22 Jun 2024  |   04:14am IST

Goa makes its mark in robotics with prestigious WSRO Competition

As Goa gears up to host the World Student Robotics Olympiad (WSRO) for the first time, the State’s robotics and STEM ecosystem is poised to receive a significant boost, further nurturing the skills and creativity of its talented youth
Goa makes its mark in robotics with prestigious WSRO Competition

Team Cafe

In a significant milestone for the state's burgeoning robotics and STEM ecosystem, Goa is all set to host the prestigious World Student Robotics Olympiad (WSRO) for the very first time. WSRO, an annual competition, is widely regarded as one of Asia's premier robotics and STEM festivals, attracting participation from students across the region.

The WSRO competition follows a multi-tier format, with regional-level events held across multiple states, followed by the highly anticipated National-level events in Ahmedabad. The competition encompasses a diverse array of challenges, catering to students with varying interests and

 allowing them to participate in events tailored to their preferences.

The winners of each regional event earn the coveted opportunity to compete at the WSRO Nationals in Ahmedabad, with the top performers progressing to the ultimate stage – the WSRO International. This progression not only fuels the competitive spirit but also provides a platform for students to showcase their skills on the global stage.

For Goan students, the regional-level WSRO represents a remarkable opportunity to immerse themselves in the realms of STEM and robotics. The competitions being organized in Goa are as follows:

Jr. Robo Race (Age Group: 6-15, Team Size: 1-3): Control your robot in wired or wireless mode to complete the race.

Line Following (Age Group: 8+, Team Size: 1-3): Complete a line-following challenge in the shortest time possible, without relying on a particular kit.

Entrepreneurship Challenge (Age Group: 12+, Team Size: 1-3): Develop and present a prototype that addresses a real-world problem. Young Scientist (Age Group: 8-16, Team Size: 1-2): Create and present a science project on a given theme, ranging from space exploration to health, robotics, AI, the environment, agriculture, and even the metaverse.

Lego Line Following (Age Group: 8+, Team Size: 1-3): Build a line follower using Lego parts like EV3 or Spike Prime and complete the challenge in the shortest time.

Pratham Club in Mapusa is spearheading the organization of this event, collaborating with the Directorate of Sports and Youth Affairs and the Directorate of Education, Government of Goa. The organizing team comprises esteemed entities such as Legogoa, Qurious Mind, and Team India FGC. To ensure that students are well-prepared for the competitions, a series of orientation and training sessions have been meticulously planned in both online and offline formats. The organisers added that a circular is being sent to all the schools and students can check with their schools.  Interested teachers, parents, and mentors are encouraged to fill out and submit the forms to receive updates on the schedule of these sessions and the event itself.

The year 2024 has been a momentous one for Goa's robotics and STEM landscape, with various high-profile events taking place. In January, the state hosted the Goa International Robotics Festival 2024, where Goan teams participated alongside national and international teams in the FIRST Tech Challenge and FLL Inspired Showtime challenges, encompassing students from primary to higher secondary levels.

Following this, the Codeavour 5.0 International regional-level event was held in Goa in March 2024, resulting in 23 teams with students from primary to Class 9 qualifying for the National-level event. Remarkably, two of the Goan teams that participated in the Codeavour 5.0 regional event went on to clinch the global championship at the international event in Dubai on May 5, 2024.

The WSRO 2024 Goa event aims to further bolster this momentum by providing an additional platform for students to participate in STEM and robotics-related challenges. In four out of the five competitions, students can participate with any kit or coding platform they are familiar and comfortable with, fostering a diverse and inclusive environment. However, for those new to robotics, physical training sessions have been organized to guide them in building their own robots.

Goan students have consistently demonstrated their prowess and potential in various robotics competitions at both national and international levels. Notably, a team of five students from Goa's Legogoa club represented India at the prestigious FIRST Global Challenge 2023 in Singapore in October 2023, a testament to the state's burgeoning talent and innovation in the field.

Furthermore, Goan students have secured gold medals in their respective categories at the Codeavour International competition in Dubai, while the Legogoa team won the runners-up prize at the MakeX International Competition in Bangkok, Thailand.

At the national level, Team Roborex from Ponda won the Silver Medal for their project ‘Helping Hand’ at the World Robot Olympiad (WRO) Nationals in the Future Innovators Junior Category, while Team GoaTronics has consistently performed well at the FIRST Tech Challenge, winning accolades. Additionally, the 3X team from Bhatikar School emerged victorious in the line follower event held at the BITS Quark robotics event at BITS Goa.

As Goa gears up to host the WSRO for the first time, the state's robotics and STEM ecosystem is poised to receive a significant boost, further nurturing the skills and creativity of its talented youth. This prestigious event not only promises to be an exhilarating experience for participants but also serves as a catalyst for fostering a culture of innovation and technological excellence in Goa.

IDhar UDHAR

Idhar Udhar