KOOV Challenge 2019 Event Report

161 international challengers gathered in Tokyo to present their KOOV creations.

Thank you very much to everyone who had gathered to participate in the third KOOV Challenge, held on August 17th and 18th at Sony HQ in Tokyo. The KOOV network has even grown since its second edition in 2018, inviting 161 challengers from Japan, China, and as far as Australia to stage.
The event consisted of two sections: “Team Competition” and “Presentation Contest”. In the former section, challengers were asked to complete a given task in cooperation with their teammates. In the latter section, they were to give a presentation each on their original KOOV projects. Here is a report on how children tackled a task that had no specific answer.

August 17th. Team Competition

On day one, challengers worked in teams of three to compete in the “Team Competition”.
The theme of the challenge was “Get Messy”; their mission was to drop as many KOOV blocks as possible to a hole and “mess” the competition field. They were given two hours to build a robot. Each team took communication and went through trial and error to come up with their original strategy within the limited time.

Since the details of the competition field had been kept hidden, participants showed their expression of excitement once the field was unveiled.

After some announcements about the rules were made by the staff, each team finally started off to create a robot. They exchanged ideas on how they wanted the robot to look like and make it move with code.

Once they made a prototype, they gave a test run on the trial field to see if the robot moved as they planned.
Of course, not everything went perfect from the beginning. If something didn’t work as they planned, they discussed what could have been wrong and improved the prototype to try it again. Many teams repeated the same process to get the expected results.

And finally came the performance time. It was very impressive that, despite the nervousness, each team managed to proudly present the characteristics of their robot and their strategies. Each robot was then set at the starting position of the competition field.

After the challenge…
Some of the challengers left the stage with an accomplishment of receiving an award, and some may have left disappointed about their results. We hope that each and every experience will be a motivation for all to challenge themselves and aim for the next level.

August 18th. Presentation Contest

Day two was the “Presentation Contest” day.
This section was open to both individuals and teams. This year’s theme was “Make Cleaning Fun”. Not everyone enjoys cleaning, so in this challenge, participants were asked to come up with an idea that makes cleaning fun with KOOV, and present their projects in front of the audience. Since the definition of cleaning varies depending on the participants’ background, lots of unique projects were presented.

The Presentation Contest finally kicks off.
In the qualifying round, the two groups of lower graders and upper graders gave presentations on their projects. Each participant passionately presented their ideas to proceed to the final round held in the afternoon. Some of them gave their presentation in English.

After the finalists have been announced, it was time for the final round. In the final round, the finalists talked about their projects on stage in front of all participants.

“Peace Planet” was the robot that was awarded a Gold prize in the lower graders’ group. The idea was to clean up the micro-plastic waste floating in the sea while enjoying a trip on a luxury cruise ship. The judges were impressed not only by the idea and its output but also by how the presentation was given in confidence.

In the upper graders’ group, the Gold prize was awarded to the robot “Aroma Bottle Dispenser for Cleaning”. This machine randomly dispenses aroma bottles when the push switch is pressed. Each aroma oil can be used to clean up different parts of a house and if you finish cleaning up the house with all the aroma, your house will end up smelling nice. After the cleaning is complete, a snack ticket will come out from the side which will surely keep up the cleaner’s motivation.

The projects made by one of the Chinese participants were presented in full confidence and impressed the judges as well as the Japanese participants.

After the Presentation Contest…
As one of the participants commented “It was interesting because I could see different ideas and different points of view even if we all had the same task”, the event provided the participants an opportunity to learn new aspects regardless of their backgrounds. We hope that they can make the most of what they learned to be an even more innovative creator. The Third KOOV Challenge ended successfully, thanks to everyone!

The Judges of the third KOOV Challenge

Many experts took part in the third KOOV Challenge as judges. We would like to take this opportunity to express our appreciation to them all.

Kanji Akahori (Professor Emeritus at Tokyo Institute of Technology, Chairman of ICT Connect 21, Chairman of Japan Association for Promotion of Education Technology)
Shigeru Ikuta (Professor Emeritus at Tokyo Metropolitan University, Professor at Otsuma Women’s University)
Qingshan Shu (Director of China Computer Federation, Director of Shanghai Industry-University Education Cooperation Association, Faculty of The School of Cyber Science and Engineering of Shanghai Jiao Tong University)
Kazumi Misawa (Professor at Musashino Art University)
Ryuji Enomoto (Lecturer of Sacred Woman’s University, Former Associate Professor at Tokyo Women University)
Tatsuya Sato (Chief advisor of the Board of Education at Chiyoda city)
Tsutomu Ishide (Principal of Meidai Junior High School)
Naonori Koya (Principal of Kinryu Elementary School)
Yukari Nakamura (Ohyu Gakuen Girls’ Junior and Senior High School)
Mitsuo Okumura (Sony Corporation / Brand Design Platform, Creative Center)
Masaaki Isozu (President of Sony Global Education, Inc.)