MANILA, NOVEMBER 30, 2007 (STAR) By Helen Flores - The Philippine Robotics Team won for the second straight year the gold medal at the World Robot Olympiad (WRO) held in Taiwan last Nov. 16 to 18.

The team constructed a model community run by robots with security systems that included a building that could thwart terror attacks similar to 9/11.

Bryan Lao, Alyssa Sheena Tan and Mark Ian Tan, of Grace Christian High School, under the guidance of coach Edster Sy, won the Open Category (Secondary Level).

Dr. Ester Ogena, director of the Department of Science and Technology-Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI), yesterday vowed to increase support for science high schools in the country to enable more students to join such international competitions.

“Our students have shown their best and given more opportunities like these, we could tap more potential in the field of robotics,” Ogena said.

“We have proven that Philippine students are truly world-class and at par with technology driven countries,” said Mylene Abiva-Sazon, national organizer of the Philippine Robotics Olympiad and president/CEO of FELTA Multi-Media Inc.

Their entry “Operation Security Guaranteed” was built within a WHIZ Community where a gatekeeper is responsible for analyzing the personal information of every robot by swiping a key card.

It has “Spybot 101” which monitors the city’s vicinity, “Firebot 103” which is the best firefighter of the “Bantay Sunog” Fire Department, and “Policebot” which is a humanoid security guard that assists the gatekeeper in taking care of unwanted guests in the community where “Goodbot 107,” a citizen of the WHIZ community, lives.

The entry also features a “PRT” elevator or Philippine Robo Transit which guarantees fast, convenient and safe travel; a “TREN,” which is a fast train system; and a hydraulic building named “TAIPEI 101,” the tallest building in the world. The model building can raise or lower itself to thwart terror attacks similar to what happened to the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York.

The Philippine delegation to the WRO included students from Philippine Science High School-Bicol Campus, Grace Christian Elementary School, Grace Christian High School, Nemesio Yabut Elementary School, and First Asia Institute of Technology and Humanities (FAITH) in Tanauan City, Batangas.

All members of the Philippine Robotics Team were winners of the 6th Philippine Robotics Olympiad held last September at the Alabang Town Center, the SEI said.

Over 800 students or 170 teams representing 18 countries participated in this year’s WRO.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

All rights reserved