Caracas — “I have never worked with a robot or anything similar in my life (…) it’s the first time and I’ll tell you I’ll take this”: Stefhanie Lúquez, 16, programs a robot that is capable of lifting and moving a container onto a ship. Lúquez wants to represent Venezuela in the World Robotics Olympiad to be held in Panama in November. But before she will have to test the skills she just learned, in local tournaments. She blurts out a “no!” she continued whenever her robot, fashioned from small toy parts, deviates from the path printed on paper. And immediately her hands go straight to her head with a lamenting gesture that is mixed with a smile. He does not give up and tries again and again to adjust it together with other colleagues who are in a room with computers and containers with plastic parts at the Center for Educational Innovation (CIED) of the Catholic University of Venezuela (UCAB), host of local competitions and which provided robotics kits and computers to schools without resources. Stefhanie Lúquez, 16 years old, programs a robot that is capable of lifting and moving a container onto a ship. First time in a world cup of robotics Venezuela has not participated before in a world cup of this type, and the efforts to promote robotics and technological development in schools have been “isolated” or in a “particular” way. Public education in this country is going through, like many other sectors, a deep crisis. Many schools are in ruins, without running water, electricity or even a computer. Some institutions are even facing a lack of teachers. Assaf Yamin, CIED consultant, points out that more political will is needed to promote these subjects within the educational system. “The fact that the boys can build a robot that solves a certain task, that empowers them and makes them creators of solutions (…) and we live in a country that requires a lot of solutions”, he insists. One of Lúquez’s two companions does not take his eyes off the pieces that she is adjusting. “We have had problems, but nothing is impossible,” he says optimistically. Next to him, Gerardo Urdaneta, 16, handles terms very well and confidently explains each process, despite the fact that two months ago he had no idea about robotics. “Two months ago I came here as a rookie. They told me: ‘well, this works like this, asao, parboiled’. I didn’t understand ‘parboiled roast’, so I just started experimenting with my colleagues, seeing what each thing does, how the program works and what could make the robot move forward and do the functions we need it to do”. And though he hasn’t quite met the challenge, he proudly says, “This robot here is basically the result of quite a bit of trial and experiment.” “We built the chassis ourselves from scratch completely, and the claw was quite difficult to make, but it was achieved”, he congratulates himself. “This is all very new to me.” “What we need the robot to achieve is to be able to easily move or mobilize the ship to the arrival area that they ask us for,” he explains. “It has to move precisely and quickly, at least to meet the challenges it sets for us.” It is the first challenge on the road to Panama, where the canal that today is emulated on a scale is located. The World Robotics Olympiad will be held in Panama in November. Connect with the ! Subscribe to our channels Youtube and WhatsApp. Also activate notifications, or follow us on social networks: Facebook, Twitter and instagram.