Hundreds of thousands of students fought for a chance to compete at the Imagine Cup World Finals which ended in July 2016 in Seattle. As an exclusive partner in robotics, Makeblock partook in the entire Imagine Robo World Cup Hackathon session at the Imagine Cup Finals, together with a legion of wise young people around the world vying for a creative robotics contest called Imagine Robo World Cup Hackathon (Robo-Hack).
Microsoft’s Imagine Cup is World’s largest, most prestigious student technology competition with an aim to encourage young students to give full play to their imagination and show their innovation ability, addressing the most difficult global issues through technology and making their creativities a business reality. Since the launch of Microsoft Imagine Cup in 2003, more than 1.65 million students from over 190 countries and regions have participated in the event. In addition to amazing Microsoft Student Partners (MSPs) and their creative programs in the finals of 2016 version, there was also a powerful lineup of judging panel, including John Boyega starred in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Kasey Champion, an accomplished software engineer and Computer Science Curriculum Developer at Microsoft. and Dr. Jennifer Tang, the winner of Imagine Cup World 2014.
The mBot robot customized by Makeblock was designed for Microsoft to provide custom-built solutions for the Robo-Hack.
Students were quick to settle into their workstations with custom-built mBots in their company.
At the event, a 9g steering engine freedom tripod head was added into the mBots to enable ball kicking; students were also able to configure mBots’ Raspberry Pi Model 3, and used the Universial Windows Platform app to control and turn mBots into soccer-playing champions.
Students were readying and programming their mBot robot for the Robo-Hack.
A young developer works meticulously to get her team’s robot together for the Robo-Hack .
The students’ ingenuity showed no bounds. Some teams equipped their robots with bits of the Makeblock components it had come boxed in, creating a way to scoop up the ball during play. Other robots were designed not only to gain control of the ball, but to keep the ball inaccessible by the opponent. Another team built an arm onto their robot, which could effectively swipe the ball from another robot’s grasp.
Fifty teams squared off, and the gym was full of shouts of celebration and encouragement. Once their robotic soccer player was built, the teams went head-to-head in a single-elimination tournament.
Cheers erupted every time a goal was scored, and matches continued until 50 teams dwindled to twelve, then six, until three teams remained in the game.
The teams were certainly absorbed and enjoyed the life-changing experience that is Imagine Cup. Though the time spent was only several hours, some students already had ideas for their mBot robots’ refinements and wished they could take the robots home.
The finals of Microsoft Imagine Cup 2016 concluded with resounding success, this incredible competition held by Microsoft and supported by Makeblock is a great example that showcases how people can combine Makeblock and Microsoft to build amazing things!