Abu Dhabi: Students who won a robotics competition received robots as prizes and a token of appreciation for their efforts in enhancing their Information Technology (IT) programming skills.

Teams of students from Abu Dhabi and Al Ain completed a series of programming tasks using 9797 Mindstorms NXT Robots and NXT-G Software at the 1st Annual Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) Robotics Competition.

Missions for the robots included navigating a maze, locating objects, reaching destinations and crossing train tracks.

Prior to the start of each mission, team members were given an opportunity to perform the necessary coding for the robot's program, check the robot's sensors and complete any necessary calibrations. Once the mission started, it was up to the robot to successfully complete the task its team had programmed it to do.

Each team earned points based on their robot's ability to complete designated tasks. At the end of the competition, the number of points earned for each mission was tallied and the team with the highest number of combined points for all the missions was declared the winner.

"This competition provided students with an opportunity for team work, problem-solving and having fun with programming.

"Students had the chance to work together in teams to solve problems, learn more about the opportunities available in IT fields, and increase their confidence in their ability to overcome obstacles in order to achieve success," said Robert Brown, Chair of Information Technology Programs, Abu Dhabi Women's College (ADWC).

HCT introduced the use of Lego's Mindstorm NXT Robots in the classroom earlier this year.

The robots were introduced as a way of increasing student participation and performance in the area of IT programming.

The competition was won by students Amena Ahmad, Anoud Ebrahim and Hureya Hussain who were all delighted to be winners in the first IT competition and said they were looking forward to working with more robots to further develop their programming skills.

"Using robots provides a hands-on, interactive approach for students to develop skills in the areas of critical thinking and problem solving and in understanding basic programming," said Brown.