Student-built robots to raise a ‘Ruckus’

The Cayman Islands robotics team in 2017: From left, Adrian Phillips-Hernaez, technical mentor Von Ryan Abrantes and Joe Allom Perez. Not pictured: Ethan Cronier.

What normally might be a quiet school-based event is being turned into public entertainment that will pit student-built robots against one another.

Nine teams from high schools across Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac will compete in the first Minds Inspired MI robotics’ FIRST Technical Challenge. The competition is a pre-qualifier that will determine which team of students will represent Cayman at the FIRST Global Challenge in Dubai later this year.

This year’s competition is called ‘Rover Ruckus’. In it, the robots students build must navigate a simulated moon surface, first deploying from a lander, picking up and delivering samples from the surface, and finally parking in a designated crater.

In a press release, Dart Education Programmes Senior Manager Glenda McTaggart said the event is meant to appeal to spectators.

“We are going to dramatically ‘up’ the level of energy, excitement and spectacle to create a competition unlike anything our community has seen in terms of educational events,” she said.

The event will feature a DJ, food for purchase, and career booths hosted by each of the major sponsors: Aureum Re, Caribbean Utilities Co., Dart, Digicel and Health City Cayman Islands.

The competition takes place from 4-8 p.m. on Saturday, May 11, at the Camana Bay Arts and Recreation Centre.

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