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November 11, 2010

'Dance the Robot' Takes on New Meaning for Indian Teen Olympiad Winners

The Times of India had an interesting story on three 15-year-old students of a city school in Mumbai.

The Times wrote: “He moves when you move, he also moves just like you do. Meet the obedient Darwin… who took more than a month to build.” But it was worth it: the team won the prize for best technical skills at this year's World Robot Olympiad.

Held in Manila the first week in November, it attracted entrants from over 35 countries this year. Indian teams won three medals, one in the junior and the other two in the senior high level of the regular category.

“The open category at the Olympiad has varying themes every year, and the theme this year was a robot that promotes the culture and tourism of a country,” the Times wrote. The trio is Rushab Mashru, Soham Sankaran and Yash Sawani, all students of Jamnabai Narsee School in Juhu.

"We realized that dance was the culmination of all forms of art in our country as it included movement, music and culture. We agreed that this was the best way to promote cultural tourism in India." said Soham Sankaran, one of the team members.

And for those of you who understand Indian culture a lot better than your humble correspondent does, the Times reported that it does the Bhangra and is a Kathakali exponent. Would those be robot dances?

Coming up with the best formula for the best robot was “long, arduous and we worked from dawn till dawn for well over a month,” said A Sundararajan of the Children Technology Workshop. “The boys worked tirelessly, arriving at mathematical formulations and equations to track as well as replicate arm movements. They did the entire coding and building with regular guidance from coaches at the workshop.”

David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.

Edited by Tammy Wolf

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