Sunday, October 19, 2008

Robot Race At PPKTJ

Short note: It has been more than one month since this event unfolded and I only get to post this up now. This will be the final part of the trip of the Japanese lecturers and students to Malaysia during the last summer holiday. I got a feeling that this post is a tad longer compared to my normal posts, as there are pictures and videos as well in this post.
One main part of the school trip of the Japanese lecturers and students to Malaysia was visiting PPKTJ.
PPKTJ stands for Pusat Persediaan Kajian Teknikal ke Jepun, or Preparatory Center for Technical Studies to Japan, the place where we did our two years of foundation before we continued our studies to Japan. However, it has since moved to a new place as the old building has been demolished to make way for constructions of some new buildings. Although it has been moved to the new place at Yayasan Selangor building along Jalan Raja Abdul Aziz, it will only serve as a temporary place for the students because in a year's time, it will be transferred to INTEC in Shah Alam.
The new place.
It was also my first time to the new place, and I would say the old place was much better in terms of accessibility and convenience. This new place is located in the middle of the city, and I find it hard for students to move to and from their hostel in Sri Rampai. Unless they take the bus provided by the university or drive there, it would be almost impossible for them to walk or cycle there, like what some of us including me used to do last time. Furthermore, there are hardly any eateries within the proximity of the area, and most of the students skip their lunch nowadays.
Yet, not a bad idea for those who are on diet, eh?
A slide presentation by one of the Japanese student.
Back to the main event of the trip to PPKTJ on that day, I was late for the event that morning. When I arrived, I found myself missing out on the opening speeches, and the introduction session by the Malaysian students, in which they performed dikir barat. It later continued with some slide presentations from the Japanese students, which I managed to catch it.
Each of the Japanese students had their own presentations.
Oshima, talking about himself.
Demonstration of the way to wear the kimono by the Japanese girls.
Another Japanese student explaining about the annual Nagaoka Fireworks Festival.
This guy was presenting about the bamboo and how they are used in cooking.
I sometimes think that Eikawa Sensei (the guy on the right) resembles Mr Bean.
However, of all the presentations by them, I have to say the one presented by my classmate is one of the most interesting of them all.
The popular Mr Lady Contest, held every year in my hostel.
This is the part I love the most.
I like one particular part, where he said he has a worry, that is he is popular among the guys but not of the opposite sex. He then asked the rest what should he do and the funniest part was when he put there in bracket, by signaling them to laugh. Damn lame can.
The next event was dividing the students into eight small groups and starting to work on the Lego sets. Basically, each group are given one Lego set and they are required to build a robotic racing car from it based on the instructions, and later program the movement of the car using a laptop. After everything is done, there would be a race in a pre-determined course and the group that finishes the course with the fastest time will win the competition.
Fixing the small parts of the Lego set.

Programming the robot with some software using a laptop.
The students took a break at noon for lunch and prayers before continuing working on their respective robots. I took the opportunity to make some catching-ups with my Japanese lecturers who taught me a couple of years ago. Well, I do not know every lecturer there, as there have been lecturers who had stopped teaching there, as well as new lecturers coming in over the years. It was during that time that I got some updates on what has been happening recently, and the major changes there have been in PPKTJ.
Of course, we took pictures together as well.
Two dwarfs in between the Twin Towers.
Do re mi fa so, but Kodama Sensei (far left) was out of position, while I was protecting my crotch for no apparent reason.
Who doesn't know Low Sensei?
Salwati Sensei is no exception either.
One group picture with the lecturers.
Basically, the race course consists of eight boxes placed on the floor. The robot is equipped with a censor, which enable it to stop and turn to sideways depending on how it is programmed every time it approaches a particular box. The goal is to move the robot to the finishing line, without making contacts on the boxes in the fastest time. One of the group seemed to make it to the end, but not quite.

Worse still, some forgot to fill enough petrol.
Sounds simple, but it was not, as seen on some groups. Through the process of completing their robots, there were groups who were not that lucky. Their robots did not turn out like how it should be. Some began to make weird movements even during the early stages of the course, just like this one.

Some of them must have done the opposite thing, as their robot looked like it loves the boxes more.

This is worse; it already turned to somewhere else even before it approaches the first box.
However, after hours of effort on their robots, each of them barely managed to complete it, although it was not a certain whether it would work as how it should. Finally, it was the time for each of the group to race their robots. Everyone there was anticipating to see how will they fare, after toiling for almost half of the day.
One of the team who had completed fixing their robot.
Another bunch of hopefuls who would know their fate moments after that.

Let the race begin.
Not quite everybody though.
Sato Sensei was trying to resist the temptation to join the four in front.
In the end, only two teams managed to complete the course. Others had problems in programming the turnings of the robots and they did not manage to reach the final goal. Here are the videos of the two teams who completed the course.
Messy but quick.
Slick but slow.

The winning team truly deserved their prize - one 1GB pendrive for every group members because they build and programmed their robot so precisely that the movements were smooth and fast, without any hiccups. After the announcement of the winning group, it proceeded with the prize-giving ceremony. The prizes were placed inside envelopes, that I heard someone was saying that it looked like they were distributing early duit raya for the students.
First runners-up.
The winning team.
Santa Claus giving away
duit raya.
No prizes for them, but they still wanted to pose for the camera.
One last thing before the event ended was the closing speeches from Puan Rosyatimah, representing the lecturers of PPKTJ; and Professor Dr Aoyagi from Nagaoka National College of Technology. Before everyone dismissed from the hall, the Japanese lecturer introduced a traditional Japanese way for ending the event. It was some chant, and ended by clapping their hands only once.
Puan Ros delivering her short speech.
Aoyagi Sensei thanking everyone there for their support and participance.
"I count one, two, three, then we clap our hands together, okay?"
Students helping out to dismantle the robots after the event.
One last group picture, before we left PPKTJ.
Some odd exceptions when I am not the tallest in a picture.
This was the last time I joined the Japanese, as they returned to Japan the next day while I followed my friend back to his hometown in Ayer Tawar to visit his place. In a nutshell, not only I managed to bring the Japanese around KL and give them a clearer idea how our country looks like, I also had the chance to come across quite a number of incidents, both nice and not-so-nice ones, which to me are valuable experiences that I would not get to see normally. In fact, it was my first time visiting most of the places that I brought them to and I would considered it as a holiday for me personally as well.
This is what my lecturer gave me, as a token of appreciation - two pieces of scarfs, which I thought they were handkerchiefs at first.
The badge, with my name and course (M4 stands for Mechanical Engineering, 4th Year) is not part of the souvenir, but given to us when we were at PPKTJ.
I am glad that I decided to join them for the whole trip, as it was a truly enjoyable trip.


Joyce said...

Calvin... i really have to compliment you on your detailed post. It is a real enjoyment, reading post like this, since i did not take part in the event, it really helps :D

post on d `shit` however, i rather not say. Haha....

Next time u can sign up as official blogger when we have any events liaw. Haha....

Cieri said...

ni ke muka2 kohai...hurm....
i wonder who will be in niihama next year....

K3ViN said...

wah look sooooo happening wor... but i unable to view the video..... so i view it later :P

Anonymous said...

another enjoyable post.. it feels like s though i'm one of the ppl joining the trip s well, hehe..

i wonder if i can go visit PPKTJ someday too :p

Crabbed!! said...

"Low Sensei"...

Are you insulting Loh Sensei's height?? ROFL...

Endoru said...

Tell your classmate that since he's "Mechanical Engineering Section", it's obvious that he's popular among the "man". Only one guy ay. I am enjoying all the English errors in the slides. :)

mg said...

i wan the red scarf can? =P

calvin said...

@ joyce:
to get a compliment like that from you, it makes me feel that the time i spent on this entry was worth it :)

no worries, that 'shit' kind of entry won't come out that often ;)

being an official blogger to cover ppktj's events, i am entitled to collect at least a few hundreds yen from each of you guys, right? =P

calvin said...

@ cieri:
make you pick and tell eikawa sensei =)

calvin said...

@ k3vin:
yes, it was quite an interesting event. make sure you have a look at those robots which failed to move properly xD

calvin said...

@ sakura:
thanks, and i'm glad that you enjoyed this post. you can always pay a visit to ppktj, as a visitor =)

calvin said...

@ crabbed!!:
i better keep my mouth shut. you know, just in case low sensei saw this lol =P

calvin said...

@ endoru:
hahaha. i didn't notice that until you mentioned about it. nice spot-on ;)

and yes, that really makes sense xD

calvin said...

@ michelleg:
dunno? =P

Kae Vin said...

mechanical engineering students sure donno how to do programming one.


calvin said...

@ specialhuman:
those kids have not started their engineering course yet ler. give them a break mah xD

Anonymous said...

hey u really look like an elf in lord of the rings, and ur so tallllllllll

calvin said...

@ anonymous:
errr, is that a compliment? but to be honest, i have never watch lord of the rings (yet). i'm not that tall actually. just so so xD

by the way, will you mind if i get to know who is this? thanks :)

Anonymous said...

i am just a new reader who is just scared to simply state my name , but u dun know me at all, lol, but what i said about ur height is not an insult just observation only , ur really tall la.......and u look like an elf(again , not an insult) like LOTR , go watch the movies , u seem to have those kind of ears .....maybe u were an elf in ur past life?lol

calvin said...

@ anonymous:
hehe, no worries. i was only pulling your leg there =P

i have a pair of long ears, but that is just to balance up with my height, right? xD

it is okay if you prefer to remain anonymous, but a nickname will be much better, ain't it?. and thanks for having an interest to read my blog. hope you enjoy and will continue reading it :)