Participants compete during the first of two days of the First Global International Robot Olympics, an international robotic challenge, July 17, at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. Teams from over 150 countries, including India, and an all-girl team from Afghanistan whose visas had been initially denied by the U.S., took part in the competition. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
A group of seven Indian students has bagged two awards at the first global robotics Olympiad in the U.S. where 157 countries participated, writes Lalit K. Jha.
The students, who hail from Mumbai, won gold for Zhang Heng Engineering Design Award and bronze for Global Challenge Match at the international robotics challenge organized by FIRST Global in Washington, D.C., according to a statement.
The Indian team was led by 15-year-old Rahesh, the youngest member of the group. Others were Aadiv Shah, team spokesperson; Harsh Bhatt, alliance strategist; Vatsin, alliance analyst; Adhyyan, robot tactician; Tejas, robot controller and Raghav, robot driver.
“Absolutely thrilled that we were able to live up to our promise… We had a lot of fun at the FIRST Global Challenge 2017,” the group said in its Facebook page.
The three-day event capped weeks of tense moments for the all-girl team from Afghanistan, whose visas were denied twice by the State department. However due to a last-minute intervention by President Donald Trump, they were able to arrive over the weekend to participate in the competition.
Mexico City would host the competition next year.
The Afghan team won the Rajaa Cherkaoui El Moursli award for courageous achievement. Ivanka Trump met them at the competition venue in the morning.
“We are not terrorists. We are simple people with ideas.
We need a chance to make our world better. This is our chance,” Alireza Mehraban, an Afghan software engineer who is the team’s mentor, was quoted as saying by the New York Times.