World ORT students overtake the competition at Robotraffic


Teams from World ORT’s schools in the Former Soviet Union dominated this year’s international Robotraffic competition at the Technion. Teenagers from Chernovtsi, Odessa, Dnipropetrovsk and Kiev won various categories, often pipping World ORT students from Moscow, St Petersburg and Zaporizhia into second and third places.

“This has been a truly great competition,”? said Professor Moshe Shoham, Head of the Technion’s Leumi Robotics Centre, which hosts the competition. “More than 1,000 students from Argentina, Israel, Russia, Ukraine and the United States took part. And I was really impressed by the knowledge that they brought with them and their innovative ideas.”?

The superb showing by the team from the Former Soviet Union is a sign of the prominence that World ORT’s schools in the region have given to robotics.

“Robotics is one of the most sought-after courses in our schools, both within the curriculum and as an extra-curricular activity,”? said Kiev ORT Technology Lyceum team leader Sergey Dzyuba, who received a special award while in Haifa for contributions to the development of educational robotics. “It also has a tremendous educational impact. To design, build and programme robots is not only exciting but the most effective way of learning technology.”?

It is also a tribute to the support and sponsorship of IBS, one of the leading suppliers of software and IT services in Central and Eastern Europe. The company has not only bankrolled students’ trips to Israel but its experts have helped them to prepare for the competition.

Robotraffic started six years ago with just five Israeli schools, the aim being to provide students with knowledge and skills in robotics and safe driving. The competition involves putting small programmed robotic cars on a track where they have to deal with simulated road conditions. The competition has grown each year in partnership with World ORT, and the World Zionist Organisation in cooperation with the YTEK Foundation and Eytam Robotics.

“Over the past five years, Robotraffic has given students in the World ORT network a great opportunity to gain new knowledge in the field of robotics, to make like-minded friends in other countries, and to learn more about life in Israel,”? said World ORT Kadima Mada CEO Avi Ganon. “Bringing our students here for this competition is an effective tool in strengthening ties between the Diaspora and Israel.”?