Spotlight on the Taipei Robotics Trip

Article by: Joaquin P.

Edited by: Woosuk K.

Visual by: Gabby F. and Manapo I.

ISM offers technology courses to prepare for what is seen as a field that will only grow as our dependence on technology does. Robotics is one of the most popular options for this technology class. Many students end up enjoying it so much that multiple Robotics extracurricular clubs have been started. Such clubs run events like the Roborumble to display student’s passions for robotics to a school audience. Some even take it to the next level by joining international competitions to represent the school. One such team happened last week, our robotics team traveling to the Taipei American School (TAS) to test their skills in problem-solving in a competition called “Turning Point.” The ISM delegation used robots that they built in order to complete challenges against other students from around the region.

In this competition, students had to score points for their “alliance colors,” which were their teams. Points were scored through participating in challenges like using robots to perform actions such as parking and stacking caps of different heights. The challenge tested both the skill of the programming and of the build. To do this, the competition had a brief “autonomous period” in the beginning. Robots operated by themselves using sensors, operating by the sheer programming skill of those who designed it. Afterward, teams were able to access their remote control and operated the robot manually. Because of the nature of the challenge, for a successful result and victory, those participating in the competition had to be confident, executing their design and code well, preparing for anything that could happen in the arena.

One of the teams that participated in the robotics competition, composed of juniors Jason C., Justin S., Kenneth B., and Alexi N., was well-prepared and excited about these challenges. When asked about what made their ISM robotics team a strong one, Alexi N., a member of the team, said: “I think the team I’m on is good because we all are good at communicating with each other and trust each other.” When asked about his passion for robotics that led him to compete, he responded: “I’ve always enjoyed working with machinery and programming and robotics gives me a chance to do both outside of an academic environment. I took interest in doing tournaments mostly because I was interested to see how different students would solve different problems provided within the competitions.”

Though doing the programming and robotics is surely the main focus of an event, another benefit for the participants was that they got the chance to interact with like-minded people, who shared the same passion for robotics from all around the world. According to Jason C., a member of the robotics team, “I’m really looking forward to being able to compete and meet with other students from around Asia who have the same passions as I have. It’s really inspiring to see what others have done towards their ideas for their robots, and it would be an important learning experience. I’m also looking forward to exploring Taipei since it’s my first time visiting.” It was clear that this robotics team was well-prepared for this challenging competition and was looking forward to participating in all the events, further evidenced by the win of the Senior team at the competition.