Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis congratulated Greece’s winning student delegation from the World Robot Olympiad (WRO) during a ceremony at Maximos Mansion.
Interior Minister Takis Theodorikakos and Education Minister Niki Kerameus also attended the ceremony and congratulated the students for their achievements.
The student delegation comprised of high school and grade school students who won three silver and one bronze medals and three citations at the World Robot Olympiad (WRO) held in Gyor, Hungary from November 8 to 10.
"If there is something we must do in our educational system, it is to keep young people's curiosity alive," said the Prime Minister. "This wide knowledge, these skills are the ones we want to cultivate through the schools of the future," he added.
"I know we have outstanding teachers with potential who often seek opportunities to do more than what the conventional expectations of a teacher are. We have a duty to those who want to do more to give them the opportunity and options to do so," the PM said.
This year's theme at the World Robot Olympiad was SMART Cities and attracted over 25,000 teams from 65 countries. Entrants at the event, which has been running since 2004, are from 6-7 years old to university level.
Winning silver was a team of three girls from Patras - calling their team "Smartbirds" - who created a robot that can navigete a city independently, powered by GPS and a solar panel. The robot also includes a camera with the use of IT algorithms that allow it to "understand" emotions of people it encounters and provide help. For example, if it encounters someone who is feeling pain or fear, it starts a conversation during which it records data in order to contact emergency services for assistance.
Panagiotis Verras, who trained the girls and is head scientist for STEM Education in Patras, said that the robot is based on known technologies and ideas for smart cities, "but the unique feature of this construction is that it includes IT and vision and speech," he told Athens-Macedonian News Agency. Smartbirds worked on research and construction for nine months, he added. The team also won the bronze in the Open high school division.
"Bitbot" team from Kalamata, three boys, also won second place with their football game robot, while "Infinite Code", with two boys from Ekali, north of Athens, won silver in the Open for grade-school students.
"Jobi Team", two boys from Agia Paraskevi, won bronze in the Regular grade-school division.