Heroes Among Us: Building robots to take on the world

Mr Teo Yee Ming (centre) took over Hai Sing Catholic School's robotics club in 2009.
Mr Teo Yee Ming (centre) took over Hai Sing Catholic School's robotics club in 2009. ST PHOTO: TK RAJU
Mr Teo Yee Ming (left) has led Hai Sing Catholic School's robotics club to win four VEX Robotics World Championship.
Mr Teo Yee Ming (left) has led Hai Sing Catholic School's robotics club to win four VEX Robotics World Championship. ST PHOTO: TK RAJU
The school won in the middle school category of the VEX Robotics World Championship in 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2017.
The school won in the middle school category of the VEX Robotics World Championship in 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2017. ST PHOTO: TK RAJU

When Hai Sing Catholic School first entered the VEX Robotics World Championship in 2011, no one had heard of the team.

But the school, led by teacher-in-charge Teo Yee Ming, was determined to make its mark at the international competition, an annual event in the United States where teams design and build robots to complete challenges.

“I did a study of the robotics landscape in Singapore and I discovered that Singapore was not so well known for robotics.

I set myself the vision to bring robotics in Singapore to the world stage,” said the 42-year-old, who took charge of the school’s robotics club in 2009.

The school went on to win in the middle school category of the competition four times – in 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2017. 

The Straits Times speaks to Mr Teo and his students in episode two of Heroes Among Us, to find out how they did it. 

The original video series, now in its second season, features everyday Singaporeans who excel in their chosen fields.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 22, 2018, with the headline 'Building robots to take on the world'. Print Edition | Subscribe