Students fight it out in underwater robotics competition

Water and electronics generally make for a disastrous combination. But three students from Outram Secondary School managed not only to avert disaster but to clinch the top prize in a robotics competition.

They came out tops in the 5th Underwater Robotic Olympid organised by Republic Polytechnic and Qian Hu Corporation, beating 47 other teams from 28 schools. The trio, who had taken part in event last year, said their strategy was to keep the robot simple.

The competition involved students assembling robots from everyday objects like lunch boxes and sponge pads in two hours. The robots had to withstand being submerged in water and the teams were given two minutes to manoeuvre their creations to clean synthetic algae from a glass tank.

Mr. Koh Chee Keat, the programme chair for Republic Polytechnic's diploma in electrical and electronic engineering, and the organiser of the event said, "The theme of this year's competition was selected to show the students how the field of robotics can be relevant to everyday life."