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ABU Robocon green theme sends clear message around world

The 2013 ABU Robocon theme of Green Planet sends a message to every country, participants at this year’s contest in Vietnam were told. 

In welcoming young contestants to the international robotics competition in Da Nang, Vietnam’s Deputy Prime Minister Mr Nguyễn Thiện Nhân said the Green Planet theme connected all young people in reaching humanity’s shared goals, including the curbing, prevention and adaptation to climate change while protecting the life of the earth.

“[It] is also our common home in that climate change has become a global issue challenging human beings, calling for intellectual effort and resources of each and every country,” he said.

This was echoed by Mr Trần Bình Minh, President of host broadcaster VTV, who said: “We want to send a message through the contest that every country should play a role to make the earth greener and cleaner. 

Nineteen teams from 18 countries and regions have participated in this year’s Robocon. As host, Vietnam was allowed to send two teams. In line with the Green Planet theme, teams of students had to make robots competing to plant trees on the planet.

ABU Programming Director Takeshi Doki said China did not participate this year, but Egypt, Korea and Iran came back to the event.

“We had 17 teams from 16 countries and regions in Hong Kong 2012, but we could welcome two more in Da Nang in 2013,” he said.

“Helwan University from Egypt could finally come to Vietnam despite the very serious situation in their country,” he added. “They were defeated by a Vietnam team [in the finals], but all the audience gave big applause to their participation.”

The Kanazawa Institute of Technology in Japan came away with the top prize, defeating Lac Hong of Vietnam.

ABU Acting President Mr Naoji Ono thanked Vietnam and VTV for their “tireless work”. “Under the extremely well-designed rules, ABU Robocon has been encouraging the youth in this region,” he said. 

The host for the 2014 ABU Robocon will be DDI in India, while TVRI will host the 2015 finals in Indonesia.