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  • Writer's pictureSeraphine Dogbey

Prempeh College team wins Robofest World Championship 2020

One of the six teams that represented Ghana at this year's online Robofest World Championship, MIKOGOLF from Prempeh College wins the 21st edition of the ROBOFEST WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP.

This is the second time in successive years (2019 & 2020) that the Ghana Robotics Academy Foundation -GRAF; (which was founded by Dr. Ashitey Trebi-Ollennu, a Chief Robotics Engineer with NASA's Jet Propulsion in Pasadena CA), and run by Dr. Yaw Okraku-Yirenkyi as the Country Director for the Foundation's Robotics inspired Science Education (RiSE) program, has led Ghana's teams to be champions.

MIKOGOLF took first place in the Senior Game GolfBowl over 21 other teams from other countries.

MIKOGOLF was also one of the three teams from the same school to partake in the contest.

The team consisted of Francis Awortwe Junior, Ablorhey Tetteh Jude, Gyandoh Asiedu Ekow, David Nintang Junior and Christopher Alhassan. A teacher from their school, Mr. Peter Agyeman coached the Prempeh College champions.

Due to the outbreak of Coronavirus, this year's event was virtually held to facilitate the practice of social distancing protocols.

Location Head Judges and Assistant Judges at their respective geographical locations were responsible for adjudication on the grounds. They worked via the ZOOM app with the Robofest officials at Lawrence Technological University in Michigan, who are the organizers of the annual competition.

What were they tasked to do?

1. Design a robot to putt 5 golf balls into a Hole-slot with a wood piece attached to the robot. Alternative partial points will be given if bottles on the floor are knocked (bowled) over or moved. Penalty points are given if the bottle on the table is knocked over or moved.

2. For a game, 2 minutes are allowed.

3. White balls (balls 1, 3, 4) cannot be moved before putting. Orange balls (balls 2 & 5) may be moved by the robot before putting.

4. One full-reset of the playing field is allowed.

5. All the tasks must be done autonomously without any external help

6. UTF (Unknown Task and Factors) will unveil the following just before the 30-minute work-time.

• The starting location and orientation of the robot

• The locations of balls

• How to end the game.

7. Each team will have a 30 minute work time after the UFT’s have been unveiled and then a 2-minute scoring first round.

8. Each team will have a 30 minute work time after the UFT’s have been unveiled and then a 2-minute scoring second round.

At the end of the first round, MIKOGOLF earned 88 points and 118 points in the second. This gave them a total average of 103 points which crowned them champions.

The winning team received a trophy and certificates of participation from the organizers of the competition.

Their victory is Ghana's second consecutive win after a team of five girls from Methodist Girls Senior High School won the senior category in the 2019 edition of the competition.

The country Director of RiSE and founding member of GRAF, Dr. Yaw Okraku-Yirenkyi, has praised Mikogolf for their excellent performance and hopes their diligence would inspire teams around the country to follow their example. He stated, “This achievement underscores the fact that given the opportunity and the right attitude with discipline, any child from around the world, however remote their geographic location, can achieve greatness and also make important contributions to their nation’s development.”

Other teams from Ghana

AGYENGOGOLF and EDDYGOLF all from Prempeh College placed 3rd and 5th respectively in the same senior game.

MOMAGOLF from Mount Olivet Methodist Academy placed 3rd in the Junior GolfBowl Game out of 23 competing teams.

The team was made up of Ronny Klemesu, Desmond Arkoh, Brian Glenn Dablaka Esther Gyamera-Temeng and Reginal Atuahene.

Private teams, CMOS and PSIBOT also put up an overall good contest in the junior game and the Unknown Mission Challenge (UMC).

What is Robofest World Championship?

Robofest World Championship is Lawrence Technological University’s international autonomous robotics program for students in 4th grade through university.

The annual competition started in 1999 to help students master the principles of Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) as well as Computer Science (SC).

The participating teams are tasked to design, construct, and program their robots to act independently and compete for trophies in a variety of competitions in Michigan, USA every year.

All these while helping them build their communication, critical thinking, teamwork, and problem-solving skills while designing, constructing, and programming robots.

Since Robofest started, over 25,000 students have competed from 14 U.S. States, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Ecuador, Egypt, England, France, Ghana, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Lebanon, Macau, Mexico, Singapore, South Africa, and South Korea.

They compete in the junior, senior and college divisions.

Registered participants receive medals and personalized certificates while winners of qualifying and championship rounds receive trophies.

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