The Skolkovo Foundation is celebrating a double victory in robotics after the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (Skoltech) won first place in the national final of the Eurobot international amateur robotics contest, and the Skolkovo International Gymnasium took second place in Eurobot Junior.
Angelina Kinz pilots the Skolkovo Gymnasium's robot beside the team captain, Danila Yefimov. The competition pitch was designed to resemble the crater-pocked surface of the moon. Photo: Skolkovo Robotics / Flickr.
The national finals of both categories in the international robotics contest for students were held in the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad on April 27-30. Both Skolkovo teams had previously passed a qualifying round in Moscow earlier that month that enabled them to take part in the national final, tasked with building a robot that could construct a moon village.
An autonomous robot built by Skoltech’s team, ReSet, was awarded the most points by the judges in performing the following simulated tasks: collecting titanium ores extracted from the lunar soil and assembling lunar modules sent from Earth by rockets, building a moon base with the help of the lunar modules sent from Earth and the materials already present on the moon, and launching a spacecraft in preparation for flights to Mars. The mission was inspired by the European Space Agency’s plan for a Moon Village.
ReSet will now fight it out at the international final for the second year in a row, having lost to a Swiss team at last year’s beach bots-themed final in Paris. This year, the international Eurobot final will take place on May 24-28 in la Roche-sur-Yon, France. Countries entering this year’s Eurobot – which is open to robot-makers up to the age of 30 and is now in its 19thyear – include Algeria, Romania, Tunisia and Morocco, as well as many Western European countries.
The Skoltech team took first place in the Russian Eurobot final. Photo: Skolkovo Robotics / Flickr.
The Skolkovo Gymnasium, on the other hand, was taking part in Eurobot Junior for the very first time.
Its team – named Moscow Dynamics – beat 27 other junior teams to finish in second place with a wire-controlled robot, behind a team representing a Moscow youth robotics club.
“Our goal was to finish in the top three teams of the national stage, and we reached that goal,” said Albert Yefimov, head of robotics at the Skolkovo Foundation.
The team had been preparing since September for Eurobot Junior, which is open to students aged up to 19 years old. The secret of their success, said Yefimov, “is that they created a reliable, professional solution that took into account the previous experience of our captain, Danila Yefimov, who has taken part in Eurobot Junior on several occasions. The other factor is that they didn’t just set out to create an imitation robot, but a complex solution that could be turned into a real project in the future.”
The international final of Eurobot Junior has been cancelled by the organisers for reasons that are not yet known, but Yefimov said the Gymnasium team will attend the Eurobot final in France in order to exchange experiences with their European counterparts.
"They have put down an excellent foundation to develop further,” he told Sk.ru. “The competition has shown that the Skolkovo Gymnasium has a good chance of being one of the leaders of educational robotics in Russia.”