A team from Popular Mechanics magazine took part in the 2014 World Robot Olympiad held in Sochi over the weekend. The team comprised winners of a contest the magazine launched at the beginning of the year. They hailed from Chelyabinsk, Novosibirsk and Petropavlovsk, Kazakhstan. The magazine’s editorial board supported them as they practiced building Lego robots throughout the year.
The team’s projects were presented at an interactive Popular Mechanics booth at the event. The PM team won in the category “Best Achievement – Most Relevant Project” for its robot, The Solar Force, which can deflect an asteroid’s path by covering part of its surface with light-colored paint and harnessing the natural pressure of light against the object. The robot can monitor changes in the asteroid’s position relative to the Sun and paint part of its surface that receives the most light. The result: the asteroid’s trajectory shifts, allowing it to harmlessly past Earth.
Visitors to the PM booth showed great interest in the Venerokhod (Venus Rover) Ev3 robot built by Mikhail, Galina and Nadezhda Serdyuk of Novosibirsk and the Vezdekhok (All-Terrain) robot built by Alexei, Dmitry and Larisa Ovsyanitskim of Chelyabinsk.
The World Robot Olympiad (WRO) is a Lego robot competition in three categories: basic, creative and robot football. This year’s finals were the largest ever, with 367 teams from 50 countries, including teams from the United States, Brazil, Hungary, Belarus, Armenia and Palestine that competed for the first time.
The countries with teams earning the most prizes were Thailand, with six, Russia, with five, Malaysia, with three and Taiwan, with two. Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, China, the United States, Philippines and Japan won one prize each. In robot football, the most exciting competition at the Olympiad, the Thai team took first and second place, while a team from Russia finished in third place.
Popular Mechanics magazine served as media partner to the Olympiad. The magazine hosted an interactive booth at the event and the PM logo was displayed on all Olympiad promotional materials.