Cebu Robotics Society Wins Big in the 15th Philippine Robotics Olympiad

November 4, 2016

Cebu Robotics Society ran off with nine teams advancing to the World Robot Olympiad (WRO) at New Delhi, India this November 25 – 27, 2016 having been declared as winners in four different categories in the recently concluded Philippine Robotics Olympiad held at SM North EDSA, Quezon City last September 5 – 9, 2016.

The 27 young innovators of the Cebu Robotics Society won in various categories namely:

                Elementary School Category “Clean Way to School”
1st Place – Smart Kidz Enhancement Center
2nd Place – Science and Technology Education Center (STEC)
3rd Place – Marie Ernestine School
4th Place – Marie Ernestine School
Junior High School Category “Waste Sorting”
1st Place – Marie Ernestine School
Senior High School Category “Recycling Plant”
2nd Place – Dr. Caridad C. Labe Center of Excellence
4th Place – Science and Technology Education Center
Senior High School/College Category “Robot Soccer”
3rd Place – Science and Technology Education Center
5th Place – Science and Technology Education Center

The delegates from over 75 schools around the country were all between 10 – 15 years old. They were chosen based on their robot scores and completion time for each mission. The challenge is to build and program an autonomous robot within two and a half hours and solve the different missions per category.

In the Elementary School Category, the challenge is to create a robot that can clean the school road. Its mission is to remove the waste/trash represented by red color LEGO blocks from the cleaning points represented by circles, dispose the red blocks in the waste disposal area (yellow area) and mark these cleaning points as “clean” by placing “clean area markers” represented by blue color LEGO blocks in the circles. The robot will begin from the start area (green square) carrying 4 blue LEGO blocks as “clean area markers”. Randomly placed in the 7 circles are 4 red blocks and 3 blue blocks. The robot’s mission is to put the 4 blue blocks completely inside the 4 circles containing the 4 red blocks, move the red blocks to be completely inside the waste disposal area. The mission is only completed when the robot is completely inside the finish area (red square). Each has to complete the mission in 2 minutes. During the semifinals, the top twenty schools advancing to the final round were given the surprise rule swapping the starting and ending point. The participants then have to reprogram their robots to accomplish the said twist with STEC as the only school who managed to return get inside the green zone; thus, placing STECsecond from the fast and more efficient robot of the Smart Kids Enhancement Center. This category was dominated by the Cebu Robotics Society as all four teams will compete in the World Robot Olympiad.

In the Junior High School Category, the challenge is to create a robot that can gather certain recyclable wastes from any domestic areas, place into the recycling waste bins and be picked up by the Municipal service. The robot has to identify and classify the wastes according to their kinds and designated recycling waste bins. During the semifinals, only 3 schools from Cebu City, namely: Dr. Caridad C. Labe Center of Excellence, Marie Ernestine School and Science and Technology Education Center scored in the first and second run. The judges, seeing how difficult the algorithm needed for the students to accomplish the mission agreed to do a 3rd run in which 20 schools advanced in the finals. Most of the robots during the final round missed the mission points, yet one exceptional robot of Marie Ernestine School from the Lapu-Lapu Robotics Team perfectly picked the wastes, smoothly followed the black line and dropped the correct size of blocks in each bin and emerged as the first placer.

In the Senior High School Category, the first of this year, the challenge is to create a robot that can bring the sorted wastes stored in recycling containers to their corresponding recycling tank at a waste recycling plant. Furthermore, the robot shall bring the recycling containers to their proper positions for the collection of more sorted wastes. To complete the mission, the robot shall reach the robot maintenance area. Once again the Cebu City Division proved its ground by making two of its team bag the highest score from Dr. Caridad C. Labe Center of Excellence as the second placer and Science and Technology Education Center ranked in fourth place. Of all robots, the judges wowed at each turn and lift of the robots made by Cebuanos for each of the robots ran perfectly during the practice runs. During the final run, both of the robots made minor errors making other teams overtook their ranks.

Further, the robot soccer category challenges the participants to build and program two autonomous robots and exhibit the human soccer game. Teams of two on two autonomous robots (one goalie and one kicker) must chase an infra-red transmitting ball around an 1830 mm by 2430 mm size table top field and kick more goals. Ten teams among the different provinces in the country battled each other out for the single elimination match during the semifinals. This resulted to the inclusion of a wild card from the other five eliminated teams giving them chance for a come back when only four remaining teams had stood up for the battle. With this, the STEC team triumphed as it landed fifth place in the battle and will compete in the WRO. During the second match, another two Cebu Robotics Society team coming from Lapu-Lapu City emerged victorious having 3 teams out of 5 to represent in the WRO.

For the sixth time around, a total of nine teams coming from the Cebu Robotics Society out of seventeen teams will represent Philippines in the World Robotics competition. This event was fully supported by Mayor Paz Radaza (LGU of Lapu-Lapu City), Dr. Juliet A. Jeruta (Regional Director, DepEd-RO7), Dr. Marilyn S. Andales (SDS, DepEd – Lapu-Lapu City Division), Mylene Abiva (Felta Multimidia Inc.), parents of the participants and the rest of the general public.

The Cebu Robotics Society believes that robotics is a wonderful platform for the 21st century learning skills. Solving robotic challenges builds innovation, creativity and problem solving skills in students. Since it crosses multiple curriculum subjects, students can learn and apply their knowledge in science, technology, engineering, math, and computer programming. The most rewarding part of designing robots is that students naturally learn, value team work and enjoy the once in a lifetime experience.

Written by:

Donald B. Dungog
Information and Technology Officer – I
DepEd, Division of Lapu-Lapu City