MANILA, Philippines — An “anti-botcha” robot invented by a team of Bulacan high school students got the nod of international judges and won a prize at the recently concluded For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) Lego League (FLL) World Festival in Missouri.
The team from Dr. Yanga’s Colleges Inc. (DYCI) won 3rd Best Presentation for introducing their robot MAGIS Version 2 (Meat’s Anti-Germs and Infection Solution) at the FLL tournament held in St. Louis, Missouri, in the United States from April 25 to 28.
Team DYCI includes Team Captain Gladys Leigh Malana and members Tricia Carmela Santos, Ramikert del Prado, Michelle Arcanar, Kate dela Cruz, Lady Alein Goleng, Jules Martin Agsaoay, Jonathan Alejandro, Dave Adrian Bien, and Tim Jhalmar Fabillon.
The robot, made of stainless steel, aluminum and acrylic plastic, has color and temperature sensors that could detect unsafe meat.
Cuts the robot finds to have higher-than-normal temperature and unhealthy color would be tagged unsafe, according to the Department of Science and Technology’s Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI).
“We congratulate our Philippine Robotics team for again bringing honor in the bigger stage and we hope that this victory will inspire more young students to develop their skills in robotics and hopefully start
a trend in making it big in the FLL in the coming years,” she said.
The DYCI team’s participation in FLL was the first time a Philippine team participated in the robotics tilt.
More than 70 student teams from around the world took part in the competition, which challenged students to invent robots around the theme “Food Factor,” or technology that could help keep food safe for human consumption.
“I’m very proud. It’s the country’s first time to join the contest and we placed 3rd in Best Presentation. They did a good job. Not all first-timers win in an international competition,” said Beryl Jhan Cruz, one of the team’s coaches, said in a statement.
The team hopes the National Meat Inspection Service would adopt their technology for use in detecting “botcha,” (also called double dead), which is meat taken from the carcass of animals that died of diseases.
FLL handed out awards in 15 categories, among them the best teams in research, innovation, mechanical design, robot performance and presentation, where DYCI was declared one of three winners. The Philippine took home a trophy as their prize.
Overall FLL team winners are Falcons Japan (1st prize), Blue Gear Ticks of the US (2nd prize) and NXTremers from India (3rd place).
SEI Director Filma Brawner said Team DYCI’s win showed that Filipino students have the skills and talent to go head to head with students from other countries in robot design.
“With this victory, we will continue to support endeavours that will develop a pool of local robotics experts who will soon lead the country in providing solutions to problems related to science and technology,” Brawner said in a statement on Thursday.
FIRST is a US-based organization that aims to bring science, engineering and technology to students from around the world through competitions and mentoring. The group was founded in 1989 by American inventor and entrepreneur Dean Kamen, who invented the automated transporter Segway.