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MHSS unlocks students’ creativity with robotics technology

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

(L-R) Francis Almario and Milstein Rei Cardoniga won as second-runner up in the sumobot category of the Fourth Annual Philippine Robothon

Malayan High School of Science acknowledges that a robust science and technology education is necessary to unlock the students’ productivity, creativity, and competitiveness, thus, the school integrated robotics principles and concepts in its curriculum.

With the offering of the robotics program, students are trained in early engineering, basic programming, and innovative technology, allowing students to fare better in adapting to the ever-changing fields of science and engineering. Also, the program is a refreshing take on science and technology that students enjoy.

A duo from MHSS, Milstein Rei Cadorniga and Francis Almario, both Grade 9 students, share their love of robotics, science, and technology and how they brought pride to the school in winning as second runner-up in the sumobot category of the 4th Annual Philippine Robothon held at De La Salle University Science and Technology Complex in Biñan City, Laguna last October 24.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. What were your first thoughts when you learned that robotics is included in the curriculum?

    Milstein Rei Cadorniga (MRC): I went to Malayan because of Team Sindak. I really wanted to be part of a robotics team so when I saw on Sindak’s [Facebook] page that they have robotics here, I passed all my entrance exams and I told my parents that I’m not going anywhere except Malayan. Plus, it’s very near my home.

    Francis Almario (FA): I actually learned about the robotics here in Malayan a bit late because I was already enrolled when I looked at the pamphlet. I was very happy, because it was one of the newest academic tracks and it was actually a great advantage for me. Because robotics is the future of the world. It would continue growing, it will be a big part of the future.

  2. What made you like robotics/robots? What were your influences?

    MRC: Since I was a kid, I was already near technology. Like, I started creating my own PCs and desktops at the age of 7 and started programming at the age of 9, and continued loving technology because of everything happening around me.

    FA: I was really academically-inclined but eventually when I was introduced to robotics and technology through Malayan, like for example the programming and robotics courses, I realized that I have the skills that I could apply.

  3. What do you like most about robots?

    MRC: I have this vision in the future that everyone in this world will have a robot accompanying them and helping them around. Robots will work as nurses for the elderly, for example.

  4. Do you think robots can replace humans?

    FA: My concept on the future robotics would be more on the processing and the thinking of the robot. I believe that a robot can actually surpass the thinking we currently have—not on the emotional side because that is what makes us human—but more on a robot will process a lot more than the human mind. It can make better decisions than us, if ever. For example, there’s no programming system in the traffic system here (in the country). A human traffic enforcer who controls the traffic will continuously make mistakes until there’s already a congestion, but a robot can take into account all the variables on how traffic could be more easily managed. This would be applied in other concepts like a whole programming system that would be solely devoted to how resources should be managed.

  5. Do you plan to make robots in the future, after MHSS?

    FA: After MHSS, I probably would. But then again, I am trying to focus more on the programming aspect of it because that’s the thing I love about it: the plasticity to do a program to do specific tasks.

    MRC: I’m planning to join engineering schools. Mostly, I’m planning to go abroad—in MIT—because I really love robotics. Like Francis, I am planning to go more into the programming side since I am planning to create an AI. I really want something that could help the world. It would really help the society progress and to advance faster.

  6. How did you prepare for the Robothon?

    MRC: We made blueprints and designed our robot.

    FA: For the most part of the preparations, we just went to the Robotics lab and planned for the robot. We tried to make designs and tested these designs out.

    MRC: We actually applied a lot of physics: friction, momentum and stuff like that.

  7. What are the basics in building the sumobot?

    FA: I guess the basics of it would be to take an already existing design and modify it in a way that would help the performance of the robot.

    MRC: Our main basis for our robot was the bulldozer. Then we switched wheels, we upgraded the wheels, we upgraded the ramp, and the body itself. I designed the armor around the rboto, while Francis designed the gear system. We made it as strong, as heavy, and as fast as possible.

  8. What were the difficulties?

    FA: Every time there is a trial, we would actually get beaten by a very tiny robot.

    MRC: We actually passed 16 versions of our robot.

    FA: Because every time there would be a problem—like it was too heavy, it was not heavy

  9. How much have you changed in the robot itself?

    MRC: There are actually three stages in the robot: the first was the concept area where we made a robot that has a shield and a big ramp but that one was too heavy and the ramp gets destroyed easily.

    The second stage had claws to support the ramp itself and it was nearing the final product, it was like a tank. It’s now flexible so it can now move to different areas, and its weight was now balanced.

    FA: The final product was power-based. The gear system will give power to the robot without damaging or compromising any of the parts.

  10. Is this your first time in joining a robotics competition?

    MRC: Yes.

  11. How do you feel about that?

    FA: It’s like we’re lucky that even if it’s our first time, we actually got something out of it.

  12. What do you think is the key to this achievement?

    FA: The hardwork that we actually put into the robot and our ability to try to perfect it even though we think it’s already going to perform well. We tried to find other ways to improve its performance.

    MRC: I think our determination let us win. Like Francis said, we never stopped upgrading until we perfected everything. We never stopped looking for ways to make it better.

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