Vadodara-based early teens Aabir Sarkar and Rishiraj Behki — members of Team ARM (advanced robotics for manufacturing) 9 — are the newly crowned champions of the World Adolescent Robotics Contest (WARC) 2019 staged on August 11-17 in Chongqing, China. Team ARM9 was among 60 teams invited from 30 countries to compete in WARC 2019 by virtue of being among the top-ranked at the World Robot Olympiad (WRO) 2018 staged in Chiang Mai (Thailand).
Organised annually by the China Association for Science and Technology (CAST) in co-operation with education company SEMIA Ltd, Hong Kong, the World Adolescent Robotics Contest (estb.2017) is an annual event staged parallelly with the China Adolescent Robotics Contest (estb.2001). The objective of WARC is to draw participation of primary-secondary school children worldwide to showcase their talents in designing and building robots.
Thirteen-year-olds Rishiraj and Aabir, class VIII students of Vadodara’s Billabong High International and Navrachana schools — ranked among these cities’ Top 5 co-ed day schools in the recent EducationWorld India School Rankings 2019-20 — have been engaged with computer programming and robotics ever since the subjects were introduced to them at the Zepto Learning Institute in Vadodara, where their parents enrolled them four years ago.
Based on the theme ‘smart cities’, this year’s WARC 2019 required contesting teams to design and programme a robot to carry smart light bulbs from the storage area into different rooms (red, blue, yellow, green) of a building, replace fused bulbs and dispose the latter in an environmentally-friendly manner.
Looking ahead, the duo is preparing hard for the qualifying rounds of WRO 2020 scheduled to be staged in November next year. “We hope to expand our knowledge in the field of IT and robotics under the guidance of our mentor Mukesh sir,” says Aabir echoing the sentiments of his teammate.
Paromita Sengupta (Bangalore)