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Jordanian AI team bags second place in international competition

By Maria Weldali - Jan 25,2021 - Last updated at Jan 25,2021

AMMAN — Jordan’s Robotna team, the LETA Robot, won second place in Codeavour 2020 AI, an international Artificial Intelligence (AI) and coding competition, organised by STEMpedia.

Robotna is a social startup that gears towards strengthening skills of creative thinking, spreading technological knowledge and future science, as well as, incorporating innovation-related thinking into the academic subjects, through cutting-edge robotics and modern technology training, Jaser Alharasis, founder of Robotna told The Jordan Times over the phone on Sunday.

“Robotna was started as an initiative back in 2013 in Tafileh Governorate, to give disadvantaged schoolchildren a firm grasp of AI and technology-related science, and to serve the common good,” Alharasis added.

Robotna’s programmes include robotics, technology intelligence and future science related trainings. According to Alharasis, about 5,000 groups from 99 countries took part in the competition, each group consisting of two participants.

“Fifty Robotna groups from the Kingdom participated in the competition,” Alharasis noted. Groups received an intensive 20-hour-long training programme, in addition to a number of counselling sessions, Robotna’s founder said. 

“LETA Robot project was developed by two sisters; an eighth grader  and a ninth grader,” he added.

LETA Robot’s project uses AI to control the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Alharasis who said that the Al Karak Innovation Club, another Robotna group that participated in the international competition, received “an honourable performer award” due to being one of the “best participating groups”.

In 2019 Robotna trained 3,500 disadvantaged schoolchildren across seven governorates and in 2020 a similar number of beneficiaries received training programmes, Alharasis noted, adding that Robotna offers training programmes to schools and academies for a fee, part of which goes to the funding of workshops for the less fortunate. 

STEMpedia fosters 21st-century skills in kids by enabling them to tinker with electronics, programming, robotics, IoT and related tech at an early age, according to the company’s website.

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