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Three Day UAE National Robot Olympiad

by Eddie Rayner

Over 800 students from across the UAE’s education ecosystem of private and public schools, charter schools, and universities are gearing up to battle it out over three days in the UAE National World Robot Olympiad (WRO) 2021.

The virtual competition will be held between 1-3 October and will challenge 308 teams on their robotics and STEM subject skills and knowledge in three categories. Seven winning teams will represent the UAE at the international World Robot Olympiad in November 2021.

“This is the thirteenth year that the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) has organised the WRO National competition, aligning with the UAE strategy to build a competitive knowledge-based economy. The skills that students hone throughout the competition include not only critical robotics and STEM skills, but also soft skills such as creativity, communication, collaboration and critical thinking. These are skills that all students are required to develop as we continue to see the rapid digital transformation of global business and industry,” said Her Excellency Khuloud Al Dhaheri, ADEK’s Executive Director – Education Partnerships Sector.

Students from private and public schools, charter schools and universities across the UAE will participate in the national competition organised by ADEK

Teams of up to three members and a coach will submit their video entries to be evaluated by a panel of 38 judges who were selected based on their competency from 92 candidates to assess teams’ entries against the Robot Olympiad’s strict judging criteria. This will ensure that each team has abided by the competition’s principles and code of ethics.

This year’s theme, ‘Powerbots; the Future of Energy’, challenges teams in three categories to use robotics to solve real-life problems, including how to make home energy consumption more efficient, provide solutions for charging electric cars, help manage the energy mix on the national grid, and design self-driving cars that use sensors to avoid obstacles.

Seven winning teams will represent the UAE in the international World Robot Olympiad competition in November

In the ‘Regular’ category, students aged 8 to 19 years are tasked to design, build and program robots to solve specific challenges within a set timescale. The ‘Open’ category is a project-based competition where students create an innovative, intelligent robotics solution relating to the season’s theme. In the ‘Future Engineers’ category, students aged 15-19 will be tasked with designing a model car, equipping it with electromechanical components, and programming it to successfully and autonomously navigate an obstacle track.

“We wish all our young and talented participants the very best of luck, and we look forward to seeing the innovative and creative solutions they provide for the series of challenges they are up against. We also look forward to congratulating the seven winning teams who will represent the UAE at the international finals,” concluded Her Excellency Al Dhaheri.