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Worldskills Sao Paulo: A quest for glory
  • <p>“We hope to attain good results and we will strive for it.”</p>
  • <p>“We hope to attain good results and we will strive for it.”</p>
  • <p>“We hope to attain good results and we will strive for it.”</p>

“We hope to attain good results and we will strive for it.”

Jun 2015

IVE Engineering will be sending four representatives to Sao Paulo, Brazil, to join the mobile robotics and mechatronics sessions of the Worldskills Competition in August, an international contest for the most talented technicians under age 23 from all over the world. Aiming to excel and bring prizes home, the IVE representatives have been devoting their best effort to training – technical, physical and mental – in the past few months. 

One of the most prestigious contests for young technicians, the Worldskills Competition represents 45 skills ranging from landscape gardening to construction metal works; it attracts participants from 72 countries and regions. For mobile robotics, the contestants have to build robots and write programmes so that the robots can perform certain tasks during the four-day event. On the other hand, mechatronics contestants are expected to build an automated system, for example shop tills and bottle-filling machines, so that the system can complete tasks assigned by the judges within a time limit.

The selection of the IVE representatives was a painstaking process. After winning the local Worldskills Competition, the lucky few proceeded to the next round of assessments until the very best were selected.

The Worldskills Competition is a challenging contest, so the IVE members have been undergoing rigorous training to prepare for it. The mobile robotics team has to spend extra effort as they are facing a new hurdle: the rules and competition requirements have been totally revised this year, meaning that past competition topics could no longer be used as references. “We attended a five-day workshop to learn about a new programme called LabVIEW, which we did not know how to use before the Vocational Training Council-sponsored workshop,” said Cheng Kin-pui, a member of the mobile robotics team. 

More interestingly, the mobile robotics team has been doing physical training, too. “We may be affected by time difference when we reach Brazil. The Brazilian fare is not something we are used to as well. So, the physical training aims at making us less prone to illness during the competition.” 

On the other hand, the mechatronics team has been receiving support from FESTO, a German industrial control and automation company, during training. In March, the IVE team, alongside representatives from Mainland China, Taiwan and Macao, were invited to its Shanghai office. “There are 13 working stations which represent the known questions of the Worldskills Competition and judges can choose from the pool of questions. So, we are now studying the manuals of these 13 working stations and getting to know their hardware and programming and trying to guess what kind of questions will come out in August,” said Leung Wai-kit, who will be joining the mechatronics session. The Vocational Training Council has also played its part to assist with the training. “The Vocational Training Council has sponsored the purchase of some stations and we are trying our hands at completing a combination of tasks. We are trying to learn about different manufacturing processes and the new products available in the market,” said Yeung Hon-lung, another member of the mechatronic team. By reading relevant catalogues from different companies, they will be able to make some informed guesses of the unknown tasks. 

After the local contests, the chosen representatives became familiarised with the requirements and ambience of the competition. “We want to win the competition and hope to be awarded with medals,” Mr. Cheng said. “We hope to attain good results and we will strive for it.” Determination is a prerequisite to victory, but no matter what the result will be, the four representatives have already been high achievers and have proven themselves as the best young technicians in Hong Kong. The Worldskills Competition will give them more international exposure, motivating them to strive for excellence. 

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