Chasing excellence in robotics | The Daily Star
12:10 AM, January 25, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:07 AM, January 25, 2019

Chasing excellence in robotics

At the 20th International Robot Olympiad (IRO) held in Philippines from December 15-19, 2018, Team Bangladesh created history with their remarkable performances, winning one gold medal, two highly commended medals and one technical medal. The theme of the event was 'Save the Seas'. Md Mehr Mahmud from Maple Leaf International School won the Gold Award in the creative category, with his team Robotigers which also comprises of Quazi Mostahid Labib and Tafsir Tahrim from Chittagong Grammar School, Dhaka. Together they made a Serenity Bot which monitors water quality in terms of its pH. Labib and Tahrim were also the proud winners of the Highly Commended Award for the category, Robot in Movie. Zahra Manzareen from Aga Khan School and Nasheetat Zainah Rahman from Sunbeams of team Robo Challengers also won the Highly Commended Award in the category Robot in Movie. They were given an on-the-spot challenge, themed 'Save the Animals', for which they created an Ecobot and a Seabot.

“The Seabot uses a solar sensor to detect marine life under danger and activates the Ecobot, which rushes to rescue the victim,” explained the creators. “On its return journey, the Ecobot displays messages like 'Do not litter' to motivate people to keep the beaches clean and help save marine-life.”

Sunny Jubayer of Dhaka College and Md Khairul Islam of Lalbagh Govt Model School and College from Team Bangladesh won the Technical Award for creating ALPHA, which collects garbage from beaches. 

Sirena Technology, the institution that brought robotics to the forefront and introduced most of the participants to robot-making, played a major role in this Olympiad. Despite their educational commitments, the students still managed time to partake in this Olympiad, thanks to their love and passion for developing robots.

The Bangladesh Robot Olympiad (BDRO), which consists of 125 members, trained these young minds for the competition.  The participants who won the national round were sent to represent Bangladesh in Philippines. One of the major obstacles that the institution faces today is lack of funding. Due to the financial crisis, many talented engineers are unable to compete further, depriving them of global recognition. Now that Team Bangladesh holds a stronger position, for the next round, BDRO seeks support from the government so that they can send talented young minds from Bangladesh to compete internationally. They also plan to reach out across the nation and encourage participation from all corners of Bangladesh.

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