Jona and Nika, the members of Croatian team “Saper Aude”, won the Best Modification Award in the WARC-MakeX Challenge Competition, and they also gained the best result among 15 overseas teams . This was their first time to participate in MakeX Challenge Competition and also the first time to come to China. So they felt really excited with this competition.
The team name “Saper Aude” means “dare to know” in Latin, and this is also their team slogan because it reflects the team spirit. Daily learning and new insights, testing the limits of one’s own knowledge are exactly what drives this team.
They have also designed their Team logo: it contains the shape of Croatia. The shape is filled with the colors and coat of arms of the Croatian flag. At the top is the name of the city of Osijek from which the team comes and the name of our country. Team logo also contains the team name, Sapere aude, as well as the team slogan “dare to know” above the outline of the head that symbolically reflects the process of thinking using a series of gears.
We have interviewed the 2 beautiful girls after the competition, and let’s see what they said about the competition.
Q: Which city are you from? What do you think are the differences between China and Croatia?
A: We are from Osijek, a town in the east of Croatia. Osijek is fourth largest city in Croatia. Lifestyle, traffic and lots of other things are different in Croatia than China. We live in a town which population is about 100.000 people and we came in Chongqing which population is much, much bigger. It was different, but very nice and we loved our stay in Chongqing. Architecture is amazing and people are very nice.
Q: How and when did you begin to play the robotics?
A: Nika started going on robotics group in the 6th grade. Year later our teacher Tomislav Pandurić invited me to come one time to see what are they doing and I liked it so I stayed in the group. Our mentor is great motivator and he always wants to teach us new things. He is our mentor in all competitions that we attend.
Q: How do you feel competing or forming alliance with Chinese teams?
A: It was a pleasure to work with Chinese teams because they are more experienced than we are and we could learn from them. We had opportunity to be in a alliance with Chinese team and it was great. We easily cooperate and split jobs. Competing against Chinese team was hard because their robots were very good and they were really good controlling robots in manual stage. Competing and forming alliance with Chinese teams has opened up new ideas for us to improve our robot.
Q: We knew that you are the team that has gained the best result among the 15 overseas team in the competition, what do you think makes you to gain this result?
A: Our mentor and we worked hard for the past two months. We learned many new things about robots and programming in the way we didn’t do before. We built our robot and tried our robot in arena. After that, we saw what is good and what we have to improve, and then we tried it in arena and working on robot again… 🙂 it was challenging, but also fun and we like it. And, like we said we didn’t expect this, but this result affected at us very motivating to work even harder in the future.
Q: We noticed that you have cried after the competition, could you please describe your feeling at that moment?
A: We didn’t cry because we lost the match. I started crying because robot was working well until that last match and then something went wrong. When Nika saw me crying she started to cry too. We knew what was wrong with the robot but we couldn’t do anything about it because we couldn’t touch the robot anymore till the end. We were really sad but then volunteers hugged us and it was already better.
Q: Do you have something to say to MakeX?
A: We have nothing to say but great things about MakeX. The organization was extraordinary. We had wonderful time during competition. It was not all about competition, it was also about exchanging of experience, expanding knowledge, learning different approaches. We hope we can repeat it in December.
As the mentor Tomislav Pandurić said before, “until a year ago it was unusual to see a robotics team that has a girl as a member, let alone that the entire team is made up of girls only.” These 2 girls have really served as an example for other girls across the world to engage in similar activities.