Pearl diving and treasure hunting are two challenges you might not expect to receive at the World Adolescent Robot Contest (WARC). But these challenges weren’t for the competing students—they were for the robots these students were programming.
Teams from FIRST went east to participate in the WARC in Beijing, from November 21 to 25. This international contest, organized by the Children and Youth Science Center of CAST, is designed for students 8 to 15 years old. As part of the World Robot Conference 2015, the WARC worked with Qualcomm engineers to ensure that the competitors were provided a range of support, such as hardware testing and site recovery.
“At Qualcomm, we have many opportunities to engage in volunteer services,” said Song Zhihao, senior IT engineer at QUALCOMM Wireless Communication Technologies (China) Limited, “This contest is tech-heavy, so it is important that we leverage our experience and provide our support when needed.”
Zhang Liang, chief software engineer for Qualcomm Research at QUALCOMM Wireless Communication Technologies (China) Limited, was responsible for the technical support for all teams at the WARC. Starting this year, Qualcomm Snapdragon processor-powered smartphones will be used to remotely control the robots used in the FIRST Tech Challenge. Zhang provided helpful software tips to the competing teams.
“The FIRST Tech Challenge has unlocked students’ creativity, and their inner focus and passion are extremely powerful,” Zhang said.
The collaboration between FIRST and Qualcomm in promoting robotics amongst students is part of a long and productive history. Donald E. Bossi, president of FIRST, and Hou Jilei, senior director for Qualcomm Research at Qualcomm International, Inc. in China, were also present and cheered on the students.
Having begun its support for the FIRST Tech Challenge in 2013, Qualcomm will sponsor a total of 35 teams from 18 provinces across China during the 2015 to 2016 season, and will sponsor three regional competitions to allow more kids to unleash their knowledge and creativity.