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Robots: Reloaded! The Press Conference of the 18th TDK College Creative Design and Production Contest

The Ministry of Education(MOE)held a press conference for the 18th TDK College Creative Design and Production Contest on March 6. During the press conference, the MOE encouraged students who were interested to grab the opportunity to sign up before March 28 for the contest to be held at National Kaohsiung University of Applied Sciences this October.

The TDK College Creative Design and Production Contest is the first, largest, and most creativity-centered robot design contest in Taiwan. According to the MOE, this contest has been held for many years and has become a big event among university engineering departments. The previous contests reflect, the quality of robots designed by students has improved every year and the design and production techniques of the students and teachers are getting better and better. The MOE extended its special thanks to the TDK Culture and Education Foundation that has been sponsoring this contest for years. This sponsorship also fits the Foundation’s mission of cultivating Taiwanese talent, serving society, and contributing to Taiwan’s industrial development.

In order to know the influence of the contest on students’ career development, the MOE conducted a survey of core abilities and careers of the winners from the first ten contests. The survey indicated that creative thinking, expertise, and capability to apply expertise in related fields is very common among the winners. Expertise and creative thinking are particularly critical for them to further develop the capacity for problem solving and exploring new fields later in their career. Therefore, the first goal of the contest is to cultivate student’s creative thinking, professional knowledge, and skills in applied fields.

Winners from last year were also invited to share their experiences. The champion of the “automatics group” last year, Mr. Xie Yu-Zhang from Chung Chou University of Science and Technology, indicated that the participants should be prepared to spend a lot of time and energy once they decide to join the TDK Contest. Each team had to analyze the questions proposed by the referees first and then design the framework and electricity control needed to complete their robots. Mr. Shen Yen-Cheng from Nan Jeon University of Science and Technology, the champion of the “remote control group” last year, also remembered that he stayed in the mechanical room to redesign and adjust his robot during his holidays and that his expertise and robot design techniques have thus improved significantly. National Cheng Kung University graduate Chen Ren-Chi, now working in China Steel Corporation, was the winner of the 5th contest. He said this contest offered rare experiences to college students from comprehensive universities because they could get applied knowledge by designing a robot, and that the experience was unforgettable.

The contest organizer, National Kaohsiung University of Applied Sciences, said that the theme of 18th TDK Contest is “Robots: Reloaded!” They hope that participants can integrate industrial robots with service robots, show their creativity and creative thinking, and design a unique robot. The contest consists of an “automatics group” and a “remote control group.” The theme of the automatics group is “Conquering the World.” Robots in this group are expected to be equipped with jumping skills, agility, and stability. The theme of the “remote control group” is “King of the World.” Participants should lead their robots to pass different barricades. Therefore, each team should work hand in hand to design a stable and nimble robot and develop a competitive strategy to win over other teams.

Students interested in joining this contest should sign up before March 28. The contest will be held from Oct. 18 to 20. Participants should pass the first round on Oct.18 and Oct.19 and then compete for the finals on Oct.20. The TDK Culture and Education Foundation will provide funds to each team for travel grants and the materials they need to make a robot. A Prize Creativity, Competition Prize, TDK Prize, and Best Teamwork Discipline prize will be awarded in this contest. The winner from each group will also have the chance to win a study trip to Japan. Participants from universities and colleges are all welcome.

The MOE also emphasized that many previous participants have invigorated related industries by bringing their knowledge and experience from the contest with them. The MOE hopes more students to join the 18th TDK Contest and that the contest will lead the technology industry in Taiwan to a new stage. For more information, please visit National Kaohsiung University of Applied Sciences website, or call (07)3814526 ext. 5335.