Nine students from various Mumbai schools have formed the first team from Mumbai that will represent the country in the prestigious FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC), an international robotic competition, in which more than three lakh students from across the world take part.
The students, who will leave for the competition to be held in Sydney, Australia, on July 12, stand to win a part of the total prize money of more than $13.5 million (Rs 85 crore, to be distributed among top 10-15 teams). Aged between 16 and 17, the students call themselves Team R Factor, and are students of Ecole Mondiale, Juhu, Dhirubhai Ambani International, Bandra, Jamnabai Narsee, Vile Parle, Utpal Sanghvi, Juhu, RN Podar, Khar, and Bombay Scottish, Mahim.
“This year, the challenge was to design a 45cm-high robot that could pass through a 12-foot maze, break a container holding balls of different sizes, gather the objects and throw the balls in to baskets,” said Mihir Shah from Dhirubhai Ambani School, adding that a group from Pune is the only other Indian team to participate in the contest in Australia.
To qualify for the national rounds the team needed Rs 3 lakh. It required Rs 5 lakh for the upcoming finals. “Thanks to some sponsors, we have raised this amount,” said Arvind Ranganathan from Ecole Mondiale.
On April 25, the team will hold an inter-school robotics competition at a Juhu school. Participants will have to design a robot that will collect and manage waste. “We will also present our creation at this contest,” said Ranganathan.