November 26, 2013 - 12:07 PM
About 200 elementary and secondary students across the Okanagan will be putting their robots through the paces this year in more RoboCup challenges than ever, thanks to a generous donation from TELUS.
TELUS has donated $8,000 to the Okanagan College Foundation, and the money has been used to create new competition platforms so that young students of all ages interested in technology can compete with their robots in any one of the three categories – dance, soccer or rescue.
Now in its eighth year, the Western Canada RoboCup Junior competition take place Friday, Nov. 29 starting at 9 a.m. at the College’s Kelowna campus on KLO Road.
“This donation has made a huge difference for us this year,” said Electronic Engineering Technology Chair Nadir Ould-Khessal, who organizes the event.
“We’ve been able to build four new platforms – two for rescue and the others for soccer, which means no matter what age a student is they can compete in all three categories. The most popular are rescue and soccer, and this year we have 70 teams signed up for those categories. It’s going to be a busy day,” Ould-Khessal said.
Steve Jenkins, TELUS General Manager for Interior South BC, said his company sees value in RoboCup inspiring youngsters and teens to consider technical training as a promising career choice.
“RoboCup provides a great platform to showcase technology and innovation in a high energy format that promotes creativity,” he said. “TELUS, through its Health division, has a major interest in what the future holds for people with technical skills – like robotics – who can work in partnership with the medical community to develop very sophisticated surgical/medical equipment.”
New this year will also be awards for best technical and innovative designs – an important value when it comes to addressing future needs.
Winners from Western Canada RoboCup Junior are eligible to represent Canada at the 2014 World RoboCup championship, which will be held July 19 – 25 in Brazil.
The top three teams in the primary and secondary age groups will receive a TELUS Award, comprised of an electronics kit which can be used to build other fun projects while at the same time teaching the students more about electronics and robotics.
Other sponsors for the event are Tekmar Control Systems, Anodyne Electronics Manufacturing Corp., and ASTTBC – Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of BC.
"Okanagan College is a B.C. leader in technology programs, and contests like this help bring the most keen, capable students into these studies. We know that many of today's competitors will become tomorrow's technology professionals,” said ASTTBC Executive Director John Leech.
Okanagan College Foundation Executive Director Kathy Butler thanked TELUS as well for thinking of supporting the College in this manner.
“TELUS’s contribution toward this unique community-based initiative illustrates how many creative ways there are to support students all while building skills and interest in important career fields,” Butler said.
For a complete schedule of the day’s events, visit the RoboCup Junior website at www.okanagan.bc.ca/robocup.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013