organised by Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK).

Each of these teams will compete against teams from over 85 countries across four categories - RoboMission, Future Innovators, Future Engineers and RoboSports.

ADEK led the 14th edition of the UAE qualifiers which was held online from June 4-6 and onsite on June 25, featuring students aged eight to 19, who competed under the theme ‘My Robot, My Friend’, to showcase ways on how robots can interact with and help humans.

The annual competition aims to enhance students’ STEM skills, creativity, and problem solving, inspiring a future generation of scientists, engineers, and inventors from around the world.

The local qualifiers saw 512 teams participate, including 402 teams from public and private schools, 34 from charter schools, and 76 teams from universities, centres and companies. In total, 1,800 students from across the Emirates were tasked with using artificial intelligence to design and develop robots that can work with humans toward a better future.

Eighty-three judges from different sectors were tasked to evaluate and select the eight winning teams.

ADEK invited all public, private, and charter schools, as well as universities to take part in the UAE qualifiers online which involved three categories – RoboMission, Future Innovators, and Future Engineers – competing across four separate AI-based themes that focused on healthcare assistance, emergency response, green transportation, and self-driving cars.

All participants were divided into three age groups — 8-12 for elementary, 11-15 for juniors, and 14-19 for seniors. The UAE Future Coder team took first place in the Future Innovators elementary category, while The Pioneers from Unique World Robotics won the junior level competition and Sharjah Youth Wasit claimed the senior level accolade. In the RoboMission category, Storm Troopers won in the elementary category, RBH Junior from Rashed bin Humaid School won in the junior category, and team Khorfakkan RoboMission from Secondary Technical School won at senior level. In the Future Engineers category - only open to seniors — Apollo from Unique World Robotics took first place.

The competitions of the fourth category – RoboSports – took place in person on June 25 at 42 Abu Dhabi, and was based on doubles tennis match. The teams were tasked to build autonomous robots from LEGO materials. Emirati team Digital Robot won in first place and is now set to join the seven confirmed representatives at the world finals in Dortmund; Choppa Team came in second place and AAESS 1 was third.

“We participated with five teams and prepared integrated teams based on different skills, from programming and installation to research and presentation,” said Soud Sharaf El-Din, coach of the Emirati team, Digital Robot. “This is not our first win; we have been participating in WRO competitions since 2017. We are currently undergoing intensive training in the hope of achieving our first global title and would like to thank ADEK for holding this competition that provides the opportunity for Emiratis to compete against global teams in technology and innovation, and always encouraging us to continue to explore our interest in robotics and technology.”

Head judge Klaithem Alneyadi, member of ADEK, added: “We witnessed four days of innovative problem solving related to AI and robotics – two STEAM skills that are growing exponentially and will become increasingly more important in all our lives in the future. As we move towards an increasingly knowledge-based economy, enabling students across our education eco-system to participate in competitions such as WRO is of vital importance.

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