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24 February 2022

The Tagisang Robotics’ final buzzer has to wait a bit more.

In fact, the Department of Science and Technology – Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI) showed off its new game offering for the local robotics competition, which will be a fully virtual robotics contest instead of the usual on-court varsity challenge.

The Institute revealed the new game in its 2021 Tagisang Robotics Technical Training held online last December 13-17, 2021. Veteran teams from Bangkal High School, Caloocan National Science and Technology HS, Makati Science HS, Malabon National HS, Manila Science HS, Marcelo H. del Pilar National HS, Pasig City Science HS, Pitogo HS, Quezon City HS, Rizal HS, Rizal National Science HS, San Francisco HS, Sen. Renato "Compañero" Cayetano Memorial Science & Technology HS, Taguig Science HS, and Valenzuela School of Math and Science are slated to battle in the new game.

The Online Technical Training and Workshop taught the participants the basics of electronics, microcontrollers, and microcontroller-interfacing, as well as techniques in interfacing and programing their mobots.

To build their microcontroller-powered mobots, DOST-SEI provided the school-teams—composed of four students and a coach—with a standard kit-of-parts (KOP) and student training kits.

Dubbed as the Tagisang Robotics Competition (TRC) 2.0 with the theme “Delivered”, the game will be showcased in a 120cm x 120 cm playing field. The competition shall be divided into two parts—the qualifying matches called “heats”, and the final competition.

The qualifying heats shall test teams through a master list of tasks to accomplish with corresponding points. Tasks may include basic mobot movement, line and color sensing, and motor control among others.

There shall be three (3) heat rounds for teams to finish and will be adequately scheduled between February to April 2022 to give ample time for teams to prepare. The Top 8 teams with the highest aggregated points will advance to the TRC Championship Round, which is planned in May 2022. As per previous installments, the school with the highest points after the qualifying rounds will win the Best Team Award.

The Championship Round will task mobots to navigate around the playing field and sort colored pallets to their respective colored areas to simulate robotics applications in smart warehouse. The team that finishes the task with the fastest time will be crowned the TRC 2.0 Champion and shall receive a cash grant and trophy from DOST-SEI.

The qualifying and championship rounds will be conducted virtually where school teams will be asked to join via a web conferencing application. Participating school teams shall send the code remotely to the onsite team and will then be uploaded to a replica mobot to perform the tasks. This measure ensures the safety of the students while being actively involved in the competition.

DOST-SEI Director, Dr. Josette Biyo, said the new twists hope to sustain the teams’ excitement in robotics and help them develop skills that can kickstart their journey in the fields of sciences and engineering.

“The new game is challenging enough given that we can’t have face-to-face matches. But the test of skills and wits remains. For them to garner points, the tasks must be done successfully with mastery, efficiency, and speed in mind. So, we believe this TRC 2.0 will give them the thrill while enabling them to collaborate and learn from each other,” said Biyo. (30)


The TRC 2.0 mobot on the actual playing field

 

The playing field measures 120 x 120 centimeters, with sixteen (16) 25 x 25-centimeter squares. Three colored areas—red, green, and blue—will serve as marks relevant for the tasks. Pallets, which are made of plexiglass acrylic sheets and 3D-printed parts, shall add complexity to the game.

 


Screengrab of the TRC 2.0 Technical Training