Greece won gold at the International Robot Olympiad for youngsters which took place digitally earlier this month.
Irida Aggelopoulou, Vasiliki Iliadi, Christos Rentzis, and Alkiviadis Kotsikopoulos from the PlaisioBots team won the top prize by creating a “smart” white cane for the blind.
The white cane has a 3-D detection sensor inside it that can warn the user of obstacles that are in the environment. It also can “read” traffic lights, allowing it to be able to tell users when to cross a street.
Helping people improve their lives
“We hope our invention will help millions of people and improve their lives,” says Rentzis.
The team, which was brought together and sponsored by Plaisio, one of the largest technology outlets in Greece, worked closely together all throughout the pandemic.
It was coached by world robotics champion Dialekti Athina Voutyrakou and assisted by Iason Somoglou.
The gold medal “was the most moving and optimistic milestone in my 18 years in the business,” said Costas Gerardos, the CEO at Plaisio.
“For the first time in history, the Greek team faced the brightest children’s minds in the world and took the gold, leaving behind teams from countries such as Korea and Russia, that have enormous experience in robotics,” he added.
Greek children “very talented”
Gerardos noted that Greek children are as talented as those in more technologically-advanced countries, saying “Our children can achieve great things as long as we show them the way.”
Dozens of youngsters from throughout the world participated in the International Robot Olympiad (IOR).
The President of the IOR committee, Jonghwan Kim, says that the purpose of the competition is “to provide opportunities for young people to develop robot development and convergence skills in SW programming.”
He adds that instead of education that seeks only knowledge, “we do our best to nurture future human resources that lead the 21st century with critical thinking, teamwork, communication skills and creativity.”