Monday, 15 June 2009

Brunei National Robocon

I am using the break to blog about something I thoroughly enjoyed watching last Saturday, the 13th of June 2009 at RTB's new building, located at Sungai Akar. There's no time to watermark, so if anyone's using these photos, please at least cite where you got them from, which is this blog.

I was supporting UBD's team, whom I have been watching them work on this project since last year. You are looking at very determined and hardworking students who gave up their free time to get this far.

I am just as impressed with Jefri Bolkiah Engineering College (MKJB) at how well-coordinated their team was. Each member was so absorbed in rectifying the problem as they fiddled with the individual machine. They each knew what to do with mere tacit communication when they opted for a rerun.

Despite all prior pressures and commotion, the response from the guests and organisers are positive. RTB is so supportive that they have even agreed to let the winning team have the arena to practise on!

There, I shared with my colleague what I've learned from a workshop I recently went to. "You have to die in your research in order to live from it", which kind of goes with my personal belief that hard work always yield something good, no matter how small.

For details of Robocon, click here.

To watch the video, which gives a visual detail of the rules, click here.

The goal is to get the traveler robot to hit the drums while the autonomous and controlled robot coordinate together to carry the traveler robot.

UBD's autonomous and controlled robot

MKJB's autonomous and controlled robot

Host getting ready for the show

Meet the judges

Round 1, team UBD in action

Placing the autonomous robot at the starting position

Student controlling the second robot with a wired controller

Judges taking measurements

10 minutes before the second round and team UBD is doing some minor changes to their program.

Team MKJB is also busy making adjustments

Finally, team UBD got their traveler robot into the carriage

By the third round, they got as far as the ramp but some wires got short-circuited and holy smokes!

The battery was busted but team UBD had enough to make it to Tokyo!

Announcement of the winners and brief interview with the participants

Team UBD with their instructor in an IET t-shirt

One of their prizes


UBD to represent Brunei at Abu Robocon 2009 in Japan

The Brunei Times
Winning combination: Members of Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) team manoeuvring their carrier robot during the Abu Robocon 2009 National Contest yesterday. UBD team won the contest.Picture: BT/ Al-Haadi Abu Bakar
Sunday, June 14, 2009

UNIVERSITI Brunei Darussalam (UBD) will be representing Brunei at the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union Robot Contest (Abu Robocon) 2009 in Tokyo, Japan this August 22 after winning the national contest yesterday during a live broadcast at Radio Television Brunei (RTB).

The university defeated Jefri Bolkiah Engineering College (MKJB) in yesterday's fourth national contest which was jointly organised by the Science, Technology and Environment Partnership (Step) Centre with RTB and Brunei Shell Petroleum Company (BSP).

The objective of yesterday's contest was to select a team from participating colleges to represent Brunei in a similar game format to the Abu Robocon in Tokyo, Japan themed "Cooperation between People and Robots".

"The fourth national Abu Robocon 2009 contest was held to develop more rounded students in robot technology, to encourage inventions and innovations in robot design in a more challenging world, and to develop interest and understanding of engineering, design and technology, thereby creating greater demand for education in these fields," said Hj Metali Hj Mirasan, acting head of Step Centre in his welcoming remarks.

The Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union has organised contests for handmade robots among students from institutions of higher education in the Asia-Pacific region since 2002. The contest serves to develop originality, creativity and technical skills of young people in the Asia-Pacific region and to help promote the advancement of the Asia-Pacific broadcasting culture and to foster the spirit of collaboration in joint production.

Present as guest of honour was Hj Suhaila Hj Abd Karim, deputy permanent secretary of higher education at the Ministry of Education, who hoped that the competition would spark students' interest in the field of robots and artificial intelligence (AI).

"Imperative efforts have to be increased to find ways and means to stimulate the interests of our youth to get themselves closer and handle simple electronic works, not just through formal curriculum but perhaps also through co-curricular club activities," he said.

"To attract wider participation, we should also start thinking of organising similar competitions, but of slightly lower level of sophistication so that school students can enter. This will then increase a pool of enthusiasts in such a field."

"Our educational changes brought about by the National Education System for the 21st Century (SPN21) clearly put emphasis on such field of technology know-how to be pursued by our students as embedded or complemented in their endeavour to be able to solve problems and come up with creative and highly imaginative designs," he added.

The competition yesterday saw two teams comprising computer science students from UBD and MKJB competing head to head with their invention of carrier robots on a platform with a concept of the traditional Japanese palanquin of the pre-modern era.

The concept of competition was based on an imaginary journey of olden days called "Travel Together for the Victory Drums" using the Kago palanguin. An automatic carrier robot in the front and a manual carrier robot in the rear carries an automatic traveller robot in a Kago to the goal with the aim of completing the journey before the other team. Various tasks stand in the way, including a mountain mass and woods.

The UBD team led by Lim Ren Foo received US$1,000 sponsored by Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union, and B$1,000 with trophies. MKJB received B$800. (ADI1)

The Brunei Times

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