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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Korean teenager students win international robotics competition held in LA

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South Korean teens won the world’s largest youth robotics competition.

Lego Mania Team, coached by Jisun Kim, represented Korea at the 2024 Western Edge FIRST Lego League Open, which took place from May 31 to June 2 in Los Angeles. Out of 82 teams from around the world, Lego Mania took first place in the robotics competition.

Lego Mania had a total of seven players, ranging in age from elementary school students to high school students, with Jinseok Kim (Jinheung High School), Jihoo Oh (Gwangju Middle School), Seungpyo Han (Munseong Middle School), Minjun Cho (Gwangdeok Middle School), Jeonbin So (Juwol Middle School), Heeseung Choi (Bullo Elementary School), and Ruyeon Kang (Bullo Elementary School).

Lego Mania Team won the robotics competition at the 2024 Western Edge FIRST LEGO League Open. [Courtesy of Jisun Kim]

The FIRST LEGO League competition has had a different theme and challenge every year since its launch in 1998. This year’s theme was “Masterpiece,” and the challenges were designed to express hobbies and interests using art and technology.

The Lego Mania’s entry for this year’s competition was the Automatic Door Robot. The robot automatically rotates the stage and opens the curtains in front of the stage in response to motion sensors. To build the robot, teams had to use only the equipment and modules provided at the competition venue.

The teams were also given surprise tasks during the competition, which often caught them off guard. Nevertheless, Lego Mania allied with two U.S. teams to research the tasks and run the necessary programming to overcome the challenges.

“This year’s competition was very difficult and challenging, but the students have been thinking a lot about the robot’s sophisticated movements and data processing skills, and have been practicing constantly,” said Coach Kim.

“We worked hard, and I’m sure that our students learned a lot from this competition.”

The FIRST LEGO League competition is the world’s largest youth robotics competition, held since 1998 by the FIRST Foundation in partnership with The LEGO Group.

The FIRST LEGO League Competition is known for its core values – inspiration, teamwork, professionalism, and cooperation – and for choosing a different competition theme each year based on a global social issue.

BY KYEONGJUN KIM, HOONSIK WOO [kim.kyeongjun1@koreadaily.com]