Hwa Chong Institution team wins inaugural all-remote OneArena Robotics Challenge

True to their name, Team Gamestorm Pro from Hwa Chong Institution has emerged as the champions of the inaugural OneArena Robotics Challenge, walking away with a $1,200 cash prize.

Hwa Chong Institution team wins inaugural all-remote OneArena Robotics Challenge

The challenge, organised by students from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore’s (NTU Singapore) College of Engineering (COE), is the first event of its kind where all robots were controlled remotely. 

The 19 teams, comprising 88 participants from various junior colleges across Singapore, were all nowhere physically near their robots during the entirety of the competition held from 15 to 17 December. 

Instead, they controlled their robots from their homes or schools throughout the island. All instructions to solve challenges and adapt to obstacles along the way were given remotely.

Participants had to solve eight different challenges in an Amazing Race-type contest on the first day. These included a robot Tetris game where teams had to program their robots to pick up and stack various coloured blocks, and a race that required teams to complete laps around a track the fastest while avoiding obstacles along the way.

The teams spent the second day programming their robots for the finals using the skills they learnt on the first day. The finals, held at the Nanyang Auditorium on 17 December, saw the teams applying these skills in two challenges.

The first was an autonomous bus challenge where teams had to guide their robots through a damaged “city” in a search-and-rescue mission. They had to pick up stranded humans and drop them off a safe place. The other, Bounty War Zone, saw teams go head-to-head against each other, as each team sent out two robots to chase and shoot down opposing robots. 

Team Surfing Pikachu from Victoria Junior College and Team Cheese Circus from Anglo-Chinese Junior College came in second and third place respectively. Special prizes were also awarded to Team AAAAAAAAA from Hwa Chong Institution, Team Pentacles from River Valley High School, and Team Cheese Circus.

The all-virtual Challenge was sponsored by HTX (Home Team Science and Technology Agency), the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) through the Our Singapore Fund for Digital Readiness and Digital for Life national movement, and the Google Data Centre Grant. It is also supported by A*STAR, Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech), GovTech, and Singtel in 5G@Sentosa.