Post - Robocon 2005
Monday, April 25, 2005
The Robocon 2005 was a real eye-opener. Some teams spent as much as hundreds of thousand of ringgit on their robots, about 10 times more than the amount of money we pumped into our project. Standard had improved significantly since Robocon 2004; and more teams joined this time around. As a newcomer, we carried cameras snapping photos of other teams' robots, hoping to learn and gather design ideas (for future reference). Some teams didn't like it, so they covered their bots with cloths. For other teams, their robots' designs may reveal their strategy - hence the secrecy.

The area where teams prepare their bots was crowded, really hot during the afternoons, and poorly guarded (yes, PWTC, that was). No air-conditioner - It was outdoor. Working environment was hell. It was something like an F1 weekend in Sepang - Hot sun with teams preparing their machines. Some teams even lost their notebooks. There was a quarter-finals rematch between MMU Malacca and one of the UTM teams due to incorrect results and poor judging. Oh well... When I heard that Malaysia's gonna host the international-level Robocon next year, even my toes were laughing (comparison: previous hosts include Korea, Japan and Thailand).

Most of the judges were SIRIM officials. I'd consider the Robocon to be a prestigious event - But the organisers sucked at running the whole thing. Their delays (thank goodness it wasn't a live telecast) caused the whole event to be draggy, and that frustrated participants as much as it annoyed the audience. The emcees could have been better - Probably should learn up what 'sarcasm' and 'insults' mean. Every team had tried and did their best, and their efforts should never deserve insulting remarks. The fact that it's going to be aired on TV1 has its pros and cons, actually. It's not good because few watch RTM1 (you can't deny this, honey). On the other hand, it is good because at least the world doesn't know how poor we run events like this.

Organisers aside, the teams that took part were very good - especially the serious title contenders. Team MMU Malacca seemed promising, but so were the teams from UTM, UKM and UPM. Some teams displayed commendable sportsmanship - shook hands and patted shoulders after a match. I was impressed, really impressed by some of their robots' speed, agility, the ability to shoot a projectile (*ahem* UTM did this), creativity and technology. Our campus does not provide mechanics labs, hence the manual-handsaw method (cutting aluminum). We're satisfied, nonetheless - cuz we won and lost one game each. Hope to join again next year.

Special thanks to our seniors and lecturers, who patiently taught and guided us for the past 6 months.

Living Gem's nobody-should-be-at-lost policy:
1. SIRIM - Standards and Industrial Research Institute of Malaysia (darn, just realised that I had to Google for this. I doubt that the emcees/presenters knew what S-I-R-I-M stands for, too)
2. PWTC - Putra World Trade Centre
3. UTM - Universiti Teknologi Malaysia
4. UPM - Universiti Putra Malaysia
5. UKM - Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
6. MMU - Multimedia University (don't ask me why are there two "M"s)
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