Battle of minds at national robotics challenge


ROBOTIC enthusiasts from all over Malaysia recently came together for a showdown battle to prove their prowess in robotic creation.

Aged from as young as six years old to the tertiary level, the 102 teams turned up at the grand finals of the Petrosains RBTX Challenge 2021, which was held virtually for the first time last month.

These team finalists had qualified for the finale after competing in the virtual qualifying round involving 600 participants in 345 teams, according to a press release dated Dec 7.

Supported by the Education Ministry and Petronas, the competition featured eight categories: Robo Tracer Junior, Advanced and Open; Robo Sumo Junior and Advanced; and Innovation Junior, Advanced and Varsity.

At the end of the competition, 31 teams walked away with cash prizes worth over RM20,000, with the top winners of each category awarded RM1,500, second runner-up winners RM1,000 each and third-place winners RM500 each.

In her speech, Education director-general Datin Seri Nor Zamani Abdol Hamid said the ministry welcomes collaborative opportunities that will support and enhance efforts to increase interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education among students, teachers, as well as parents.

“The ongoing collaboration between the ministry and Petrosains through various initiatives, including the Petrosains RBTX Challenge, has brought a positive impact in encouraging students to be more interested in STEM and to pursue STEM education and careers,” she said.

Petrosains chief executive officer Ezarisma Azni Mohamad said with the digitalisation of STEM in the new era of education, Petrosains hopes to assist and be the hub of digital transformation through the building and nurturing of technology advancement skills such as robotics, coding and embedded programming.

The Petrosains RBTX Challenge was first introduced in 2018 by Petrosains, The Discovery Centre, which is Petronas’ corporate social responsibility arm in the pillar of STEM education.

It is a programme where all robotic enthusiasts gather to learn, discover, and battle their robotic creations on a common platform.

The programme aims to provide a mutual hub which allows more people to share their interest in scientific and technological fields through hands-on creation, specifically in robotics.

Besides supporting the vision and aspiration of the Malaysia Education Blueprint through mastering higher order thinking skills and the ability to innovate, the challenge is tailored to provide school students with basic designing, coding and sensor training in robotic development, and to educate the public on the evolving digital era driven by the convergence of advanced technologies such as robotics, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things.

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