Omani brother-sister duo beat seniors in robotics competition
Times News Service
MUSCAT: Two siblings who are still in school, managed to defeat university students in the “hosting country” portion of the Open Arab Robotics Championship to bag the second place.
Al Yaman and Sundus Al Shaqsi said to Times of Oman, “We were shocked when we arrived in Kuwait for the competition because we found out that the other contestants were university students. Honestly, we were worried then.”
Al Yaman studies in seventh grade while his sister, Sundus, is in the tenth. The two had always loved science and had taken part in robotics events, but it was their father’s encouragement that motivated them to compete.
“Our father’s encouragement really helped, as he is a member of the Arab Robotics Society,” the two added. “Because of his encouragement, we decided to take part as the competition ran during the semester break.”
Furthermore, the children had difficulty finding the right kind of robot in the GCC countries, and found out it would take time for it to arrive from Korea if they ordered it from the factory.
However, Sultan Qaboos University was able to supply it. Added to that, their coach was unable to make it to the competition due to personal reasons, and they had to go with their father.
Al Yaman said, “The biggest issue we faced was a screw on our robot breaking during the first round. We thought we would lose then, but then another team helped us by providing a spare that could fit.”
The two were able to win second place in spite of all the difficulties. They said, “We would like to thank our country and family, as well as all those who helped us on the way. We would also like to thank Sultan Qaboos University for the robot.”
The “hosting country” competition part of the championship involved programming a robot to go through an obstacle course that showed the famous landmarks of Kuwait.
PRECOCIOUS: Al Yaman and Sundus Al Shaqsi won the second place in spite of a number of difficulties.