Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Culture Determines Winning or Losing

- The recent trip to Bangkok made me learned a lot.
- From the performance of the Malaysia ROBOCON team, I could say, we are still far from reaching the standard of the real winner of the ABU ROBOCON.
- The cause of this problem is the technology used.
- China and Hong Kong manage to use dead reckoning in their mobile robot navigation with gyroscope.
- Even Japan can do dead reckoning by only encoder.
- What amaze me is the Kinect used for their robotic application.
- Kinect is a relatively new sensor in the industry and they have already manage to apply it in the game for 2011.

- Back to the issue, the root cause would be the culture.
- After coming back from Bangkok, I add a few friends from Japan on Facebook and I am surprised to find out they are only first year or second year students.
- Apparently, they know how to use upper level undergraduate knowledge like PID, self tuning, path planning and path tracking
- And another surprising fact is that they learn all by themselves.
- Compared to culture in Malaysia, it is a big difference.
- Take for example the UESTC from China. Although they do not win the domestics game in China, from their robots performance, we can see the technology used is far advance than Malaysia ROBOCON standard. Their training game field do not even have lines.

- The problem here is apparent.
- We have a culture problem that need fixing.
- One culture that we lack is the culture of knowledge.
- The knowledge is there, just no one wants to appreciate them.
- And if they do have the knowledge, implementing in real life is a hard part.
- Again, I would like to state is, what makes difference between winning and losing is culture.

- Therefore, if we kept on using our current system, we will never be able to catch up with them.
- They have their own standard and inevitably, in five years time or so, they will increase exponentially.
- The world of robotics is vast and is getting vaster.
- Problems like kinematic, path planning and tracking are deemed to be classical knowledge already.
- New knowledge like obstacle avoidance, artificial intelligence and human interactions are coming in.
- Who knows the standard of ROBOCON will be growing into. Like the 2011 game, robots need to deal with environment dynamics.
- Solution?