On 4 March, the largest interregional open festival of robotics, ROBOART 2018, was held in Voronezh State University. It was organised by VSU, "Experimental Technical School", the Quantorium children’s technopark, and Angstrem Group. It was supported by the Department of Education, Science, and Youth Policy of the Voronezh Region and Presidential Grants Foundation. The main partners of the event were the Voronezh regional public organization “Lider” and the interregional INTERKHOS group.
Among the participants of ROBOART 2018 were 1,200 talented children from 20 regions of the Russian Federation. This year, the number of regions and cities presented at the festival increased. VSU had representatives from various cities – Voronezh, Volgograd, Irkutsk, Kazan, Kursk, Lipetsk, Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, Orel, Omsk, Penza, Perm, as well as from the Belgorod, Kaluga, Rostov, Tambov, and Chelyabinsk regions. There were also participants from Krasnodar Territory, Stavropol Territory, the Republic of Kalmykia, and the Udmurt Republic.
Organisers and partners of the event welcomed the participants in the university’s auditorium.
‘I can see how important and interesting the festival is for you. I am sure that there are no untalented children. It is important to have wise parents, gifted teachers and the atmosphere of creativity. We will help children to develop their creativity and the country will get talented engineers, said in his speech the Rector of VSU, Dmitry Endovitsky.
‘Organisers and partners of the forum help young talented children to turn their ideas into reality. Soon, we might see new projects that could be introduced into various businesses, industries, and services. Efficient infrastructure projects will contribute to making live of Russian citizens more comfortable,’ said the Head of the Voronezh regional public organization “Lider”, Igor Litvinov.
‘I am so glad to see in this hall so many children who are so keen of robotics and process automation ideas. Robots have become an integral part of our lives and their application has reached a whole new level. Artificial intelligence no longer belongs to distant future. The participants of the festival have a lot of new projects on their way. Be bold, creative, and have a faith in yourself and things you are doing,’ said the General Director of the interregional INTERKHOS group, Sergey Konovaluk.
Acting Director of the Department of Communications and Mass Media, Grigoriy Ostapenko, welcomed the audience on behalf of the Government of the Voronezh Region. The Director of the Experimental Technical School, Alexei Fedotov, also wished the children good luck in their projects.
The festival had 11 exhibit areas where children demonstrated their unique projects in various areas.
Schoolchildren from many Russian cities came to the festival to take part in competitions. Some of them brought swift brushes – a normal toothbrush tied to the vibration device of a mobile phone, which took part in a race. Others had robot footballers and robots judoists which competed with each other. Robotic automobiles had to follow a difficult track and choose the best route.
One of the most exciting competitions were races where robots could touch the ground with only one wheel. This is a sophisticated task and the winner has to demonstrate outstanding creativity and a brilliant imagination.
Today, flying drones come as no surprise to anyone. However, the tasks the pilots had to deal with were not that easy. For example, they had to follow a track using special goggles to control the drone.
The participants of the event could also listen to interesting lectures. Guests from Bauman University gave a talk about space robotics and the editor in chief of Popular Mechanics portal, Tim Skorenko, told the audience how to become an inventor.
At the exhibit area “Agriculture” we could see the project “Smart garden-bed” which was presented by a pupil from Voronezh lyceum № 4, Vladislav Meshanin. He had spent four months working on it in the Experimental Technical School. Vladislav grows onions and cape gooseberry using a specially developed automatic fuel, light, and temperature system. Developers from Penza, Tatiana and Nikolai, invented the unique and inexpensive solution for agriculture. The cost of the mechanism that uses radio channels to gather meteorological data is no more than a thousand roubles. This device can warn against upcoming frost and other weather conditions.
‘We have an agreement with an agricultural company. We are going to test the device between May and June 2018. We are going to check it for problems,’ said Tatiana.
Guests from Volgograd, students of the engineering and robotics STEM centre, are keen on robotics and programming languages. At the exhibit area “Cybernetic Art” they presented their project “Puppet” which was based on the film “Nine”.
It is also worth mentioning, that this year the participants of the festival were welcomed by the robot “ROIN” R-300, which was exhibited in front of the entrance to the main building of Voronezh State University. It was designed to implement various engineering tasks for infrastructure servicing and accident rescue operations. The robot is operated remotely. It reminded the participants of the festival that their projects can always be put to good use in life.
The winners and the laureates of the festival received certificates and souvenirs.
Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Applied Mathematics and Mechanics, Head of the Robotics Centre, Olga Medvedeva, said that people of various ages contributed to the festival: Schoolchildren and pre-school children demonstrated their projects, students helped a lot in organising and holding the festival, and experienced professors and lecturers were experts at the exhibitions and competitions. This festival was not just a major event, it was also a source of many positive emotions.
‘The festival presented various aspects of children’s creativity, from simplest entertaining robots to complex robotic systems, which encourages further development of the educational aspect of robotics. Students and lecturers form the Faculty of Applied Mathematics, Informatics, and Mechanics also demonstrated their projects, for example robot manipulator and various pilotless aircraft.
In 2018, the Faculty of Applied Mathematics, Informatics, and Mechanics of Voronezh State University opens a new programme “Mechatronics and Robotics” which will help talented young inventors to continue their education and to make new achievements in robotics,’ said Olga Medvedeva.