Published: 15th September 2021
Meet the young Hyderabadi lads who bagged gold at a prestigious int'l robotics competition
International Youth Robot Competition or IYRC, as it is popularly called, tests the mettle of all those students who are inclined towards robotics. Check out how these students fared this year around
Robots are that future that students are ready to embrace. So when the International Youth Robot Competition (IYRC) was around the corner this year, Leap Robotics, champions of robotic technology, fielded 32 of their students and 24 of them came back with laurels. It was in August that the winners of this global competition were declared and we talk to those who walked away with gleaming golds and find out how they did it with MRT blocks. By the way, My Robot Time (MRT) blocks are educational robot building toolkits that help kids build robot models.
A new friend is here
Vishnu Malladi | (Pic: Vishnu Malladi)
Are you ready to be best friends with Chingu, the humanoid who is great company for kids and senior citizens and is guaranteed to drive away the blues? Designed by Vishnu Malladi, it can shake your hand, get footloose and dance with you, as well as accompany you while you sweat it out on the exercise floor. "Social robots have always had my attention which is why I came up with the idea of Chingu," says the 11-year-old who won gold in the junior category, a clear update from the silver he won last year. When the homeschooled student found out he had won, he literally squealed in delight. This was because he poured in a lot of hard work into this robot, even the two-syllable name resembling Rajinikanth's Chitti, the robot from the movie Enthiran, was carefully thought of. It is controlled by a remote control, has wheels attached to it and an MRT servo motor that powers it. Vishnu, who was born in Michigan, USA, hopes to study at Harvard, MIT or the like to make sure that he can take his love for robotics far and wide.
The brothers have done it
Luv and Lakshya Makwana | (Pic: Luv and Lakshya Makwana)
Luv and Lakshya Makwana have always been bleeding hearts for the environment, more so after the recent increase in forest fires. Cycling among trees and climbing them, plus trekking, are a few of their favourite things. So, they decided to channel this love into developing a fire-fighting robot that can help put out forest fires. "We have used Lego and Scratch Studio (an app to develop apps) to work on our ideas before, but this was the first time we used MRT blocks," says Luv. The robot comes with flame sensors that detect the start of fires and through a pipe contained in a water-filled container inside, water starts pouring out. The machine itself looks like an upright rectangle sporting the Indian flag on the side, but it surely packs a punch. This was ensured by the 12-year-olds who are Class VII students at Indus International School. The target of this robot are the fires that erupt one foot above the ground. "Water leaking inside the robot is one of the major challenges that we faced and that is one problem we solved after multiple trials," shares Lakshya.