Published December 20, 2017
SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA (December 21, 2017) – The 2017 World Robot Olympiad (WRO™) in Costa Rica included many firsts. It was the first time the event was held in North America, the first time the new game Tetrastack was played in the Advanced Robotics Challenge (ARC) category, and the first time the new TETRIX® WRO Competition Set configuration was used.
WRO, an international robotics challenge, gives grade school- to university-level students the opportunity to compete in Olympics-style robotics events. The competition typically draws more than 400 teams from 50 different countries.
Four WRO challenges are conducted: Open Category, Regular Category, WRO Football, and the Advanced Robotics Challenge. ARC, the challenge best suited to TETRIX, was sponsored again this year by Pitsco, along with Pitsco's TETRIX dealer in Costa Rica, Aprender Haciendo.
The Tetrastack game at the 2017 ARC, an open competition for students ages 17-25, tasked teams with using a specially crafted robotics set and a controller to build and program a robot capable of gathering cubes of various shapes and sizes and stacking them into a framed-in wall to complete as many interlocking rows as possible in the time allowed (three minutes during qualifying rounds and five minutes during final matches). "Teams were essentially playing Tetris®," said Pitsco Robotics Application Specialist Tim Lankford. "It was exciting to see the different ways each team approached the challenge."
Lankford and Pitsco International Sales Manager Mohit Abraham were also on hand to provide technical support to teams using TETRIX in the competition.
The winning ARC team, Valuya-Alongkorn of Thailand, used the new TETRIX WRO Competition Set, which proves the versatility of TETRIX, according to Lankford.
"Tetrastack was quite different from the ARC bowling challenge of years past," he explained. "The fact that both the 2016 and the 2017 ARC winners used TETRIX is a testament to the system's broad range of capabilities."
Prior to the event, teams could find sets, parts, programming tools, and helpful tips on the TETRIX website. But having on-site support provided an extra boost.
"It's always nice to be there in person," said Abraham, "to have that one-on-one interaction and really get a feel for what the teams needed. We love helping out and being able to support the teams from beginning to end." He and Lankford answered technical questions and helped troubleshoot a few issues for some teams.
Pitsco Education is the leading provider of hands-on K-12 STEM solutions. STEM Education prepares learners for the future through the integration of science, technology, engineering, and math concepts using relevant hands-on applications to connect school, community, and work. Our various products, activities, curriculum, and solutions promote positive learning experiences and continued classroom success.
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