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Coimbra hosts robotics competition for students of all ages

Coimbra hosts the Bot Olympics, “the largest robotics competition in the Central region”, from February 21 to 24, for primary, secondary and higher education students.

The Bot Olympics will take place at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering of the University of Coimbra, and this year the competition is also open to students in elementary education (grades 7-9), said the coordinator of the event, João Bento.

“Schools now work more with programming and have robotics clubs. We were already in direct contact with schools and several asked for proof for basic education,” he explained.

Organized by the Nucleus of Students of Electrotechnical Engineering and Computers, in partnership with the Robotics Club of the University of Coimbra, the event expects to exhaust all the vacancies for the different levels of education, with a maximum of 120 students in a total of 30 teams, with four members each, he said.

“It ends up being a competition with a very dynamic spirit that involves different ages and allows the contact of the students of the secondary and basic education with the electrotechnical engineering” and with an area that can follow in the future, emphasized João Bento.

In the event, in addition to schools of neighboring districts, there is also the interest of educational establishments “Santarém or Algarve, for example”.

The students arrive on February 21, having formations between the night of that day and the next day in the morning, being that from 17:00 that day until the 24 hours at lunchtime to write the code to try to solve the challenge placed.

In the case of basic education, teams have to put the robot to make a course outlined by a line in an arena, without hitting walls or obstacles.

“It wins who can manage the course in the shortest time and without touching walls or obstacles, which give penalties,” he said.

In the case of secondary education, the test is similar, and the difference is that students have to do normal programming in C ++ (programming language), while in the basic programming is in blocks.

In higher education, the arena “simulates a house in which a fire is occurring in one of the rooms. The robot has to go through the various rooms until it discovers the fire and extinguishes the candle.”

On the final day of Bot Olympics, the event moves to the central square of Alma Shopping Mall, where the public can watch the competition.

The registration deadline for participants, mentors, and volunteers (at https://botolympics.pt/) ends on Friday.

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