World of robotics: Bolivia stands out among the best in South America

Translated from Spanish.

Many battles had to be won for two days in order to reach this place and the excitement overflows because they defended the colors of Bolivia in an event where 163 countries in total sought to demonstrate the best they have in the field of robotics.

On the global scale they ranked 103rd, but in South America they are in fifth place. The champions of the event were teams from Europe, Poland and Armenia.

Fabián Ignacio Malpartida Negrón, Alejandro Nuñez Arroyo, Luis Ricardo Fernández Durán and Susan Jhoseline Terán Cruz, are the high school students of the Don Bosco and Santa Ana colleges of Chuquisaca, who accompanied by their tutor Said Pérez, a professor at the Universidad S. Francisco Xavier, achieved this outstanding participation in the FIRST Global Challenge held in Washington, USA.

“We are excited to participate in the FIRST Global competition, meet people and learn new things to improve the knowledge of our robotics to replicate it in our country. We will do our best to play a good role in the competition!”, says the team presentation in the official page of the event.

Yesterday was an intense day, but the performance of the Bolivians was very positive. As Pérez explained to Los Tiempos, in the first round they had some difficulties but despite that they advanced, of the six rounds they had they won four.

How was the competition?

The competition took place on Monday and Tuesday with three tests each day and a points accumulation system.

The challenge was for the robots to select clean water molecules and distinguish them from contaminated water, represented by blue and orange balls, respectively. In this way the competitors obtained points, decisive to define the place in the table. Bolivia obtained the 103rd place in the world ranking with 402 points and the fifth place in South America. In rounds won, the team scored eight points, two for each round won; just two from getting on the podium.

The goal of the FIRST Global Challenge is “to increase their knowledge of science, technology, engineering and mathematics so that the young participants can become the next generation of scientific leaders who will work together to solve some of the most pressing problems in the world, from safety food and access to drinking water, to the search for better medicines and the security of cyberspace.”

The team

Members of the national team won the Robotics Olympics in 2016 and the Computer Science Olympics in 2015 in the country.

They are part of the university plan of social extension of this higher house of studies that involves free courses in science and technology, the first fruits of which are reflected in the students who represent Bolivia in these Olympics.

Said Eduardo Pérez Pope, 27, the group’s tutor, has been a professor at the Faculty of Technology at the San Francisco Xavier de Chuquisaca University for four years.

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