Abu Dhabi prepares for World Robot Olympiad
Dates for 2010 national WRO in UAE and inaugural WRO-Arabia chapter announced
Abu Dhabi will host finals of the global robotics competition World Robot Olympiad (WRO) in 2011 that's expected to see students from over 40 different countries participate, organisers Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) revealed at the capital today.
The announcement was made alongside the launch of this year's National WRO in the UAE which will take place from September 19th -23rd. Any student between the ages of 8 to 19 can take part through their schools but the competition is not open to university or college students.
ADEC is presently accepting applications for WRO-UAE where the winners will go on to compete with other Arab countries in the first ever WRO-Arabia. Those finalists will then be invited to attend the culmination WRO event in Manila, Philippines in November.
For the first time since its 2004 debut, the World Robot Olympiad finals will take place outside Asia and be hosted in Abu Dhabi next year. ADEC will be using the upcoming WRO-UAE and WRO-Arabia to prepare for next year by getting a sense for the skill levels, training and organisation required.
"Adec is reinforcing robotics and technology in schools to support curriculum initiatives and to develop student abilities and skills in problem-solving, creativity, teamwork, innovation and collaboration. The National Olympiad will support Adec's 10-Year Strategic Plan by bringing a sense of excitement and enthusiasm around the development of these important skill sets," said ADEC director general H.E. Dr. Mugheer Khamis Al-Khaili.
ADEC is also giving away Mindstorm robot kits, which cost on average about AED 1,000 per pack, to schools for free in order to build interest and support.
Sixteen-year olds Yousef Amer Al-Bitar, Mohammed Raslan Al-Hakim and Abdullah Fawaz from Al Mutanabbi Secondary School are excited about getting more kits to practice on and participating in the WRO-UAE for the first time this year.
"Programming the software is more important than the hardware design," Yousef said while demonstrating his Mindstorm ‘ball grabber' robot that took between 5 to 10 hours to put together. "For our entry, we plan to do a complicated programme and software so we can win the competition"
Fellow teammate Abdullah was able to put together his ‘dancing robot' in just three hours complete with the required programming. "The robot thing is amazing; I can make it do anything I want. Our school had only two robot kits but now we're getting more. I'm really excited about the Olympiad and want to create something new that will be my own design from here in the UAE," he added with pride.