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Israeli Fire-Fighting Robots Extinguish Competition

First Publish: 4/29/2004, 3:21 PM / Last Update: 4/29/2004, 5:21 PM

On the other hand, Israeli-designed and operated robots swept the 11th Annual International Fire Fighting Robot Contest this month, taking the three top prizes and six of the top ten places. Forty-five teams from seven different countries, including ten from Israel, took part in the competition, which was held at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut.

The first place award in the High School Division of the prestigious competition went to the six-member team from HaYovel High School in Herzliya, with their robot "FF-01=FE"; in second place was the team from Aviv High School in Ra'anana, with "Robo-Gyg"; and the third-place winner was the team of high schoolers from Ramot Hefer, with "Citizen Tito". Blich High School of Ramat Gan finished sixth with a robot named "Zosha", and Ramot Hefer and Aviv won additional prizes in the 9th and 19th slots.

The specific challenge of the International Fire Fighting Robot Contest is to build a computer-controlled robot that can move through a model floor plan structure of a house, find a lit candle and then extinguish it in the shortest time possible. Contest guidelines stipulate that the contest is meant to simulate the real-world operation of a robot performing fire protection functions in an actual home. The candle represents the uncontrolled fire, and the "maze" stands for the dynamic variations and problems that may be encountered in a real fire emergency.