Saturday, October 31, 2009

Farming Merged with Robotics at 2009 National Robotics Competition

The 2009 National Robotics Competition (NRC) was held at the Music Hall of the SM Mall of Asia last October 23-24, 2009.

The contest was open to all Filipino students between 9-18 years old (born before Nov 1, 1991). Any type or brand of Robot, or custom-built automaton, was allowed for the competition.

The tournament was divided into two categories: open, wherein students were tasked to create a presentation based on a theme; and regular, where students were tasked to build a robot designed to battle in a “sumobot” match.

With the theme “Agribots in the City,” this year’s open category revolved around the farming cycle and possible activities in Philippine setting where technology and robotics can be applied. Students were tasked to construct two robots that “will do tasks that represent harvesting, sorting of grains, storage, transporting to market, feeding of animals, and switching of irrigation and biogas.”

The mainstay “sumobot” competition, aptly described as the “wrestling of the robots,” had a simple premise: to push the opponent robot out of a makeshift dohyo (sumo ring). Robots battling in the sumobot match must not weigh more than 500 grams, and must not exceed dimensions of 15 cm by 15 cm.

Around 80 teams participated and competed for the prize award of representing the country in the 11th International Robot Olympiad (IRO 2009) held at Daejeon Metropolitan City, South Korea, last December 17-20, 2009. Students from Makati Science High School emerged as winners in the “open” category. All top-prize winners received cash, plaques and robot kits.

Pasay City Mayor Wencaslao “Peewee” Trinidad graced the opening of the competition.

Coinciding with the 2nd NRC were several seminars conducted by the organizers. PRGF conducted a free robotics workshop featuring robotics inventions and robotics competitions by the private and public high schools in the whole country, and student delegates from other Asian countries.

GCI arranged a Seminar Series for I.T. Educators and Robotics Workshop, which centered on various Science, Technology and ICT programs.

A wide range of participants joined in the seminars – from students to parents and I.T. teachers. The seminars were free of charge but pre-registration was required. Among the workshop topics were:
  • Technology Tools for Schools
  • Opening your school to Open Source Technology
  • Fashion 101 for Teachers
  • Robotics in Schools - patterned after the Singapore style
  • Using Microcontrollers in Science Experiments
  • English Teaching and Learning Technology
  • Hotel System for HRM Schools
The 2nd National Robotics Competition was organized by the Genetic Computer Institute (GCI), INEX Singapore, Nido Science Discovery Center, SM Mall of Asia, Honda and the Pinoy Robot Games Foundation (PRGF) and sponsored by GENETIC Infoservices Corporation, Innovative Experiment (INEX), Nido, and the following media partners: Manila Bulletin, TV5, Yehey!.com, Jam 88.3, Wave 891, Magic 89.9, 99.5 RT , and 103.5 Max FM.

For more information about PRGF, email or visit


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