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Sunday, August 8, 2010

First Step in the Workshop

by K.H. Ng

The first time I heard about ROBOCON is from my friend explaining the 2009 game. He mentioned about an autonomous robot with another manual controlled robot carrying another robot through coursing through some "maze" and lastly to hit some drum.

I was thinking, "Oh, can it actually been done?" Of course I do not know a thing about ROBOCON and building robots. When the competition time came, our campus organized a trip to the venue of the competition in Shah Alam. I am actually from UTM International Campus, in Kuala Lumpur.

Being the first experience in watching a ROBOCON match, I was thrilled to see the robots actually moved like what my friend explained to me. Of course being a UTM member sawing another UTM member, I was proud to see our university scored.

The best thing about the competition being other university used some sensors to detect the line on the floor and navigate their robot but UTM is one of a few university with robot that do not follow line. I was surprised seeing this kind of method. This is when the excitation came to me. ROBOCON is one of the priority during degree program.

After ending my diploma in Kuala Lumpur, I was eager to enter UTM Skudai to pursue my program. If you ask me why UTM, I would probably answered, "Because the ROBOCON there is strong". There was news about the ROBOCON workshop and I quickly signed up.

Of course the first step is not easy. The workshop was boring like hell. Being a diploma student, what they taught is piece of cake to me. Probably the STPM students might think otherwise, but not me. Nevertheless, I got to know few other friends and colleagues.

It was then the Autocar assignment came up. I was blurred. What I learned in diploma cannot even help me create an Autocar. It was then this fact struck me. The knowledge that we learn in class is totally different when we apply it.

But through senior guidance, self learning, sharing from friends and some hardwork, my Autocar came to life. I can never put the feeling in words. The feeling of seeing your hard made product actually came to life. It is like having a child of my own.

Of course being a child, sometimes it just disobeys orders. Some of the time, the Autocar just cannot follow the line and sometimes it goes crazy. But in the end of the day, it was the experience that counts because it is a precious elements that no one can obtain easily.

After a year in ROBOCON team, much have been learned. And of course there is much more to explore. The possibility is endless. Up till now, I have never regretted I have submitted the form to join the workshop.

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