Robots leaving their marks at the festival
TIBO-2015 engages not only serious experts but youngsters, via Belarus’ first Robodrom Children’s and Youth Festival
The event spanned every age range, with people exchanging ideas and experiences. Meanwhile, LEGO-robots collided in traditional fighting competitions, entered by 39 teams. The robotic-sumo wrestlers were set up a full hour beforehand, being weighed and measured for their categories: the upper limit was within a kilogramme, while no robot could be larger than 30cm by 30 cm.
“933 grams!” declared fifth grader Alexey Kononov, from the 13th Minsk gymnasium. Attending a robotics competition for the first time, he was full of excitement. Sixth graders Alexandra Voinich and Margarita Khomenko, from the 2nd Minsk gymnasium, were also novices. The girls were keen to prove themselves, having been inspired by their friends, Ilya Markevich and Denis Tamashevich, who claimed fifth place at the last tournament.
Organisers note that previous one-off tournaments in robotics have helped promote this sphere of technological-science. Minsk’s City Executive Committee has allocated a venue, and sponsors have not only donated prizes but also screens, allowing audiences to better watch the ‘robot wars’. The standard of robot has also improved dramatically, with distance and motion sensors helping detect the opponent. It’s now hoped to create a non-profit Association of Children’s Robotics, to nurture teams for international level.
By Olga Pasiyak