RoboMaster 2017: Geeks could be new idols in China

Updated 2017-08-07 17:34:43 CGTN

Drones in the air dropping bombs, robotic tanks firing guns, and young "soldiers" controlling robots with their fingers -- these are some of the scenes that you can see at the arena of RoboMaster 2017, an annual robotic competition for Chinese college students simulating the future battlefield.

In this year's event held in southern China city of Shenzhen, the South China University of Technology team won the trophy and a prize of 200,000 yuan (about 29,751 US dollars), beating the Shandong University of Science and Technology 3-1 in the final. Their robots impressed the audience with extremely high shooting accuracy and a unique structure design.

Xuan Junpeng from the winning team said they put a lot of effort improving the algorithm of shooting and re-designing the reloading units.

"We've been developing these robots since October and didn't rest in the summer and winter vocations. But it's really worth it. You can feel how heavy this trophy weighs," Xuan said.

The RoboMaster competition is familiar to anyone who's played a multiplayer game like League of Legends or Dota: two teams working to destroy the opposing side's headquarters with five different kinds of robots including three Infantry robots, a Hero, an Engineer, a Drone, and a Base.

More than 7,000 student engineers from over 200 universities worldwide registered for this year's games. But what makes these young engineers feel different is that they are really creating something here.

"In this robot competition, you can build your own robots. It's like raising your baby which makes it more fun," said Zhang Bing, also from the winning team.

Wang Tingwei from the China University of Petroleum admitted the robot competition gave him a bigger sense of reality.

"Playing video games is virtual. It's not real. But here, we can build our own robots and turn things in our mind into reality. It's more real and cool."

Combat robots fighting tooth and nail also attract huge audiences on the Internet. The organizers hope more young people will be inspired to become engineers who will build China's future.

Smart is the new cool. With more competitions like this, geeks could be the new idols in China.

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