INDIAN WELLS – For the first time ever, the Coachella Valley is hosting the Global Conference on Educational Robotics. It’s a five-day competition bringing in students from all over the world.
Teams traveled from China, Europe and Qatar, just to name a few. More than fifteen teams are from the Coachella Valley.
“These robots run on software, there’s no remote control here,” Steve Goodgame, Executive Director of KISS Institute for Practical Robotics, said. “These kids actually have to write the code to make these robots behave on their own. It’s like artificial intelligence, if you will.”
Different than average video games, Goodgame said the kids create their own codes, load them onto the computer, plug the robot they constructed into the computer and hope the robot goes to the location it’s coded for.
“Technically this could be the future,” one player said.
Botball is just one of the many interactive activities at the event. Even during their lunch break, the Palm Desert team was prepping for the competition.
There’s steep competition coming from the reigning champions who traveled all the way from Austria.
“We won last year at the European and the American competitions and we hope that we will win it this year too,” one Austrian player said.
Win or lose, Botball is a way for the kids to meet, have fun and learn, Goodgame said.
“These kids are the future, and to see them take something technical, which you believe would be really hard, and actually do something with it, it’s just phenomenal,” Goodgame said. “So, if you’re worried about the future, I’m not because when you see the kids here, you’re just inspired.”
The competition lasts until Sunday when the winners will be announced.