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Romanian team wins 1st place for the second time in a USA International Robotics Championship

The AutoVortex Romanian robotics team won 1st place at the International Robotics Championship in the United States, in Utah.

The competition is directed at teams of high-schoolers, who build a robot, program it, and then place it in the ring to compete against the others. In the ring, the robots have to complete a set of tasks in a certain amount of time. The team that earns the highest amount of points wins. The aim of the competition is that teenagers learn about robotics and AI while having fun.

The highschool students on the AutoVortex team are: Andrei Ianis Midache, Theodor Adrian Vasile, Radu Gabriel Dăscălescu, Maria Ioana Dicu, Adrian Florin Hănțăscu, Elena Maria Vasile, and Răzvan Iacob Milea.

The team is coached by Valentin Ionuț Panea, a finance teacher from the Bucharest University of Economic Studies (ASE), and mentored by Ana Andreea Lipianu, a student at the Politehnica University of Bucharest.

Romania's AutoVortex Robotics Team have previously won several awards: they took first place at last year’s International Robotics Championship in Chicago, which marked the first time since 1989 that a team from outside the United States won 1st place in the championship, 1st at the International Robotics Championship in Libya, which took place earlier this year, in Tripoli, and again 1st place at the International Robotics Championship in Jamaica.

Coach Valentin Panea spoke to News.ro about the road to victory:

"This is the third robot variant. The first variant we used in Libya at the beginning of the year, where we managed to take 1st place. We had to move very quickly for that competition, and the robot we ended up with was not exactly the model we wanted.

After that we went to Jamaica with the second version of the robot, again we won 1st place, but the robot was quite heavy, it broke down often and there wasn't much pleasure in competing with it.

After that, we built a smaller robot - much more compact, much more agile. We managed to program it from scratch. For the last month and a half, we were working in the Politehnica hub day and night.

Last year we were the first team in the world, we managed to win first place in Chicago, and we didn’t want to fare any worse this year, so we worked hard for this competition.

At first, when we arrived, the American kids didn't think we stood a chance - when you see a small robot, you’re not afraid of it - but we ended up beating all of them."

Other members of the team shared what they liked best about participating in this competition:

Ana Lipianu, team mentor: "My favorite moment in the competition was when another team wanted an extra match. They really wanted to play us and we managed to score 304 points together. It was a very nice moment because that team idolized us somewhat – they still wanted to play with us, even though they had lost to us."

Ioana Dicu: "My favorite part of the competition was the first day when the kids from the other teams came to make friends with us. We exchanged experiences and they invited us to play some games with them. I thought it was very nice of them. The atmosphere at the competition was extremely pleasant, and we had fun."

Milea Răzvan Iacob: "I really liked that, besides the competition, the organizers also organized some courses where we could learn new ways of programming - robots can be programmed in several programming languages, and we got to see how they approach the subject.

I also liked the fact that the team we played in the final already knew everything about us before we’d even put the robot on the field. They had watched our previous matches. I didn't think they would be interested in Romanian teams."

Unfortunately, as has been the case with every other competition the AutoVortex team has participated in, the costs associated with participation in the event (such as transport and accommodation) were covered exclusively by the parents and private companies sponsoring the team. The Romanian Government may enjoy the international recognition brought by the children’s feats and makes sure to offer their congratulations for each win, but offers no financial support.

"This departure, I can honestly tell you, was the most expensive per person in all our 11 years. The biggest shock came from the problems with the airports and airfare. We did our best to be able to participate, we managed to gather some partners, but part of the funds were still covered by the parents," Panea told News.ro

He explained further that while the field of Robotics "is currently recognized as a school discipline, and an Olympiad, the Romanian state cannot help us at the moment. We are a team with children from several high schools, so we do not belong directly to an educational unit, nor are we attached to a town hall or a local council. Unfortunately, we always have to find ways to support ourselves".

maia@romania-insider.ro

(Photo source: AutoVortex's Facebook page)

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The Positive Romania section on Romania Insider is proudly sponsored by BRD - Groupe Société Générale

 

BRD

 

 

Romanian team wins 1st place for the second time in a USA International Robotics Championship

The AutoVortex Romanian robotics team won 1st place at the International Robotics Championship in the United States, in Utah.

The competition is directed at teams of high-schoolers, who build a robot, program it, and then place it in the ring to compete against the others. In the ring, the robots have to complete a set of tasks in a certain amount of time. The team that earns the highest amount of points wins. The aim of the competition is that teenagers learn about robotics and AI while having fun.

The highschool students on the AutoVortex team are: Andrei Ianis Midache, Theodor Adrian Vasile, Radu Gabriel Dăscălescu, Maria Ioana Dicu, Adrian Florin Hănțăscu, Elena Maria Vasile, and Răzvan Iacob Milea.

The team is coached by Valentin Ionuț Panea, a finance teacher from the Bucharest University of Economic Studies (ASE), and mentored by Ana Andreea Lipianu, a student at the Politehnica University of Bucharest.

Romania's AutoVortex Robotics Team have previously won several awards: they took first place at last year’s International Robotics Championship in Chicago, which marked the first time since 1989 that a team from outside the United States won 1st place in the championship, 1st at the International Robotics Championship in Libya, which took place earlier this year, in Tripoli, and again 1st place at the International Robotics Championship in Jamaica.

Coach Valentin Panea spoke to News.ro about the road to victory:

"This is the third robot variant. The first variant we used in Libya at the beginning of the year, where we managed to take 1st place. We had to move very quickly for that competition, and the robot we ended up with was not exactly the model we wanted.

After that we went to Jamaica with the second version of the robot, again we won 1st place, but the robot was quite heavy, it broke down often and there wasn't much pleasure in competing with it.

After that, we built a smaller robot - much more compact, much more agile. We managed to program it from scratch. For the last month and a half, we were working in the Politehnica hub day and night.

Last year we were the first team in the world, we managed to win first place in Chicago, and we didn’t want to fare any worse this year, so we worked hard for this competition.

At first, when we arrived, the American kids didn't think we stood a chance - when you see a small robot, you’re not afraid of it - but we ended up beating all of them."

Other members of the team shared what they liked best about participating in this competition:

Ana Lipianu, team mentor: "My favorite moment in the competition was when another team wanted an extra match. They really wanted to play us and we managed to score 304 points together. It was a very nice moment because that team idolized us somewhat – they still wanted to play with us, even though they had lost to us."

Ioana Dicu: "My favorite part of the competition was the first day when the kids from the other teams came to make friends with us. We exchanged experiences and they invited us to play some games with them. I thought it was very nice of them. The atmosphere at the competition was extremely pleasant, and we had fun."

Milea Răzvan Iacob: "I really liked that, besides the competition, the organizers also organized some courses where we could learn new ways of programming - robots can be programmed in several programming languages, and we got to see how they approach the subject.

I also liked the fact that the team we played in the final already knew everything about us before we’d even put the robot on the field. They had watched our previous matches. I didn't think they would be interested in Romanian teams."

Unfortunately, as has been the case with every other competition the AutoVortex team has participated in, the costs associated with participation in the event (such as transport and accommodation) were covered exclusively by the parents and private companies sponsoring the team. The Romanian Government may enjoy the international recognition brought by the children’s feats and makes sure to offer their congratulations for each win, but offers no financial support.

"This departure, I can honestly tell you, was the most expensive per person in all our 11 years. The biggest shock came from the problems with the airports and airfare. We did our best to be able to participate, we managed to gather some partners, but part of the funds were still covered by the parents," Panea told News.ro

He explained further that while the field of Robotics "is currently recognized as a school discipline, and an Olympiad, the Romanian state cannot help us at the moment. We are a team with children from several high schools, so we do not belong directly to an educational unit, nor are we attached to a town hall or a local council. Unfortunately, we always have to find ways to support ourselves".

maia@romania-insider.ro

(Photo source: AutoVortex's Facebook page)

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