Federation’s Robotics team competes in FIRST Global Challenge

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts — The St. Kitts-Nevis Robotics Team is competing in the 2020 FIRST Global Challenge – Connecting Communities, which runs July 1 to September 26. The event will be virtual due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

“The COVID-19 situation changed the whole dynamic of us travelling, so we are online now, the robotics competition is online. The challenge surrounds social challenges where they must create videos and talk about the experience during the quarantine. They must create robots that do few things which means that few of them would have to meet under the COVID-19 protocols,” said Dr. Ricardo Neil, Founder and Chairman of the St. Kitts-Nevis Robotics Association (SKNRA).

Dr. Neil said that the group meets to develop mini bots, unlike 2019 where they had to build a huge robot to travel with to Dubai.

St. Kitts and Nevis is ranked in the top 100 out of 180 participating countries.

“Currently, we are in the top 100 in terms of our ranking,” said Neil. “We are ranked at 16 in the world based on the challenges that they have completed so far. We are waiting to see how things will go… and we have about 170 countries presently involved in the online challenges.”

The first challenge, entitled Quarantine Time, ran from July 1 to 3. Challenge #2 is dubbed Technical Challenge 1 and ran July 4 to 20. Challenge #3 – Dream Big ran July 7 to 9. Challenge #4 Mic Drop took place from July 11 to 13. Challenge #5 Got Talent ran July 14-16. Challenge #6 Volunteer Shout out, July 18 to 20 and Challenge #7 Project Impact will run July 22 to August 7.

“Most of the students on the team would have been exposed to online learning here in St. Kitts and Nevis,” said Neil. As a result, they are easily adapting to the same process with the competition.”

According to https://first.global/cc/, FIRST Global releases weekly challenges via social media, of which there are two types— Social Media Challenges that require submitting content in response to various prompts, as well as Technical Challenges. Although official teams are the only ones eligible to earn points, the challenges are open to everyone.