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Expert explains increase in use of sports robot

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Baurzhan Ospan, a Robotics and Mechatronics expert, believes robots are becoming increasingly tied to human lives and it is only a matter of time before sport robotics become popular around the world.

Ospan, who studied Mechatronics, Robotics, and Automation Engineering and is now the Chief Executive Officer of Qmobot, an e-learning company, helps students and adults gain crucial knowledge and skills in IT, Internet of Things, and robotics in order to expand their opportunities.

Qmobot had partnered Nazarbayev University to create the ‘SumoBot’ tournament to promote sport robotics among students. Teams compete for cash prizes and the opportunity to represent their university in the Republican Champion Finals, a country-level SumoBot tournament.

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Participants in the competition received a month training from professional robot cists on how to develop an algorithm for their robot, which will allow it to move on its own without the remote control. The robots then ‘duel’ each other and attempt to push their opponent out of the arena ring, like in an actual Sumo fight.

Ospan in a release made available to The Guardian said robotics competitions have sufficient requirements to be defined as a sport, including physical and mental commitment, constant training, and the adherence to certain rules.

“They also improve skills and provide entertainment. There are already many famous international Robotics competitions, including World Robot Olympiad, RoboRAVE International, and the RoboGames, which involve soccer, racing, and combat sport.

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“Human health and safety are priceless, which puts huge limitations on what a sports competitor can perform without harmful consequences: we want to participate in and observe physically strenuous sports, without the risk of physical harm.

Robots, on the other hand, do not have such limitations and can participate and perform in ways humans can’t.”

He said the Qmobot team believes that the only way to change the world is to change education, adding that young people and adults should be prepared for the rapidly changing environment of education and careers as robotisation and automation become more prevalent.

He says SumoBot is one of the steps on the way to achieving this.

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