02 December 2015

Subic Bay students shine in world robotics tilt

The Philippine robotics team bagged the Best in Mechanism Award in the World Adolescent Robot Contest (WARC) 2015 recently held in Beijing, China.

The team’s flagship robot is called P3DRO or EVE3 Pearl Diving Robot created by students led by The Manila Times College of Subic (TMTCS) standout Keshia Ianthe Gutierrez, an 11-year-old fifth grader.

Also in the team were 11-year-old Nina Alrica Viacrusis, and nine-year-old Takumi Bryan Sab-it.

P3DRO is 25×25 inches in size and has light and color sensors with power motors. It’s main task is to find and count pearls inside the treasure chest and accurately dispense pingpong balls at the shore.

Within the given time period of 30 seconds, the team has to complete all the three segments or else the robot will get drown.

“The team did not expect having an award. During the elimination rounds, they were ranked 10th. The Best in Mechanism Award came by surprise when the trophy was handed,” Maria Aileen Viacrusis, who handles the robotic class of The Manila Times College of Subic basic education department under the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) curriculum in Subic, Zambales.

The Best in Mechanism Award was given based on robot design, how it runs and the physical tasks made by the object.

“Honestly, I am really confident they will be on the top. They may not have the 1st, 2nd or 3rd place but they really did a good job back there. Among the countries that competed, the team deserves to be recognized and I am very grateful having this experienced with them,” said Philippine robotics team coach Krista Camille Esguerra.

Twenty-four countries participated in this year’s edition. The theme was “Friendship First” as it aimed to build friendship and camaraderie among participants during the three-day meet.

Gifted children

For the record, Gutierrez is a consistent honor student and is labeled a gifted child. She is the recipient of the Outstanding Olongape├▒os and San Marcelino Zambales Achiever awards for giving honors to the country.

She has won numerous national and division contests in essay writing, declamation, Quiz Bees, chess, poster making, football and singing contests. She is the first Tang Philippines Tang-Galing Kid awardee.

Gutierrez, a treasurer in the TMTCS student council, also plays piano and violin. Playing Minecraft is her favorite past time.

Viacrusis, on the other hand, was the team leader in the group.

Often called a silent worker, she was the champion in the 2014 National Robotics Science Fair Competition.

This future scientist also has a passion for writing. Recently, she competed in the editorial writing category of the annual Press Conference Journalism Contest Division Level.

Arts and music are among her other interests.

For his part, Sab-it is a big fan of Lego since he was four.

He likes to watch science videos online and loves to play Minecraft and other computer games like Gutierrez.

He actually dreams of becoming a doctor but after discovering robotics, his interest shifted toward dealing with complicated numbers and creating designs as he hopes to become an engineer some day. He also represented his school in a Math competition last month.

In September, his group bagged the silver medal in the 14th Philippine Robotics Olympiad under the elementary regular category.

Early this month, his team was ranked 16th out of 74 teams after the second round eliminations in the World Robot Olympiad held in Qatar. (Jean Russel V. David)

Nina Alrica Viacrusis (left), Keshia Ianthe Gutierrez (middle), and Takumi Bryan Sab-it (right) assemble their robot called as P3DRO or EVE3 Pearl Diving Robot. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)