Qatar’s Potential Displayed at Successful World Robot Olympiad
Following several years of progress and success in backing the development of engineering and technical skills in Qatar, Maersk Oil Qatar, the College of the North Atlantic-Qatar (CNA-Q), Qatar Petroleum and the Supreme Education Council today celebrated the success of the largest schools science competition ever hosted in the country – the highpoint of the GO ROBOT schools robotics programme.
The competition featured 33 teams of Qatar’s most talented students, participating alongside some of the world’s brightest and best young scientists and engineers at the World Robot Olympiad (WRO) 2015 – a global celebration of science and technology that took place for the first time in Qatar from 6th to 8th November.
Hosted by the College of the North Atlantic–Qatar and sponsored by Maersk Oil Qatar, this year’s WRO is one of the largest held since the WRO began in 2004. The event is a key part of Maersk Oil Qatar’s ambitious commitment to build Qatar’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) skills and capacity for generations to come.
The three-day robotics competition, which was held under the patronage of HE Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al-Thani, the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, is the largest science competition ever hosted in the country of its kind. It attracted more than 3,000 participants from 44 countries to compete in a variety of challenges under the theme ‘Robot Explorers’. The teams that took part in the WRO represent the very best young science and engineering talent from around the world, and impressed the judges with their exceptional ability to design, build and program robots capable of performing a series of challenging tasks in record time.
Another highlight of this year’s event included the introduction of the Maersk Oil Qatar ‘Inspiration in Science’ award, which was presented to a Qatari team from Khalid bin Ahamed Independent Middle School. The team impressed the judges by demonstrating their collective passion for science, creativity and teamwork as well as their ability to share their enthusiasm and inspirational qualities with others.
Taking place at the iconic Al Shaqab Indoor Arena, the WRO followed the hugely successful Qatar National Robot Olympiad (NRO), which was held at the same venue from 30 – 31 October. The NRO saw 265 teams from more than a hundred elementary, middle and senior schools from across Qatar compete, making the 2015 national tournament the largest and most successful competition to date. The enormous success of both events reflects Qatar’s progress in supporting and developing vital STEM skills.
Qatar’s participation in the two robot Olympiads is the culmination of the year-long GO ROBOT programme. The initiative was established in 2012 to encourage students to study STEM subjects with the aim of developing high quality science and engineering graduates to maintain Qatar’s continued growth and development and drive the knowledge-based economy as envisaged by the Qatar National Vision 2030. This innovative education programme developed in partnership between the College of the North Atlantic–Qatar and Maersk Oil Qatar supports student engagement and skills in STEM subjects, teacher training and development, and promotes the application of technology to enhance learning environments for students.
Lewis Affleck, Managing Director of Maersk Oil Qatar, said:
It’s been a huge pleasure and privilege to have witnessed so many of the brightest and best science students from Qatar and the rest of the world take part in the 2015 World Robot Olympiad this year and I congratulate everyone on their huge achievements. The enthusiasm and atmosphere among participants, students and teachers during both the NRO and WRO was incredible and it is clear that there is a huge appetite for competitions like these.
At Maersk Oil, we are ambitious and committed to Qatar for generations to come. As one of largest private sector supporters of STEM skills in the country, we’re focused on developing the human potential of the country as well as the safe and efficient delivery of more than 40% of the country’s oil production from a unique and very complex offshore oil field. We’re confident that the NRO and WRO – along with the wider GO ROBOT programme – will go a long way towards inspiring and encouraging more students to pursue science and engineering disciplines in the future. We hope many more will follow in the footsteps of this year’s amazing participants, providing a pipeline of engineers and scientists that businesses like ours will rely on in the future.’
Fawziya Al Khater, Director of the Education Institute, Supreme Education Council, said:
Congratulations to all participants who took part in the NRO and this historic World Robot Olympiad, hosted in Qatar for the very first time. It was inspiring to see so many bright and brilliant students both from Qatar and around the world demonstrate their programming and engineering skills. Building this level of participation, enthusiasm and engagement around these vitally important disciplines has been the focus for the various progressive policies and practices adopted by the SEC. We’re delighted with the progress of the GO ROBOT programme and grateful to our partners Maersk Oil Qatar, the College of the North Atlantic-Qatar and Qatar Petroleum for sharing our vision to educate young people for the future and success of Qatar.’
Ken MacLeod, President, College of the North Atlantic – Qatar (CNA-Q), said:
Congratulations to all the participants and winners of the World Robot Olympiad (WRO) 2015. Hosting the WRO in Doha is a natural fit for Qatar, as the country has seen an extraordinary growing interest in robotics recently, thanks to the GO ROBOT programme. CNA-Q is proud to support STEM development in Qatar, and is pleased that the world joined us this weekend to acknowledge the importance of robotics through this competition. At its core, the WRO is about providing students an opportunity to explore robotics, as a stepping stone to future STEM careers – careers that are integral to strong and stable economies around the world. The sheer scope of participation and talent from the teams this year implies tremendous prosperity for the WRO, and sets a precedent for next year’s event in India.’
On the final day of the WRO, representatives from MOQ, CNA-Q and the SEC took part in an official handover ceremony, which saw Qatar formally pass the WRO flag to India, ahead of the country hosting the event in 2016.
The winning teams announced at the World Robot Olympiad 2015 are as follows:
Regular Category – Elementary Level
- 1st Place – Storm Divers, India
- 2nd Place – Thunder Divers, India
- 3rd Place – Taiwan Legend, Chinese Taipei
Regular Category – Junior Level
- 1st Place – Dzeta, Russia
- 2nd Place – TAIWAN Ba-Soulburn Ho Jia, Chinese Taipei
- 3rd Place – RoboTecnia Versus, Mexico
Regular Category – Senior Level
- 1st Place – TAIWAN YES, Chinese Taipei
- 2nd Place – robotics X, Japan
- 3rd Place – Ninja, Japan
Open Category – Elementary School Level
- 1st Place – YC EXPLORER RANGER, Malaysia
- 2nd Place – Robofriends, Russia
- 3rd Place – THE FISHERMEN’S FRIEND, Malaysia
Open Category – Junior Level
- 1st Place – ROBOTISTS, Malaysia
- 2nd Place – Shadow Bots, India
- 3rd Place – Schollibotics, Germany
Open Category – Senior Level
- 1st Place – BURITOS, Russia
- 2nd Place – Power, Chinese Taipei
- 3rd Place – SILENT PRODIGIES, Malaysia
GEN II Football
- 1st Place – ARAMAITEE FC, Malaysia
- 2nd Place – RoboSpecialists, Greece
- 3rd Place – DBS, Hong Kong
- 1st Place – NCTU Robotics, Chinese Taipei
- 2nd Place – PML30, Russia
- 3rd Place – AVRCB, Chinese Taipei