The global stage witnessed an extraordinary display of innovation and determination as the First Global Robotics Competition 2023 recently concluded, following four days of intense competition from October 7 to 10.
This year’s event showcased the remarkable potential of robotics in harnessing sustainable energy sources, with a focus on hydrogen as a clean and renewable energy solution. Participants were tasked with designing, constructing, and operating robots capable of producing, storing, transporting, and converting hydrogen.
The Saint Lucian team, comprised of 5 people between the ages of 13 and 18 years, was led by Orbtronics. The team’s participation is made possible through the sponsorship of National Lotteries Authority, the Saint Lucia Electricity Services Limited (LUCELEC), Baywalk Shopping Mall and Chef Orlando. Orbtronics extends thanks to its partners for joining in its mission of illuminating the path toward a more technologically empowered society.
Team Leader Nehal Wadhwani received the 2023 Temasek Women in STEM Award. This award, presented by the Temasek Corporation, recognized her as a trailblazer in the field of engineering. The Temasek Women in STEM Award aims to celebrate women who serve as role models in the engineering domain, fostering connections for young women to explore STEM opportunities.
The award not only honored Nehal Wadhwani but also brought recognition to Saint Lucia and the entire Caribbean region, as representatives from various Caribbean countries received accolades in eight out of the nineteen award categories. As a part of the recognition, each recipient’s FIRST Global team will receive valuable resources, including $1,000, 50 XRP Experiential Robotics Platforms, and a host of supporting curriculum, technical documentation, and tutorials.
These resources will enable the awardees to extend their outreach efforts, especially focusing on young women in their communities. This recognition is a testament to the commitment and dedication of the Saint Lucian robotics team in promoting STEM education, particularly for young women.
Despite facing numerous challenges, the Saint Lucian robotics team did well during this prestigious competition. The team secured the 5th position within the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and an overall ranking of 129th out of 191 participating nations. This marked a considerable improvement from their previous performance in 2018, where they stood at 155th out of 161 participants. The team is already planning and strategizing for a higher rank in the forthcoming FGC 2024.
The journey was not without its obstacles, as the team endured a severe setback due to a collision that caused substantial damage to their robot. However, their unwavering dedication and perseverance shone through, showcasing their remarkable teamwork and commitment to the competition’s goals.
We stand with anticipation, knowing that this extraordinary team will continue to reach new heights in the world of robotics and technology, making Saint Lucia proud every step of the way.