JOHOR BAHRU, 26th August: Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) ROBOCON team was awarded the ‘Best Design Award’ by the international panels at ABU Asia-Pacific Robot Contest 2012 in Hong Kong on 19th August 2012.
The contest were participated by 17 teams from 16 countries namely Japan, China, Russia, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, India, Mongolia, Brunei, Kazakhstan, Nepal, Pakistan, Fiji, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong and Malaysia. As host country, Hong Kong was entitled to send two teams.
Dr Yeong Che Fai from Faculty of Electrical Engineering said, this year’s ROBOCON theme was ‘Peng On Dai Gat, In Pursuit of Peace and Prosperity’ and students were required to construct one manual and two automatic robots to collect as many ‘buns’ as possible to score points.
“This year contest’s difficulty lay in the close collaboration required between manual and automatic robots and a team would win a match immediately if they achieve ‘Peng On Dai Gat’.
“During training, UTM managed to achieve Peng On Dai Gat in 39 seconds, one of the fastest in the competition.
“UTM team, representing Malaysia for the eighth times, comprised 32 members who were mainly first and second year undergraduates from Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Faculty of Computer Science & Information,” he said.
Dr Yeong said, although they did not make it to finals, they made an impression with robot design as well as the young age of their team members, who were mostly first year undergraduates, whereas most of the countries were represented by final year students.
The registered team members were Chik Sheng Fei, Tey Sheng Rou and Cheok Ming Jin (all in their first year studies of Bachelor of Engineering). They were accompanied by Dr Mohd Zarhamdy Md Zain (Instructor) and Dr Yeong Che Fai.
All teams were divided into six groups, where the group winner would automatically qualify for quarter final.
Additionally, two best teams besides the six group winners would be selected for the quarter final match. UTM was in Group B, the toughest group with China and India. All teams in Group B could perform Peng On Dai Gat and the difference was only several seconds apart.
China could achieve Peng On Dai Gat in average 37 seconds, Malaysia 39 seconds and India 55 seconds. In an unexpected twist of events, each of the team in Group B won once with India defeating China, Malaysia defeating India and China defeating Malaysia.
“China top the group with fastest Peng On Dai Gat timing thus qualified for the quarter final round automatically. Fortunately, both Malaysia and India were the other two best teams selected from all the remaining teams to advance to quarter final alongside the six group winners.
“Malaysia’s journey was cut short in quarter final round, losing to Japan. During the match, Malaysia’s robots malfunctioned. High electrostatic discharge was detected then, something we have never encountered in previous years,” he cited.
A Japanese representative shared that they had similar problem before back in Japan and had redesigned their robot to prevent it during the international game. This was a great lesson learnt to prepare ourselves for the future competitions.