S'pore teens win silver in global robotics competition

The ACS (I) boys - (from left) Tan Hsien Rong, Aron Choo, Isaac Lee and Caven Chia - pose with their medals and First founder Dean Kamen.
The ACS (I) boys - (from left) Tan Hsien Rong, Aron Choo, Isaac Lee and Caven Chia - pose with their medals and First founder Dean Kamen. PHOTO: COURTESY OF ARON CHOO

•A team of four teenagers from Singapore's Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) have won a silver medal at the First Global Challenge Robot Olympics in Washington DC.

The team finished second, behind Finland and ahead of India, in the Challenge category for the most match points.

The ACS (I) team was among the top six teams representing nearly 160 countries in a global competition run by First, an organisation founded by inventor Dean Kamen, who is best known for inventing the self-balancing scooter Segway.

The Singapore team comprises captain Isaac Lee, 17, Aron Choo, 17, and 15-year-olds Tan Hsien Rong and Caven Chia.

Said Isaac: "We are absolutely delighted and deeply humbled to receive this award. It was the culmination of many days and nights of hard work, and we are very appreciative of the people at home and in school who have supported us."

Hsien Rong said competing in the first Olympic-scale robot contest had been "a unique and fulfilling opportunity", while Aron said he felt "very proud winning something for Singapore". Caven summed up the team's feeling when he said: "I'm tired but excited knowing we've won the award for Singapore."

In the other top award - given to teams that accrued the most cumulative points over the course of the competition - the gold medal went to Europe, the silver to Poland and the bronze to Armenia.

The competition saw the teams working with the same kits to construct a robot that gathers, sorts and then delivers coloured balls to a specific spot.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 20, 2017, with the headline 'S'pore teens win silver in global robotics competition'. Print Edition | Subscribe