Dhaka Tribune: Team Bangladesh shines at global robotics competition

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Team Bangladesh has been on a roll in the 2020 FIRST Global Challenge, holding the top position for five consecutive weeks.

The 13-week-long annual robotics competition, styled after the Olympics, is being held online this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Every year, youths from around the world come together to compete in the FIRST Global Challenge. Bangladesh has been participating in the competition since 2017.

Team Bangladesh secured 7th position out of 190 countries in the 2019 FIRST Global Challenge and are aiming for first this time.

The members of the team are: Sujoy Mahmud, 17, from Mangrove School, Razeen Ali, 18, from Sir John Wilson School, Mahi Zarif, 16, from International Hope School, Shahrear Shemanto, 16, from DPS STS, Abrar Jawad, 15, and Aymaan Rahman, 15, from Bangladesh International School and College, Bianca Hassan,19, from Dhanmondi Tutorial, Zahraa Chowdhury, 14, from Sunbeams, Areebah Nawar, 14, from South Breeze and Fairooz Hafiz Farin , 18, from Mastermind.

Shams Jaber, founder of The Tech Academy and chief mentor of the team, told Dhaka Tribune he has high hopes for the team, and they deserve to win the competition this year.

“It would be disappointing if we do not win this year. We are almost there. This team is working day and night for the competition,” he said.

The results of the competition will be announced mid-October.

Shoaib Mirza is technical mentor and Fardin Ananta is assistant mentor of Team Bangladesh this year.

This year, team member Aymaan Rahman created a robot to carry medicine and other essentials to sick people in isolation at home or hospital. The robot can be operated through Wifi, ensuring that the operator can maintain a safe distance.

The robot, dubbed Covitron-1, can also measure the temperature of a person without any physical contact. Covitron-1 was featured as one of the best projects in the newsletter of FIRST Global.

“I am very fortunate that my parents supported and helped me to follow my passion in robotics,” Aymaan said.

Aymaan’s mother Dilruba Chowdhury, an architect, noticed her son’s interest in creating things at an early age.

“He used to disassemble toys instead of playing with them. We noticed that he is genuinely interested in robotics and sent him to the Tech Academy when he was nine,” she told Dhaka Tribune.

Dilruba also said not enough parents see Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) as an extracurricular activity, unlike singing, dancing or painting.

“This is a proud moment for me as a parent. Parents should support and encourage their children if they see their kids developing an interest in STEM,” she added.



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