ORT students have once again enjoyed success in the annual Nadav Shoham Robotraffic Competition, held this year in a virtual format for the first time.
Sixteen ORT teams from 10 schools worldwide competed against hundreds of high school students in the joint project organized by the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology with World ORT and the World Zionist Organization.
Students were asked to create intelligent cars which can run on smart roads. They were set goals of developing sensors and systems that could reduce the number of car accidents, while building their team-work capabilities and gaining exposure to high-tech multi-disciplinary robots and sensors.
Our teams collected two first places, a second place and a third place. Among the winners were the Ukrainian students from Chernivtsi Jewish School – in the 3D CAD category – and from ORT Educational Complex #141 in Kiev in the traffic safety competition.
Chernivtsi was also recognised for achievements in the robots’ reverse parking and the team from Jewish Gymnasium ORT “Aleph” in Zaporozhye, Ukraine, were noticed for their 3D CAD work.
Our teams from School #1311, ORT “Tekhiya”, in Moscow, and from ORT Mexico, were both acknowledged with top six finishes in the special prize for ‘Striving for Excellence in Robotics Studies’. ORT Argentina collected two second place finishes and a third place.
Dan Green, World ORT Director General and CEO, said: “Robotraffic is one of the most popular attractions for our students every year. I congratulate our teams on such an impressive set of results, especially given the challenges they faced in competing virtually.
“Robotraffic encourages participants to develop their real-world skills, including innovation, excellence and cooperation – all of which are values we promote at World ORT. I know taking part will have been a memorable experience for our students.”
This year, the participating schools received instructions in advance, and each of them showcased their model car in a live, online performance.
Professor Oded Rabinovitch, Technion Senior Executive Vice President, told the students: “Robots have become an integral part of our lives in recent years and we all encounter them in school, at work and in our leisure time.
“Their presence will only increase in the years to come, and the current competition gives you a taste of the diverse and unique world of robotics and an understanding of the importance of the mathematical and scientific fundamentals in solving engineering challenges. If you understand this, you have won, no matter the results of the competition.”
Dr. Evgeny Korchnoy, Director of the Leumi Robotics Center, said: “We are pleased to note that the proportion of female students in the competition is growing, and we have a few groups of female-only students.”
The competition hosted around 50 teams, including from China, Vietnam, Israel, Taiwan and the United States. The event was run in collaboration with YTEK, Nvidia and IBS, and supported by Bank Leumi.
The Robotraffic Competition, which was held for the first time in January 2010, is intended to foster interest in science and technology by developing autonomous vehicles able to drive in an urban environment according to traffic laws.