A robot somewhat in the shape of a bulldozer but not bigger than the size of man’s palm whirred around a circle of plastic balls on a flat white table. The robot scooped and shoved a majority of balls toward one edge of the table and a cheer went up from the three team members, “Yeah!”
This is the second annual robotics challenge organized by the Jakarta Intercultural School (JIS) robotics club, called JIS NXT GEN. Kevin Sisjayawan, David Hartong, Yadan Noerdin, and other students learn under the tutelage of Mr. Detwiler, the Robofest event creator and the club advisor.
The JIS students also teach. Every Monday afternoon for the last few terms, Roshan secondary students have ridden the bus across South Jakarta to take Robotics classes at the JIS Cilandak high school campus. They learn how to think logically, create clear and specific commands, and work as a team.
This week, the Roshan students showed just how much they had learned.
The Robofest competition included 12 groups of three to four members each, including two teams from Roshan. The challenge was to successfully command a robot to move as many balls as possible from the middle of the table to one side. To do this required five to six hours of building and programming.
The team whose robot successfully moved the greatest number of balls won. Congratulations to JIS sophomores Jingtao, Mengzhen, Kerby and Nick.
Mr. Detwiler said the event provided “more fun than humans should be allowed to have.”
The Roshan students would likely agree. One of the two Roshan teams–Mustafa, Armin A. and John–came in second place, beating their own JIS teachers and Robotics Club Officers David and Bagas. The other Roshan team–Shirafzal, Abdul Ghafur and Armin F.–received the Isaac Asimov Award. Asimov, considered the father of robotic philosophy, would have been proud, and so are we. Well done, Roshan!
Author’s note: Special thanks to Mr. Detwiler, Mr. Varnham, Ms. Devitt, and all the JIS Robotics Club members for inviting Roshan to this fabulous event and for your ongoing teaching and support. Thank you Mr. Naser Aran for your Roshan supervision.