The participants of the World Robоt Olympiad were announced last week in Tashkent. All of them are the students of the first national robоtics school Robokidz.
Generally, this is an example of how the private sector is turning into an assistant for the state in all areas today, including the development of extra-curricular education and promotion of engineering education in particular. The Robokidz Director Timur Azamatov shared the missions of the robоtics school with Uzbekistan Today.
The participants for the World Robоt Olympiad have been sel ected. What are the chances of our students?
“Despite we are beginners, we are brainy. The upcoming Olympiad is not our first international competition. In spring, our team ranked sixth among the participants of the Russian Robоt Fest from 24 countries.
Regarding the forthcoming Olympiad, we are interested in bоth results and participation. As you know, Robokidz is the official representative of the World Robоt Olympiad, the initiator of the country’s first robоtics competitions – the qualifying round of the World Olympiad. We seek to expand international cooperation to make sure that children take interest in learning. The urge for participation in prestigeous competitions will be an excellent motivation.
This year, the republican competition took place in the framework of the ICTWEEK. The beginners were competing on the first and third days with the only goal to win. Those who have already reached a certain level competed for a pass to the World Robоt Olympiad, to be held in India. Aiming at participation in the international competition, children do their best to better understand the technologies, learn solving more complicated tasks. For example, in the competition for the World Olympiad, the children needed to ‘teach’ the robоt to pass a certain distance on a given route, and sort the blocks by color. This is a fairly difficult task.”
You have founded the country’s first private school of robоtics, which is already very popular. What was the risk of creating such an unusual business project?
“First of all, I would like to note that the number of children who want to learn robоtics, is constantly growing. It is obvious that a state that focuses on robоtics and information technologies will develop effectively. By watching that, parents are ready to orient their children to engineering education. They realize that this area is a business of the future. Engineering clubs help to involve children in this area, cultivating their interest in it: they begin with introducing a technology of ‘smart home’, alarm and other systems at home. It is fun for them, because they are dealing with a toy that can be made to move and perform certain tasks.
I did not focus on making profit from the school, the more so we address social programs: children fr om poor families are trained for free. I have been fond of engineering and programming since my childhood. Today, my passion has become the major business of my life: I manage a software development company. The school Robokidz is my contribution to the future of my country.”
The Turin Polytechnic University in Tashkent, Tashkent University of Information Technologies and other universities have been increasingly paying attention to staff training in this area. Is the school activity linked to these institutions?
“No, all the initiatives have been implemented concurrently, without any agreements. However, I know some experts who are engaged in the development of this trend in higher education institutions. Despite the fact that we complement each other and our activities are built into a unified system of training specialists in robоtics, we work independently of each other.
Our students are provided with ready construction sets and software by Lego company, but higher education institutions focus on preparing children for independent engineering of robоts, and development of software for them.”
Do you work only within your school?
“We seek to build a dialogue with educational institutions, including children’s creativity centers Barkamol Avlod. We are ready to cooperate with everyone, but so far, we are ‘good friends’ only with private schools Sehriyo, Leader, and are planning to reach out to a private school Erudite. I would like to point out to intensifying cooperation between public institutions and private sector over the recent years. Their representatives take part in various international conferences, realizing that we all are doing the same thing.”
I’ve heard that soon the Robokidz students will deal with more complicated models …
“Yes, we have some new projects afoot. In the near future we plan to design radio-controlled quadcopters, and flying drones. By the way, we will make the latter using the 3D-printer. The equipment is already available. The first drone we had created hovered over the hall exhibits at ICTWEEK.