Young Filipino scientists bag 11 silvers in robot contest


MANILA, Philippines–Filipino science prodigies bagged 11 silver medals at the recent 14th International Robot Olympiad (IRO) held in South Korea to give the Philippines its best finish so far in an international robotics competition.

Fifty-four Filipino high school and nine grade school students from eight schools competed against students from other countries in designing and building robots in this year’s edition of the IRO held in Gwangju.

After the three-day competition, 11 Filipino students received silver medals at award ceremonies on Dec. 20.

“This is the best year for the Philippines in any robot Olympiad,” said Melvin Matulac, founder of Pinoy Robot Games who is also the Philippine representative to the IRO.

Matulac said it was the first time the Philippines won silver medals in regular categories of the competition.

Five high school students from Colegio de San Juan de Letran Calamba won silver in two categories, Creative and Robot Shove.

Six students from Grace Christian College in Quezon City—three in grade school and three in high school—won silver medals in the Creative and Challenge categories, respectively.

“One of our entries was an invention that should be entered for patenting. It is patent-equivalent because it is a new invention,” said Matulac.

He was referring to the robot built by the team of Charles Josua Alba, Ross Angelo Negrillo and Layne Joselle Bañez of Letran Calamba.

The students constructed the entire robot from scratch.

Matulac said the original entry would have won the gold medal in the Creative category except that the team was not able to finish all the wiring in time.

“They were able to make it work but not fully since they were not able to make all the connections,” he said.

The other silver medalists in the Creative category were Arvin John Garcia and Sean Vince Ruel Maningas of Letran Calamba; Alexis Diane Ngo, Jonathan Daniel Ong and Jeremy Lance, and Edrich Hans Chua, Arvy Daniel Ngo and Sabrina Santiago, all of Grace Christian College.

Six students also received “highly commended” awards for their creations.

They were Isabela Kristine Tan and David Michael Josiah of MGC New Life Christian Academy in Taguig City; Ron Daniel Sabayo, Eulavio Dan Sola and Anwar Obadiah Tan of San Isidro National High School in Northern Samar, and Emmanuel Nipal Jr. of Capitol Hills Christian School in Quezon City.

The Fellowship Baptist College in Kabankalan, Negros Occidental, also sent students to the competition.

The Philippines has been participating in the annual competition for the last five years.

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  • basilionisisa

    Congratulations to these kids and their trainers. May their accomplishments NOT end in just winning contests.

    I noticed we have international achievements like this every year and I just wonder what has happened to the previous years’ winners? Are the talents of these wiz kids being tapped to their full potentials, that we may use to improve our industries? we are in dire need of inventors, researchers, discoverers, makers, builders. we’ve been left behind by our neighbors, been mere buyers of their technology and inventions.

    these smart kids give us HOPE.

    I just hope their parents, their schools, their community, and the government keep the fire in their belly burning, inspire and assist them to aim higher, to produce innovative products and technology that our country can really be proud of.

    • chingnarciso

      Wish that the Government will support and give them a full scholarship, and tap their all categories of knowledges.

    • blainz

      Totally agree. There’s a lack of R&D facilities in the country, which means inventive minds either get coopted into mundane, less creative work, or fly abroad to look for higher IQ pastures.

  • Marlou Wang

    I am not sure about a certain pinoy by the last name of Flores who invented the fluorescent lamp. 

    • blainz

      Ah, that’s a myth. The development of the flourescent lamp predates Agapito Flores, who was born in 1897. Edison and Tesla already had their own versions in the 1890’s.

  • joboni96

    sila ang mga kailangan natin
    para palakasin depensa
    sa west philippine sea

  • joerizal

    Great job. Ipadala niyo yang robot niyo sa kongreso,baka mas magaling pa yan kesa sa mga walang utak na mambabatas natin doon.

  • Dennis

    Congratulation!! Palitan na ang mga pulis ng rocop sa 2013 para wala ng kotong cop ganon din sa congress palitan na ang mga utak ng mga walang utak na congregista ng computer chip para mapakinabangan nman pati na rin c meriam at si manny

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