Belizean students return from Robotics Competition in Mexico City


Those NEMO radios could be child’s play for a group of students who has just returned from Mexico City. Students from the Belize High School represented Belize at this year’s FIRST Global Challenge 2018.  The aim of the competition was to demonstrate how science and engineering can solve the many challenges that humanity is currently experiencing.  One of the competitors, Kent Haylock told us that the robotics competition was very interesting.

Kent Haylock, Team Leader: “My interest in robotics started when I was in standard five. During that time there was a summer camp and I was so excited to be there and from them I’ve always loved robotics. My experience at the competition was amazing because I got to meet different countries and we all had a common goal and it was to help make the world a better place. I met countries that were also very friendly and I met long time friends.”

Haylock went into depth on the intricacies of the robot he created with the Belize team.

Kent Haylock, Team Leader: “The robot that we created , as you can see here, we had to create it to pick up a box and pick up solar panels that we use with the claw. At the back there is a ‘T’ shaped structure that turned the wind turbine that generates points for us every second. First we got it in two weeks, we had two weeks to build it; one week was to build it and program it and the next week was to practice it so we only got three days of practice. When we were in Mexico there was one country that was paired with two other countries which formed an alliance. The alliance then had to strategize how to get points. The way you could get points was by the wind turbine which generates one kilojoule per second and the solar panel if you have all five could generate 5 points per second. You had a combustion plant where at the top part if you drop the boxes it was twenty points and the bottom part was five points. What we did to get points was go for the solar panel to get that out of the way first.”

Kent Haylock explained some of the challenges his team experienced during the competition.

Kent Haylock, Team Leader: I feel like Belize showed itself on the map. We ranked 106 out of 161 countries so it’s an achievement that I will hold forever. Some challenging parts were to figure out a way how to pick up the solar panels and for the programming because the programming language was called block and it wasn’t a programming language that we learnt at school but there were some programing languages that was similar to it so yes and no it was not challenging to us.

Five other students accompanied Haylock at the competition. He encourages students to try the next robotics challenge.

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