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Encouraging innovation

A team of five local secondary students were placed 126th out of 191 participating nations during an international robotics challenge in Singapore recently.

The team, Hydrostar, participated in the FIRST Global Challenge, recorded six wins, one draw and three losses out of their 10 matches during the olympic-style event held from October 7-10.

The event’s theme was ‘Hydrogen Horizons’. Participants were challenged to build a robot to navigate a simulated environment to produce, store and transport hydrogen and convert it to energy. Teams were tasked with designing, building and programming their robots to complete a series of challenges.

Hydrostar’s strategist Aqilah Balqis Asrul Hanafi said, “Even though we all come from different backgrounds, we have a common objective – to innovate solutions for a sustainable energy future.”

Hydrostar coder Nazri bin Haji Abdul Rahman believed that the competition provided a platform to educate youth about science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and to find solutions to global environmental issues.

“It is a great opportunity to strengthen our confidence and communication skills while being exposed to various cultures,” said the robot’s coder.

Meanwhile, Hydrostar’s robot pilot Zul Husmi Yunus said they gained valuable knowledge and experience from the competition, as well as other nations’ perspectives.

Hydrostar previously won first place in the National Robotic and Coding Conquest 2023 organised by Universiti Teknologi Brunei (UTB) and Seria Energy Lab. The team went on to the FIRST Global Challenge with a sponsorship from Unified National Networks (UNN). – James Kon

Hydrostar members at the competition. PHOTO: UNN
Hydrostar members and their robot for the competition. PHOTO: UNN
PHOTO: UNN

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