An all-girls team from India is gearing up to participate in the first ‘Olympics’ of robotics! Scheduled to take place in Dubai between 24 October to 27 October this year, the First Global Challenge 2019 will see 193 countries competing for the top spot.
“We are all between the age group of 14 to 18 from various schools in Mumbai. We all come with some prior robotics experience. Some of us with two years and some with five,” says Radhika, in conversation with The Better India.
Radhika Sekhsaria, Aarushi Shah, Aayushi Nainan, Jasmehar Kochha and Lavanya Iyer who are readying themselves to participate in the Challenge, have named themselves, the Geared-up Girls.
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When asked why they chose robotics, Radhika informs, “Personally, I was never interested in Science, robotics or anything connected to it. But my father and brother have been participating in various robotics competitions for years now. I have been exposed to Robotics at home, and it was perhaps by sheer chance that the bug caught me.”
The Geared up Girls have every aspect of teamwork planned out. Each team member brings a different strength to the team. While Radhika is responsible for fundraising and programming, Aarushi and Lavanya work on robot design and construction. Aayushi handles the strategy and construction and Jasmehar takes care of programming and strategising.
About the competition
‘First Global Challenge’ is a not-for-profit organisation based in the United States, which invites teams from other countries to the competition themed on the greatest challenges facing our planet. The theme for this year is ‘Ocean Opportunities’ and the challenge before the teams is to build a robot that is capable of tackling pollution and clean up the ocean.
“To get to this stage, we had to undergo four rounds of rigorous interviews. Over the last two months we have created a robot which will be a part of the challenge,” informs Radhika.
The judges will ask questions from the team about their prototype and thus they have to be well-versed in the robot’s working.
The challenge consists of various games and contests, which also include group challenges where different teams come together to compete. “While in the first game you might be playing with a particular team in your group, in the next game they might end up being your opponent. So we also have to strategise and use our strengths and weakness to our advantage,” shares Radhika.
When asked about the prize, Radhika laughs, “Other than a sense of pride for having represented your country on a global platform, we get nothing. We would all be able to put this down on our CV’s though.”
While the girls are extremely proud to be representing India, what’s even more exciting is to be an all-girls team. “We hope that this encourages many more girls from across India to be a part of this world [robotics].”
To spread their message, these girls have been coaching underprivileged girls and initiating them into the world of robotics.
We wish them all the very best for the upcoming challenge and hope that they come back with accolades!
(Edited by Saiqua Sultan)