The Pakistani Robotics team with their mentors and American Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Jonathan Pratt Image Credit: Sana Jamal/Gulf News

Islamabad: Six Pakistani students will compete for top honours with teams from 160 countries in Washington, DC this week from July 16 to July 18.

The Pakistani Robotics team and their mentors have reached Washington, DC and are ready to show their mettle at First Global Challenge robotics competition — a three-day international robotics competition for high-school students that aims to promote science and technology among youths worldwide.

Hamza Arshad Bhatti, Dawood Ahmad Kiyani, Ahmed Waheed, Mohammad Bin Mohsin, Maryam Ahmad Kiyani and Syed Suleman Ali are the six participants from Pakistan. Also known as Team AlphaBots, the youngsters hail from the capital of Pakistan and are the students of EMS High School in Islamabad.

“It is an honour to represent Pakistan on global platform where over 160 countries are contesting. The diversity of talent, culture and language really excites me” the team’s spokesperson, Maryam Ahmad Kiyani told Gulf News. “We have given our best, and hope to raise the Pakistan flag high and proud.”

In an interview with Gulf News, the team’s captain, Hamza Arshad Bhatti, informed that the team of six Pakistani youngsters also represented Pakistan in the International FIRST Lego League competition in St. Louis in US in April 2017. “We are two time national champions from Pakistan but First Global Challenge is the biggest platform that we would participate in.”

“With our work, we wish to develop the potential of robotics in Pakistan and to rise as a strong country” Hamza hoped.

The Pakistan team will work with other teams from across the world and present robots designed to clean contaminated water as the contest theme is to tackle the global water crisis.

The team has been financially supported by the American Embassy in Pakistan. US Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Jonathan Pratt personally met with the team members in Islamabad shortly before their departure to congratulate and encourage them. “I hope you take advantage of the opportunity to share ideas about how to use robotics to solve some of the biggest problems that Pakistan, the United States, and other countries around the world face,” Pratt said.

Team mentor Ali Syed said that the team has been keenly preparing for this international competition for weeks, after winning a national competition organised by Lets Innovate. “Our team is honoured to represent Pakistan at global stage and to show that Pakistani students have a passion and an aptitude for solving problems through robotics,” said Ali Syed.

First Global is the world’s first international robot Olympics for high-school students with an aim to inspire science and technology interest and innovation among the 2 billion youth of the world. The opening ceremony for the 2017 First Global Challenge will take place at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, DC.