AUST announced the winners of its 3rd Arduino Robots Competition with the support of CME, the leading technology company and end-to-end engineering solutions provider in Lebanon. “The Battle of Arduino Robots” is organized by AUST (American University of Science and Technology) and brought together Computer and Communications Engineering (CCE) students who had to put their practical and theoretical skills to work in order to build their very own Arduino robots and battle for the big win. The competition, which took place on May 16, 2017 on AUST’s campus welcomed former Minister Nicolas Sehnaoui, AUST’s President Dr. Hiam Sakr, AUST’s Vice-President Dr. Riad Sakr, deans of the faculties, the participants as well as a group of tech-savvy youngsters from the university.

Five winning teams were selected at the end of the competition. “The undisputed” team won the first place and was offered a paid internship at CME, “NMP Power” won the second place and “Tyson” the third place, and both also received a monetary reward from CME. Two other awards were given on the sidelines of the competition: Fair Play Award won by “Leo team” and Best Design Award won by “Ya Majnoune” team. All the winning teams received a trophy and a medal.

H.E. Nicolas Sehnaoui congratulated the students for their curiosity and continuous efforts, saying that technology, programming and robotics are the fields of the future; the fields that will change the world. He added, “I congratulate you for using the right tool, which is technology, to bring your idea to life and achieve what you aim for.” He also highlighted the role of AUST in educating a whole generation by giving them the right opportunities and tools to make their ideas come true and succeed.

Dr. Ziad Abi Faraj, Dean of the faculty of engineering, praised the competition that reveal state-of-the art inventions while demonstrating key design ideas and skills. He said, “The faculty of engineering at AUST through constant efforts and capacity building, wishes to encourage the competing candidates to become professional, independent thinkers and problem solvers and who will actively contribute and serve their local and global community”.

The Chairperson of the Computer and Communications Engineering Department (CCE) at AUST, Dr. Roger Achkar, emphasized the importance of the Arduino Competition to develop the students’ creativity and provide them with the right tools to excel and achieve their ideas. He also added, “Next fall, AUST will be organizing a national Arduino competition among private schools in Lebanon. The launching will be held during the month of October 2017”. He continued, “The main objective of this event is not only to have fun or to see the engineering spirit among our students, but also to select the Arduino A team. The winning team will act as mentors and coaches while preparing for the proposed Arduino schools competition.”

Commenting on the event, Mr. Jean Abou Rjeily, Co-founder at CME said, “Always inspired by our core business and commitment to empower talents in the technology field, our support for the Battle of Arduino Robots comes naturally. We are happy to be part of this exciting event, and congratulate the winners’ on the fantastic efforts they demonstrated throughout the competition. They set a great example for other likeminded individuals who are actively pursuing a career in this tremendously ex field.”

The Robots competed on one-to-one basis within random groups of two with each match timed at 2 minutes. Contestants had to push their opponents to the outside of the ring and the one who scored 2 out of 3 claimed the big win. There were 2 battlefields, Fire and Ice Arena, with a group of 3 judges assigned for each of them. The panel of judges included Jean Abou Rjeily, Joseph Abou El Oula, Farah Mtaweh, Nassim Zoueini, Nashaat al Halabi and Georges Bou Kassem. The battle places a lot of weight on the weapons that each Robot has and its ability to seriously affect the operation of another robot, without damaging the arena.

CME’s support for the Arduino competition is rooted in its profound faith in the positive impact that technology has on personal, social and economic growth. Such competitions mirror the doer’s attitude in young Lebanese talent, and constitute an important space through which their creativity can manifest.