ORT students dominate medals table at 10th Robotraffic Technion competition


The tenth Nadav Shoham Robotraffic competition has brought a series of victories for ORT teams from around the world.

The theme for this year’s robotics tournament, which took place at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology – was electric and efficient small vehicles.

More than 550 international students took part. Teams were tasked with designing four, three and two wheel electric vehicles with improved safety features and the ability to connect the vehicles to each other. Participants were also expected to create mechanisms for warning other road users about potential collisions – either car to car or car to pedestrian.

Practical innovation is at the heart of ORT’s values, and Robotraffic has become a favourite event among the students who have taken part.

The 2019 results table was dominated by ORT teams – with the global education network’s representatives securing four first place victories out of a possible 26.

Our students from ORT Argentina and Colegio Israelita de Mexico (CIM-ORT) performed very impressively – among their notable highlights were wins in the ‘careful driving’ category and racing round, as well as a first place in the 3D CAD competition.

Students were tasked with creating electric vehicles with improved safety features

ORT teams won an additional 12 second and third place awards.

The best-represented ORT countries were Russia and Ukraine, with 74 students and teachers travelling to Israel – the largest group ever from the former Soviet Union. As well as participating in the Robotraffic competition, the students visited Jerusalem, Akko and Tsfat.

From Mexico, the team consisted of five students who have skills in programming and electronic and mechanical design. Each student was assigned a task to complement the design and implementation of different systems. They had all participated in CIM-ORT’s robotics workshop since elementary school.

ORT students from Odessa, Ukraine, were among the winners

Each year the workshop team selects a project to be developed and discusses in detail the skills, CAD, software, machines, tools and processes needed to see it through to completion. Students were then trained to define solutions and to use 3D printing and laser cutting.

One group of Argentinian ORT students who took part – 11th graders Matheo, Maxi and Andreas – said they had been preparing for the competition for three months and were excited to finally be in Israel participating.

The boys said attending engineering classes at school had made a “vast impact” on them as they each hope for a future career in the field of robotics.

Likewise Vladimir, Timophy and Maria, 13-year-old students from ORT Kiev, had prepared for four months and said they enjoy their robotics classes so much that they hope to move to study at Technion when they complete their school studies.

Many ORT students had been looking forward to the competition for months

More than half of the Robotraffic participants were ORT pupils. Other students taking part included teams from Israel and the United States. The competition is named in memory of Nadav Shoham, an Israeli robotics student who died in a blizzard in Nepal in 2014.

Vladimir Dribinskiy, World ORT’s Chief Program Officer, said: “In recent years the Robotraffic competition at Technion has become a peak annual event for many ORT students. It is one of those exciting opportunities where students can demonstrate their knowledge of STEM as well as their collaborative skills, but at the same time meet their peers from the ORT network in Israel.

“For teachers it is an excellent chance to see their students in action; what can be a better motivation than to see your students performing brilliantly in an institute as highly-regarded as the Technion?

“We would like to express our gratitude to our friends from The IBS Group who have made it possible for the former Soviet Union team to participate in Robotraffic 2019. It’s great to have a global hi-tech company supporting ORT students excelling in STEM.”

Robotics is a vital part of our STEM curriculum and encourages students to learn about practical innovation and the impact it can have on their world.