Wuhan hosts the 2018 World Ro­bot Con­test Fi­nals

Changjiang Weekly - - FOCUS - By Kang Peng

The 2018 World Ro­bot Con­test Fi­nals were held at the Wuhan Eco­nomic and Tech­no­log­i­cal De­vel­op­ment Zone from July 26 to 29, at­tract­ing 5,000 con­tes­tants and 1,200 teams world­wide. It ended on July 29 with 36 cham­pi­onship teams, 36 run­ner-up teams and 32 third-place teams.

From July 27 to 29, the qual­i­fy­ing rounds and fi­nals of the ro­bot con­test were held. Be­sides the com­peti­tors, the or­ga­niz­ing com­mit­tee also in­vited ex­perts from home and abroad to dis­cuss in­tel­li­gent man­u­fac­tur­ing and other re­lated top­ics in a move to at­tract more tal­ent and in­vest­ment to Wuhan.

Global en­trepreneur­ship tal­ent com­petes in Wuhan

The In­ter­na­tional En­trepreneur­ship Com­pe­ti­tion for high-end tal­ent, one of the most im­por­tant events of the 2018 World Ro­bot Con­test, was held on July 26. Zhao Xiang, who grad­u­ated from York Uni­ver­sity in Canada, won the Best Achieve­ment Award. Zhao's idea is to in­stall a black box in cars with AI tech­nol­ogy, and the sys­tem can ad­just to au­to­matic driv­ing mode, re­duc­ing the risks of hu­man op­er­a­tion.

Wang Kai, from the Uni­ver­sity of Ken­tucky in the U.S., even used AI to em­power pig farms. One can keep track of a pig's growth by a scan through a mo­bile app that can show the weight au­to­mat­i­cally. Th­ese over­seas high-end, tal­ented in­di­vid­u­als are at­tracted by Wuhan's ge­o­graph­i­cal ad­van­tages. "Wuhan

has a great ge­o­graph­i­cal lo­ca­tion and a large pool of tal­ent," said Wang Kai, with the ex­pec­ta­tion of co­op­er­at­ing with Wuhan tal­ent and or­ga­ni­za­tions in the fu­ture.

13 NewZeal and con­tes­tants fly from win­ter to sum­mer

On July 25, 13 play­ers from the Chi­nese com­mu­nity in Auck­land, New Zealand's largest city, ar­rived in Wuhan. "We set off in win­ter in the south­ern hemi­sphere wear­ing jack­ets, but by the time we got to Wuhan, we had to change into short sleeves for sum­mer." said Ivo Zheng, the 6-year-old New Zealand na­tional cham­pion in the 5-7 year-old group of the 2018 world ro­bot com­pe­ti­tion.

Ti­mothy Joseph Poles and Du­mitru are coaches at Bitwiz Youth Cod­ing Acad­emy, New Zealand's largest youth pro­gram­ming prac­tice cen­ter. All the con­tes­tants that came to Wuhan had great per­for­mances in New Zealand. In­ter­est­ingly, the two coaches are also fans of Mi de­vices. Tim wears an Mi bracelet and uses the portable charger while Dima holds the Mi bag. They are even more in­ter­ested in Hubei af­ter learn­ing that it is the home­town of

Lei Jun, the founder of the Xiaomi Cor­po­ra­tion.

Mak­ing friends through cod­ing

From July 27, hun­dreds of youth teams from over 10 coun­tries com­peted in "Star Trek," a com­bi­na­tion of three-per-side foot­ball matches and un­der­wa­ter ro­bot co­op­er­a­tion races over the three days.

In the Dobot Chal­lenge, 14year-olds Ge­muevAlek­sandr and Al­lay­rova Elina from Rus­sia formed a team with two Chi­nese play­ers through a ran­dom draw, and they were re­quired to do on-site pro­gram­ming to en­able their ro­bot to com­plete the pre­scribed ac­tions. The Rus­sian coach said that there was no lan­guage bar­rier be­tween the Chi­nese and Rus­sian part­ners as they could com­mu­ni­cate with code.

Among the champions and run­ners-up in the fi­nal, many are "ever-vic­to­ri­ous gen­er­als," as they have won awards at other con­tests. For­eign teams also gave out­stand­ing per­for­mances this year. The New Zealand team won two cham­pi­onships and had one sec­ond place fin­ish. In­dia, New Zealand, and Rus­sia all achieved the "All­round Award." And the high- pro­file In­dian team made their way to 7th place in the "DOBOT chal­lenge."

This year has wit­nessed a rapid in­crease in the en­thu­si­asm of young peo­ple learn­ing about ro­bots in Wuhan. The num­ber of lo­cal teams has in­creased nearly 10 times com­pared with last year, reach­ing a to­tal of more than 200 ea­ger par­tic­i­pants.

Pho­tos by Guo Liang­shuo

Du­mitru (right) from New Zealand coaches the con­tes­tant to make fi­nal prepa­ra­tions.

Rus­sian con­tes­tants ad­just their ro­bot.

Con­tes­tants at the World Ro­bot Con­test Fi­nals

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