Myanmar’s tech champions

Burmese nerds hope to attract more talent with the promise of winning gold.

WITH recurrent power cuts, limited wifi and poor infrastructures, Myanmar is often regarded as a rather weak country when it comes to technological prowess. Most people struggle installing basic apps on their smartphones, the public administration is archaic and has an endless appetite for paper and forms.

In this context, the news that a team of young Burmese students made it into the top 10 of FIRST, an international robotics challenge, came as a chock. Even for the team itself. “We did not expect that much,” says Myint Myat Aung Zaw, the team’s coach.

Myanmar made it sixth out of 157 participants and is the first Asian country of the ranking. “Myanmar has shown to the world what it is capable of,” says Myint Myat Aung Zaw.

The competition saw different teams presenting robots asked to perform difficult tasks. The teams had to compete against each other (by having robots scoring goals for instance), but sometimes they also had to collaborate. “The challenge is more a network than a competition,” explains Myint Aung Zaw.

–> Read More