Young people from Soriano travel to Mexico to an international robotics competition

Translated from Spanish.

They put together a robot that managed to overcome all the challenges in the previous tests.

A group of young people from the liceo 1 of Mercedes and the technical school Pedro Blanes Viale of that city decided to follow the computer professors Liliana Buzún and Mercedes Khars in their workshops on that subject, and they did not stop until they traveled to Mexico. Santiago and Belén Camesasca, Yaco Chumillo, Sahiara Mar and Ignacio García are the Uruguayan teenagers who will represent the country in the international robotics competition — the FIRST Global Challenge, which this year will be held in Mexico City, from August 16 to 18.

In 2017 they came in second place in the national robotics competition organized by Plan Ceibal and were awarded with the classification for this international experience. The FIRST Global theme for 2018 is “Energy Impact”, because “from common-use fossil fuels to ecological resources such as solar and wind, energy is a tool that drives different parts of the world in one way or another”, clarifies the web page. In the competition, alliances of three nations – which will be changing – will compete to initiate power plants, start renewable energy plants and build a resilient transmission network. Each team must participate with the robot armed with the materials that the organization offered them in March.

“The construction was a very difficult task, because not knowing how to handle those pieces the kids had to start investigating, they saw videos of past years’ competitions and we had the collaboration, from Ceibal, of one of the students who participated last year in the competition in Washington. They did everything; even, a month ago, they realized that something was not working and disarmed everything to reassemble. It was a move forward and backward until we had the final version of the robot; Now everything is tested and working well,” Khars told the daily.

Delegations from more than 175 countries will travel to Mexico these coming days. The competition is large and depends to a large extent on the constructions made by the other two teams that make up the trios of the rounds of challenges. The Uruguayans go with the expectations of meeting the challenges and living the experience of “sharing and having fun, always as something friendly,” said the teacher. In turn, they will take note of the returns that the judges make when they visit the stand that they built to present the robot and, in turn, show the other young people the characteristics of Uruguay.

Reaching this level of competence was not an easy task. All young people have different schedules and interests, but they managed to make time for teamwork. Yaco and Santiago are high school students and are now in their fifth year of biological orientation. On the other hand, Sahiara and Belén are also in fifth grade, but they study construction in the UTU, while Ignacio is studying his last year in that institution in the electromechanical career. “Everyone comes from different places, and none from computer science or robotics,” said Khars, but, in the words of the teacher, everyone is motivated to know more and work on projects that have to do with their environment; that was the kickoff.