Singapore Hosts International Robotics Event with a Focus on Renewable Energy
Students from 191 countries are currently gathered in Singapore for an international robotics event, the FIRST Global Challenge. The event, happening for the first time in Southeast Asia at the Singapore Expo from October 7 to 10, is centered around the theme of renewable energy and its potential for creating a better future.
This year, participating teams are tasked with building robots capable of operating in a simulated environment to produce hydrogen, highlighting the importance of hydrogen in the renewable energy sector.
Beyond the spirit of competition, the event places a strong emphasis on collaboration and teamwork. Teams not only compete but also form random pairings with others, demonstrating the value of international cooperation. Many teams have taken the opportunity to share their stories and aspirations during the event.
Team Ukraine Overcomes Challenges
Despite facing ongoing conflict with Russia and enduring air raids, five students from Ukraine made a long and arduous journey to attend the event in Singapore. In addition to these challenges, the team did not receive their standard robot-building kit due to the war, forcing them to use older equipment. Nevertheless, they persevered, showcasing their determination and the capabilities of Ukraine even in challenging times.
Team Uganda: Empowering Girls
Uganda’s team at the event consists entirely of girls, led by their mentor, Caroline Ekyarisiima, who is dedicated to using science and technology to empower young girls in Uganda. Ekyarisiima, who faced numerous challenges without support while growing up, aims to provide opportunities for other girls to pursue careers in science and tech. One team member even designed a machine to distribute sanitary pads, supporting girls in their education.
Team Hope: Overcoming Obstacles
Team Hope comprises refugees and individuals without a homeland who are determined to leverage technology to benefit their communities and change perceptions about their situation. Despite facing numerous hurdles, the team achieved victory as underdogs in a 2019 event in Dubai. They finance their projects by selling handmade robot dolls, furthering their knowledge of robotics.
Dreams for a Better Future
Teams from countries such as Bolivia, Kazakhstan, and many others bring their dreams and challenges to this global event. They all share a common goal: to learn, collaborate, and showcase the potential of robotics and technology. Beyond the competition, this event serves as a platform for young people to innovate and work toward a more inclusive future, driven by renewable energy and technology.