Young minds show off technical ingenuity and creativity in robotics

CREATIVITY begins with passion, dreams and, in the case of the World Robo Masters Cup Malaysia 2014, robots.

The event is in its fourth year and 200 students from Creative Robotics Education Sdn Bhd (CR8), aged from 7 to 17, took part.

The CR8 education centre, which organised the event, was founded by brothers Khong Yee Jun and Khong Yee Jian, who are also CR8 directors.

The event, held on May 1, featured three categories — sports, ingenuity and programming skills.

The first competition involved a skirmish among 12 teams of three students each in a “SoccerBot” contest involving a defender, striker and goalkeeper run by remote control.

Dhruv Soni, 17, Subang Jaya with his Lego Mindstorm invention named
Dhruv, with his Lego Mindstorm invention named ‘Butterfly’. — Photos by BRIAN MOH

This was followed by a “Creative Category”, where contestants built autonomous, pre-programmed robots based on the theme “Robots in Construction Site”, using their originality to find the best combination of form and function.

Contestant Dhruv Soni, 17, from CR8 Headquarters in The Summit, entered the category with a hovercraft-like machine he named “Butterfly”, a play on American-based manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, Caterpillar Inc.

“It is my second time entering the competition and I fell in love with the topic because robotics was a medium to apply what I had learnt,” he said.

Young minds at work as they faced off during the
Young minds at work as they compete during the “SoccerBot” segment.

Using Microsoft’s Kodu Game Lab software, the third category, Kreative Kodu Kup (K3) required contestants to create a game based on the theme “Search and Rescue (SAR)”.

CR8 encompasses a syllabus based on the first Malaysian-made reconfigurable robot kit (Rero) by Cytron Technologies Sdn Bhd, and Sasbadi Sdn Bhd-affilliated Lego Mindstorm modular robots used in the competition, said CR8 managing director Esther Khong.

“Aside from engineering and programming techniques, the students also learn soft skills such as presentation, creative thinking and team work.

“The competition winners with the most innovative ideas will represent Malaysia in Singapore,” she said.

CR8, which boasts 24 franchised centres around Malaysia, including one in Sabah, will organise another competition in November.

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