The Moroccan students created a robot that can clean beaches.
FIRST Global Challenge is a yearly international robotics challenge where high school students from around the world meet and compete using their robots.
The Moroccan team was composed of three girls, Intissar, Yasmine, and Nour, and one boy, Ismail, all aged between 16 and 17 years old. The team members study in different high schools in Rabat and Casablanca, but they are all members of ADJI club, a group of young Moroccan inventors.
It is the second time that the Moroccan team has taken part in the event. Last year, the same members represented Morocco at the challenge in Mexico City.
This year’s challenge, called “Ocean Opportunities,” invited the participants to invent robots that can effectively collect and dispose of trash in beaches. More than 1500 participants, from 191 different countries participated in the challenge.
The Moroccan team created a robot that can move on unstable surfaces, such as beach sands. The robot was also able to carry 15 to 20 waste items, such as candy wrapping, soda cans, and plastic boxes. Finally, the Moroccan invention could lift the items up to 70 cm high, and dispose of them in a trash bin.
The winning team of this year’s competition was “Team Hope.” It comprised five Syrian refugee teenagers who want to overcome the challenges they have faced and help to make the world a better place through robotics and artificial intelligence.
The participating teams qualified for the challenge after a series of local events throughout the year. The organizers of the competition also granted funds for the teams to buy the necessary electronics for their inventions.
FIRST Global Challenge started as a yearly regional event in the United States and Canada in 1989. However, since 2017, the event has become global, with teams from more than 190 countries participating.
The 2017 challenge took place in Washington DC and the second competition was organized in Mexico City. This year is the first time that the event has taken place outside of the Americas.