10 Août Andorran students will have their robot face-off with 175 nations in a world competition
Translated from Catalan.
A group of students from the Andorran School will participate in the second edition of the FIRST Global Challenge. The robot competition will bring together teams of 175 nations in Mexico, from 16 to 18 August. Despite being the first time they will participate, they believe they can be placed among the top 10 teams.
The student Pol Castillo explains how the last day of class the teachers contacted the students who had participated in the FIRST Lego League and asked who was interested in going to Mexico. “There were only two requirements: we could come to the training, construction and programming of the robot, and have a good level of English.”
Thus the story of four boys begins, although one will not travel, which next week will represent Andorra in one of the most prestigious robot competitions in the world, the FIRST Global Challenge.
The event will have the participation of teams between 3 and 5 people, from 14 to 18 years. The five continents will be represented in a competition where there will be 175 nations represented. The competition will begin on August 16th in Mexico City, on a stage for more than 16,000 people.
The goal is to build a robot that completes the tests in an established time. The device “will be alone on a large counter and will have to carry boxes from one place to another, and activate some mechanisms within a time limit of 2.5 minutes,” mentor Mario Giménez explains.
The pieces and the materials have been facilitated by the organization and the team has received the support of the National Youth Fórum. Despite the similarities with the Micro FIRST Lego League, there are also big differences. “In the first place neither the pieces nor the materials are the same. Now we use metal and the previous time, lego. Programming is also different and we will compete at a higher level,” says Castillo. In addition, Giménez adds, “the design is all ours“, since “the robot came completely disassembled”.
Moving boxes at different heights, turning turbines and moving solar panels will be some of the tests. One of the challenges for the group has been the lack of time, since they have only prepared a month to prepare. The challenge is capital, but the group’s resolve is clear: “Learn and do the best,” says Eloi Correia, another of the participants.
The United States, China and India will be the rivals to beat. However, young people from Gambia, Honduras, the Maldives will also participate. Mounting, programming and driving the vehicle have been some of the tasks that have been devoted to them, since “sometimes the robot does not do what you expect, you do not know if the box is tight or you finished the battery” explains the student Jorge Romero.
Although no goals have been set for the rounds they want to pass, the mentor considers that they can reach the top ten.