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Taiwanese third grader to compete in international robot cup

2012/05/02 22:29:05

Taipei, May 2 (CNA) A third grader from Miaoli County said Wednesday he was more than excited to represent Taiwan at RoboCup Junior, the world's largest annual robot competition for children.

Hsieh Po-jen, 10, was one of the 11 schoolchildren on a team that won the primary rescue division in Taiwan Open competition April 28 in Kaohsiung, southern Taiwan. He was the youngest competitor in the contest.

Hsieh grinned shyly when asked how he felt about going to Mexico in June to compete with other children from around the world.

"I'm just very happy," he said.

The most interesting thing about playing with robots is that "they can be put together in whatever way I want" and with software, "they can achieve any missions I like," the boy said.

Hsieh, who was described as sharp-witted and very responsive in the game, and it took his team only 1 minute, 20 seconds to rescue a "hostage" with their robot.

His father Hsieh Chung-lung said the boy enjoyed playing with jigsaw puzzles and building blocks at an early age. The child also loves to repeatedly watch TV programs about architecture, bridge structures and engineering, said his father, who sent him to robotics classes when he was six.

The coach Chung Wu-cheng, proudly displaying the trophy the students won, said the robot competition challenges participants' logic thinking and ability to solve problems quickly.

Learning robotics is a matter of constant trial and thinking, Chung said. Instead of focusing on winning, it is more important that the students learn how to solve problems on their own, he said.

(By Kuan Jui-pin and Kendra Lin)
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