“Do you like robotics?” asked the principal of my school the day my life turned 180 degrees.
“Well, of course” I said. “Who doesn’t?”
And in the blink of an eye, I was on the Venezuelan delegation in a global robotics competition waving my flag in front of more than 150 countries, proving Venezuela is a lot more than bad news. Venebot, our platform, was created to provide the opportunity for thousands of young Venezuelans interested in science and technology to come closer to the field they dream about. This year we’re representing our country once again in the second edition of FIRST Global challenge 2018, in Mexico City.
But let’s start for the beginning:
When we say “robotics”, we tend to think in talking, walking, smiling humanoids, C3P0 and Rosie the Robot but, actually, the majority of robots around us are nothing like that. And yeah, we’re surrounded by them. We define robots as machines that do repetitive, hard or dangerous tasks that we, humans, program them to do in order to improve our lives. Phones, cars, computers, washing machines and even microwaves are kinds of robots.
My school (Rubén Gonzalo Suárez Valera) was selected by Kenny Urdaneta, the Tech
We created Venebot to bring STEM educational activities to Venezuela and encourage youngsters to see a future, be skilled for the workfields of tomorrow.
Ambassador for FIRST Global, to participate in the Challenge in Washington D.C. in 2017 and, under his mentorship, we were able to assemble and program our robot, capable of moving, pull itself off the ground, collect and storage plastic balls and sort them by color. Countries all over the world have local, national and even international robotics competitions, but Venezuela has never been involved in this kind of activities — the world is moving forward while we seem to go backwards. That’s why we created Venebot, totally independent, to bring STEM educational activities to Venezuela and encourage youngsters to see a future, be skilled for the workfields of tomorrow and, maybe, become the new Steve Jobs, Nikola Tesla or Elon Musk.
This year we selected five talented guys that will represent our country in FIRST Global Challenge, México 2018.
But, sadly, not all of them can attend the event and we can’t do this by ourselves. If you could lend us a hand, it’d be huge for us and you’d be helping us show a different face of our nation, the face of those who sail onwards despite the current meltdown.Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.