Anti-botcha robot bags award at int’l contest


Posted at May 10 2012 01:11 PM | Updated as of May 11 2012 06:33 PM

Students from DYCI, who represented the Philippines in the First Lego League, pose for a photo after winning third in the Best Presentation category. Photo courtesy of Beryl Jhan Cruz

MANILA, Philippines – A robot that can detect “botcha” or double-dead meat won an award in an international competition held late last month.

The “Meat’s Anti-Germs and Infection Solution” or MAGIS Version 2 bested 76 other teams and bagged the third Best Project Presentation award at the For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) Lego League World Festival, which was held in Missouri from April 25 to 28.

The robot was created by a team of high school students from Dr. Yanga’s College Inc. in Bulacan.

It is made of stainless steel, aluminum and plastic and is equipped with color and temperature sensors to detect contaminated meat.

One of the coaches of the team, Beryl Jhan Cruz, noted that this is the first time that the Philippines joined the FIRST Lego League.

“I’m very proud. It’s the country’s first time to join the contest and we placed third in Best Presentation. They did a good job. Not all first-timers win in an international competition,” Cruz said.

For its part, the Department of Science and Technology – Science Education Institute (SEI) congratulated the Philippine robotics team for a good showing in the international stage.

“With this victory, we will continue to support endeavors that will develop a pool of local robotics experts who will soon lead the country in providing solutions to S&T- (science and technology) related problems,” SEI director Dr. Filma Brawner said.

‘Not that far’

The Best Presentation award is one of the 15 categories in the FIRST Lego League.

Other categories include Champion’s, NASA Food for Thought, Adult Coach/Mentor, Gracious Professionalism, Inspiration, Teamwork, Young Adult Mentor, Innovative Solution, Research, Judges, Mechanical Design, Programming, Strategy and Innovation, and Robot Performance.

Cruz said the Philippines’ victory in the FIRST Lego League shows that the country’s ability to compete in robotics competitions “is definitely there.”

“We’re not that far,” he said, adding that the key to the country’s victory not only lies on the team, but also on financial and organizational support from the government and other private institutions.

Meanwhile, the team hopes that the National Meat Inspection Service will adopt their invention in inspecting botcha.