BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN: The Brunei Robotics Olympiad was officially launched yesterday at Katok Sixth Form Centre, and this year’s theme was ‘Robots Connecting People’. Brunei Robotics Olympiad is an annual national competition initiated and organized by Science, Technology and Environment Partnership (STEP) Centre, Ministry of Education since 2004, Borneo Bulletin reported.
The competition uses LEGO Mindstorms series of kits containing software and hardware to create small, customisable and programable robots. The robots operate on a programable ‘Brick’ computer that controls the system, which includes sets of modular sensors, motors and LEGO parts. The LEGO Mindstorms series is also used in International competition namely the World Robotics Olympiad (WRO). It is one of STEP Centre’s mission to promote and enhance the development of technology. It also aimed to engage teachers and students at schools and higher institutions in robots exhibitions and international competitions. STEP Centre also initiates workshops and trainings with the cooperation of other government and non-government agencies.
A total number of 33 teams from all four districts competed in yesterday’s competition. There were 12 teams that participated in the ROBOT ORGANISER category, which were only for students who are currently in Year Four to Six, and the ROBOT COLUMBUS category was opened for Year Seven to nine, which saw a total of 21 participating teams. The goal of the competition was to develop and strengthen students’ creative and technology skills, which are essential for the 21st Century, especially in the field of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. It also offers students the opportunity to expand their knowledge and interest, as well as skills by involving them with the current technology.