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    World Robot Olympiad
    A total of eight students have been selected to represent the country at the 2012 World Robot Olympiad (WRO), which will take place November 9th – 11th in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

    These students, ages 9 through 19, were the winners of the third edition of the National Robot Olympiad, which was held last August 17-18 at Casa del Cuño, in San Jose.

    The theme of this year’s edition was “Robots Connecting People,” which challenged participants to create, program, and manipulate robots that could display human-like skills.

    For instance, some of the robots created by the students were able to distinguish colors and recognize obstacles in their way, while others were able to move obstacles and even avoid them. Other robots were capable of moving skillfully in an uneven path.

    After preparing for several months and undergoing several qualifying stages, students who made it into the final stage competed in three different categories: Robot Organizer, Robot Explorer, and Robot Van Gogh. These will also be the regular categories of the 2012 WRO.

    “Robots which can be integrated into our everyday lives, socialize with people, and perform complex tasks for them have been the stuff of Science Fiction dreams. To do that, robots need to possess the ability to learn and acquire artificial intelligence by themselves, but more importantly they first need to “know” how humans function both as an individual and in a society,” state WRO authorities.

    At the 2012 WRO, the Robot Organizer challenge, designed for elementary school level, will require competitors to build a robot that is capable of organizing objects back into their respective storage cells.

    The Robot Columbus (Explorer) challenge, designed for junior high school level, requires students to build a robot which is capable of exploring rough terrain in search of useful resources. Once these have been found, the robot has to be able to bring these resources back home.

    The Robot Van Gogh challenge, designed for senior high school level, requires participants to build a robot capable of painting the poles on the game table in their respective colors by slotting the hollow cube of the same color onto them in the fastest time possible.

    There will also be an open category in which competitors have to build robots that strongly display an understanding of some part of human nature, how we work in a society, or how we live. These robots have to be able to mimic facial expressions, recognize colors and alphabets and how we use them, play human games, and make decisions based on past experiences, among others.

    The World Robotic Olympiad brings together young people from all over the world to develop their creativity, design and problem solving skills through challenging and educational robot competitions and activities.

    The event is organized by the Government and the Ministry of Education of Malaysia.

    The top 3 competitors in each category will receive a medal and a Lego trophy, while those who place 4th -8th will receive and excellence certificate award.
    All participants and mentors will receive a certificate of participation.

    The Costa Rica News (TCRN)
    San Jose Costa Rica

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