Barbados Team Competing in Inaugural International Robotics Olympics

From left to right: Matthew Douglas (Mentor – Combermere School robotics teacher), Akeem Blades, Russell Burnett, Tabari Rudder-Fields, Donavan Goodridge, Videsh Maharaj

Dear All:

This morning at 5:00 am (13 July 2017), five students and their mentor left on a JetBlue flight bound for Washington, DC, USA to represent Barbados in the inaugural International Robotics Olympics (for 15 to 18 year old secondary school students).  Barbados’ national team will compete against teams from approximately 160 nations from 16 to 18 July 2017.

The opening ceremony is scheduled to commence on 16 July 2017 at 5:50 PM EDT.  The opening ceremony, competition, awards and closing ceremony will be live streamed on the Internet and can be accessed at the link below.

In the attached photo, from left to right: Matthew Douglas (Mentor – Combermere School robotics teacher), Akeem Blades, Russell Burnett, Tabari Rudder-Fields, Donavan Goodridge, Videsh Maharaj.

The team’s schedule is provided below.



FRIDAY, July 14

Teams arrive and check-in to the housing accommodations

Teams make sure to charge all batteries for phones, robots, and tablets



All teams arrive at DAR Constitution Hall

Robots are inspected to ensure they are compliant with competition rules

Team Mentor Meetings with FIRST Global President Joe Sestak are held

Teams participate in a series of practice rounds throughout the rest of the day

Teams return to assigned dormitory housing

SUNDAY, July 16

All teams arrive at DAR Constitution Hall

Final practice rounds take place that morning

Opening Ceremony practice runs take place throughout the afternoon


Teams return to assigned dormitory housing


MONDAY, July 17

Teams arrive at DAR Constitution Hall

Competition rounds 1 – 3 occur throughout the day

Teams return to assigned dormitory housing

TUESDAY, July 18

Teams arrive at DAR Constitution Hall

Competition rounds 4 – 6, occur throughout the day


Teams return to assigned dormitory housing

The team is scheduled to return home on 22 July 2017 at 2:47 pm on JetBlue flight 2661.


Best regards,


Walbrent College
– The College for Builders

Training people to build and inspect strong, low-maintenance buildings.

37 thoughts on “Barbados Team Competing in Inaugural International Robotics Olympics

  1. Areas like robotics, artificial intelligence more generally (AI), inter-planetary industrialization, human longevity, drone technology are the kinds of things our children, from infants should be exposed to.

    Indeed, Barbados could yet have a cyber army. LOL

    Instead of awarding people scholarships for regurgitating useless colonial nonsense we must force them to discover new knowledge which could be patented, develop new business models, spun-off in global markets at a premium, earn foreign exchange through the effective deployment of our only resource.

    Be creators, not copiers.

  2. Interesting observation the Barbados team is all male and the Afghan team- featured on CNN- is all female. Statistics show females are ahead of the males in academic enrollment at the tertiary level in Barbados. Not sure if it means anything.

  3. @ Pacha
    Pick sense from the fact that, far from promoting study among our youth in the areas you highlighted , drone technology has been banned from Barbados by the DLP government…

  4. David

    We are not surprised.

    What else could be expected. In cricket we see the same type of people trying to prevent progress.

    In both cases only the antiquarian device will do.

  5. First of all my commendations to the team, irrespective of its gender for this first step on what is a lucrative journey to endless possibilities.

    Drones, drone registries, drone management, drone killers form part and parcel of what 1st world countries do and do well.

    Unconscionable abuse of tools like drones for responsible leisure time, like model aeroplane flying is what 3rd world banana republic persons do and do well so finding the balance where there is no person in the power seat who understands that and any of the other technologies and what they can mean for our country IS “a Bridge Too Far” for our illiterate yet superbly educated bajan populace.

    Drone technology in praedial larceny while a possible tool for this issue has its logistical issues re: where the crime is being committed and who deploys the unit and thereafter “monitors” the act being committed.

    It begs the question if the persons committing the crime are just visually recorded while on the scene or followed?

    Again commendations to the organizers and one wishes the team success.

    Of course I can almost predict that there is no local website where one can see what these fellows are doing at today nor will there be any youtube channel to monitor their progression while in Murica, nor their submissions thereafter.

  6. @Pieces, thank you re 10:46.

    Drones as a mark on the technological line of life’s developments are relevant and important in exactly the terms you referenced: massive potential for those with the nous to appreciate and unfurl their benefits and wondrous joy and fun for those who can see only their ‘entertainment’ value.

    In sum, like a hammer it is a tool. Can be used to break down barriers or simply to drive nails into creating barriers….You have to keep hammers out of the hands of fools even as you must give those who can use them constructively full access.

    In avionic developments this tech has been fantastic, but the ‘explosion’ in usage way beyond the entertainment component must yet be properly managed.

    If to this day we cannot manage 100% the safe movement of vehicles in constrained space on roads then how do we perceive that we can do so with flying devices operated by people of all levels of sanity and sobriety in the wide open sky…unless there are very rigorous fail safe controls and careful directions.

    The Jetson flying car concept is viable and doable right now but will likely never be commercially deployed in our lifetime because of the inability to manage that in any practical way.

    @David: Drones by themselves can do no more no solve or rather help combat praedial larcency as let’s say a well organized set of concealed wi-fi night vision cameras coupled with proximity alert devices and so on. …

    Another tool in the arsenal surely to follow the perp surreptitiously back to their liar no doubt.

    Both as suggested above!

  7. This team shows that all our males are not lost, I commend them for their aptitude and wish them all success.

    Excellent use of drones in agriculture……..but govt has banned them….interesting.

  8. Have to 100% commend positive activities like this. Wish the youngsters all the best and more importantly that they gain valuable experience that shapes their future in a positive impactful way. More stories like this needed to motivate our talented youngsters. Other outlets exist beyond cricket and fete promotion

  9. When I read that Trinidad was sending a team, I wondered what happened to Barbados? This is fantastic news. The exposure will be great for the students and by being part of this robotics competition their chances of getting scholarships to USA universities will be enhanced. It would be nice if a brief biographical sketch (school, age, academic and extra curricular interests and future plans) of each participant could be given.

  10. @ Vincent Haynes July 14, 2017 at 1:29 PM
    “Excellent use of drones in agriculture……..but govt has banned them….interesting”

    If properly ‘manned’ drones can be used to cut down on praedial larceny and improved crop and livestock husbandry and general farm management.

    But as you know the embracing of science and technology is not a forte of Bajans when compared to the ready acceptance of any false fandangle religious soothsayer with bloodshot eyes of $$$$.

  11. David correct me if I am wrong but as far as I am aware there is NO ‘BAN’ on the use of drones per se. There was only a time period ban instituted last year on the further importation of the devices.

    The reasons given then by the government (attempting to control malicious use, get a compendium of users and certify all the devices etc) seemed quite legitimate and for all practical purposes made perfect sense.

    Now, that may have all been a smoke screen to ban the devices outright but I am NOT aware of any such subsequent legislation or directive….

    Has there been such issued?

    And re the death of the DPP , have you heard the word making rounds (or is this old news) that a former AG has claimed that the Guyanese gent (doing a Hal here) was very corrupt and as much as there is sincere and deep condolences for his family that certain folks look forward to what a new DPP will bring.

    All I can say to the latter perspective is ‘be careful for what you wish’.

    But realistically a man or woman of integrity in that position would shake the Bdos firmament to his core…so as is said other places with profound intent and meaning: the King is dead, long live the King (or Queen maybe in this case): no ‘regime change’ expected, of course!

  12. Steupsss and dribbles…
    Bushie’s mother had a saying about wanting to be in church and chapel at the same damn time…
    Why don’t you comment on Trump and other albino stuff with which you are familiar? …instead of your lukewarm interventions on things Bajan?

    You make definitive statements …and then ask the blog master to ‘correct you if you are wrong…?’ …steupsss again!! So if they ban the importation of something, .. is it not banned? What the hell do you think Bajans will do – GROW them?

    The government raised VAT from 15% to 17.5 % for 18 months too …. and for a very logical sounding reason too. They also took a 10% pay cut too….
    …No doubt you will argue that vat is not really 17.5% …. using your bogus reasoning….

    Lukewarm as shiite!!!

    ….Bushie still trying to distil the gist of what you are saying about the DPP…. or why you have said it – beyond having to say something….

  13. Bushie, I know you have to appeal to your adoring fans with the lukewarm palaver and other ill-formed commentary so I never take offense to your broadsides.

    So let’s play your inane game.

    If last year the govt had banned all NEW Cawmerians from entering the administration HOW would that have affected the thousands like you who were already a part or were a part of a govt admistration.

    So can you tell me how the 2016 importation ban affected all the others already sold or sitting in inventory to be sold.

    Bro to echo your previous remarks if you want to cuss me please do so with some modicum of sense. You are a bright fellow so act it out, fah real.

    And re the DPP I was asking a question….and then made a comment seemed quite simple to me.

  14. Dribbles, a drone is not like a cawmarian…. Vincent being the exception that proves the rule. 🙂

    First of all the technology of drones change almost monthly. Any in existence a year ago would be antiques by now.
    Secondly, without access to spare parts, all you will have is junk…. Think you can follow that?

    Thirdly, the very PRINCIPLE of having customs seize such technology sends a wrong message to such youngsters who could be genuinely looking at uses such as search-and-rescue, fire fighting, videography etc.

    ANYTHING in life can be used for good or for evil. This silly concept of ‘banning’ things is attractive to idiots – even after the experience of prohibition, and the more recent ‘banning’ of Mary J by the idiots of this world…. Mary J is a medical miracle that has been locked away from mankind by the kind of thinking you seek to support.

    The REAL challenge is to develop (by education) the kind of people who CHOOSE good (righteousness) over shiite (evil) … not to treat them like children by keeping sharp edges away from them…

    If there was any intelligence and wisdom in the DLP (or in your post), they would quickly and effectively deal with those morons who dare to misuse the technology…. while supporting and facilitating those brilliant youths with the vision to exploit its potential.

  15. @ BajeAbroad and others here

    How can we make this a repeat performance for Barbados?

    What do we have to do to get our youth locked on to ICT and the Internet of things? or on things other than sugar cane and tourisses?

    Or drugs and a killing a week?

    De Ole Man going give you a suggestion that will plant the seeds of making this inquisitiveness into alternative intellectual stimulation.

    The way that this will work is as follows.

    We will pick four schools in the primary school category

    Charles F. Broomes, St Leonards Primary? and Two others WITH PROMISE.

    (I know that this is at variance wiht my “let them all bid for the slots but…time to produce a deliverable IS NOT AN OPTION HERE)

    There are 10 local educators who have the skill sets to develop the curriculum that will surround these specific students who will be selected from the entire school

    De Ole Man can give you dem names too

    But they are EDUCATORS, not teachers nor lecturers, (and three cross disciplinary specialists) for while 7 of them do form part of those two professions they are first and foremost educators.

    De Ole Man will guaranteed you that by 2023, 5 years Barbados will be fielding teams of 20 students out of 100 locals every single year as opposed to that elitist crap that Dr. I forget he name de fellow from MIT who does run that CADSTI ting every year and doan produce a yang.

    Do not mind fellows like We Jonesing and de lady wid de edutech failure what we must do is “feed the fire” of ingenuity and innovation.

    But dat requires men and women wid vision of whom there are but a few in the meaningful positions to make a difference.

    Wid all the money the EU got for these types of programmes you cannot see the good Doctor Steven Boyce at the EU, wid he big title nor Chesterfield, nor Magnum PI at the MoE nor all dese fellers at the Information Society of Barbados e,g, de lied fellow Williams (sorry he is de friend of a feller here, so i got to watch me mouf) but you understand my point bout waste foops?

    All uh dem jes deah tekking up space like de walking dead


  16. Finally, I was trying to post that item from 11 oclock this morning.

    Ammmm De Word my friend. ammmmm…

    With regard to your reasoning ammmmm

    How many drones were allowed on the island before de ban?

    cuasing ef dere was only 10 den your reasoning about the multiplicity of Camerians already on the loose is a moot point dont you think?

  17. Bushie this one of your tautology arguments : a circuitous rant that feeds its own fallacy. So allow me a few more words and then I will step off n leave you to your fun.

    The ban was supposedly for a year and reasons were given. Dismiss the reasons or show the govt are liars re the ban reasoning but desist from specious folly.

    In almost every nation in the world there was an initial ban on drone use or severe restriction of the devices…and all due to practical , real reasons of security and societal ramifications to ensure viable controls.

    None of the bans preventing the flying of the devices (generally in certain space/altitudes etc) or in our case importation hiatus will stop wise people from developing uses and operational plans to utilize the devices….or smart kids from taking initiative.

    This is a stupid debate.

    Of course the tech is fantastic…as are many things….but we also have rules and regulations to manage them.

    Why is a practical and supposedly temporary decision causing all this irrational talk.

    Do your thing bro!

  18. @Pieces, the Cawmere analogy stands on its merit perfectly. I have absolutely no idea when drones started coming into Bim so whether they are 10 or 100 is your or my guess. The fact is however that there are cawmerians in the civil service/govt with their rotors buzzing “bout the place….so too drones.

    I condemned the stupid US travel ban because it solved nothing that current rules did not…this ban is 1) also temporary but 2) addresses new concerns that need to be regulated…… BUT realistically the govt could also have laid down some strict standards initially as they developed a solid framework for these devices.

    Surely the folks who flew model planes etc did not use their flying craft as these drones can be so tings must be organised better.

    Why all this conniption ?

    BTW, tell me bro if you see one of these tings hovering for hours above your castle do you have a WiFi jammer to bring it crashing to the ground or do you want some rational rules that prevents that type of prying…so you can take a pic/ video to capture the registration # etc and call the cops (oh dear, bad example)

  19. In almost every nation in the world there was an initial ban on drone use or severe restriction of the devices
    What the hell has this to do with importation of the things …or of spare parts? Go on You Tube and have a look at the number of countries where the sport of drone racing alone is driving the RC technology to its limits.

    OBVIOUSLY there are bans on such use…in public spaces, ….near airports, ..near military installations etc… but NOT one on BASIC access for approved purposes or research etc.

    An import ban on the technology is an altogether different thing.

    As to your ‘good reasons’ and ‘temporary’ -one year- timeframe, you obviously either have NO IDEA what you are talking about – or you are just another brass bowl Bajan who can easily be fooled by meaningless promises that it will “only hurt for a short time”….

    Everyone else knows that this government makes such ‘only for a while’ promises..just to get over the gullible….

  20. The ban on drones entering Bim has not been lifted…..if someone knows different kindly quote the journal number and page of the Gazette where it is so stated.

    Bushie…..ah gine deal wid yuh later causen yuh batting good pun dis drone ting.

  21. I generally approach things like these differently.

    Drones occupy 3 “spaces”

    The Home Enthusiast Market, the Commercial Market and the Military Market.

    Concurrently there are 4 elements to be satisfied.

    Hardware manufacture and/or assembly, software development, Regulation, and then “Management” or as de Word put it “killing the Wifi”

    There is a fifth element but I going keep dat to meself.

    “…According to the new market research report “UAV Drones Market by Type (Fixed Wing, VTOL, STUAS, MALE, HALE, UCAS ), Payload (Up to 25 Kg, Up to 150 Kg, Up to 600 Kg, Above 600 Kg), Application (Precision Agriculture, Retail, Media & Entertainment), Component, and Geography – Global Forecast to 2022″, the global UAV drones market size is expected to be USD 21.23 Billion by 2022, at a CAGR of 19.99% between 2016 and 2022. The major factors driving this market include the increasing demand for drones for commercial applications and rapid technological advancements in drones..”

    Of course, we can expect the dredges of society that we call our political leaders CANNOT SEE THIS.

    Note is made of the 100 + Graduants of the SPISE programme Dr. Warde but here is my bone of contention with you.

    You are a MIT professor who has assiduously applied himself to the “Robotics” spectrum for 7? years

    Your currency as a MIT professor and Head of Department parlays into 4 weeks of immersion into Robotics as opposed to a curriculum item in at least one school in Barbados.

    You who because of the retirement pension that you are being paid HAVE TO KOWTOW TO NO MAN OF WOMAN BORN playing politics and doing 4 week summer vacation exercises with schoolchildren

    Let me be clear.

    How much money was pumped into the 7 years of your summer school games?

    How many of the students have gone on to do anything in this field?

    What is the value of that output AFTER 7 freaking years?

    But you are a PHD from MIT!

    You understand what i am hitting at Cardinal?

    Even you, summa cum laude, first among equals, find yourself almost ten years later, dealing with the dredges effectively impotent.

    Where is your website? How is it being promoted? You who are the show pig for the DLP when dem chanting bout who dem got at MIT and de udder fellow from IBM.

    See why de ole man does talk bout waste foops? cause men like you, unlike me, DO NOT NEED TO GIVE A FLYING FVUCK bout none of dem.

    But you playing it safe cause you dont want it to “mess up your job prospects at 70 something.”


  22. @ The Honourable Blogmaster.

    To answer that question as to our inability to raise albinocentric denizens we could, as many will, default to the spiritual psyche of a people who are born to be hewers of wood and drawers of water

    We could also speak to the quasi geneticism of the mentality of slaves that seems pervasive and endemic across the region

    Or we can ascribe the blame squarely where it lies.

    In ourselves.

    When was the last time you heard a bajan giving directions Honourable Blogmaster?

    “….when you get to the road on the left DONT TAKE THAT ROAD….and when you see the first red house dont stop there mine is at the next right turn and is a yellow house…”

    And the sad thing is that every single one of you reading this will say “you know something, de ole effer is right yuh”

    just yesterday i heard that same thing but it was during some instructions that the foreman was giving the labourers, but he said it as follows “you see those four boxes there, I do not want you to move them but i want you to move the other ones…”

    The point that i am making Honourable Blogmaster is really very simple.

    We have been subject to an indoctrination of negativity that is so nuanced and pervasive that the collective DOES NOT THINK OF ITSELF IN TERMS OF POSSIBILITIES.

    Slowly and inexorably, like a droplet of water on the granite stone or the shoreline of the Animal Flower Cave, the land recedes to permit the occupation by the sea.

    We have whittled away any collective aspirations of being among the albino-centric best and now, having mastered regurgitation of disciplines, are are the forefront of the people mills for doctors and lawyers.

    Now do not get me wrong re my regard for doctors what i am saying is that these are safe and tested disciplines which, once you go to Med School and it is taught there then you cant go wrong.

    Ingenuity and inventiveness is something which is nurtured, for the most part, or which, despite all the odds around you, burst forth to overcome the legions of the Unnamed one ably led by the Demonic Labour Party and the other one the Bullers and Lesbians and Pimps.

    We are not ready AND ANYTHING OR ANYONE who would suggest a way to foster that type of “growth” is crushed, defamed and destroyed or worse still allowed to continue on their Sisyphus like travail seeking A Bridge Too Far.

  23. @Pieces, yours is an interesting interpretation of what I will call ‘a null-life direction”. You deem it negativity but even as you made that link to medical practices the importance and positive force of ‘null’ choices was made clear.

    How many times have you read of the wrong limb being amputated or similar egregious errors by a medical profession…and thus have you not also read that sometimes it’s perfectly valid (to save a life) to establish that null. So cearly marked words say: do NOT remove this right foot!

    Being negative is undoubtedly debilitating and destructive to our purpose in life but the simple saw that for every negative there is also a positive should inform our thinking more and move us forward with purpose and intent.

    Telling a person what ‘not to do’ is positive when you help them avoid the dangers ahead and hopefully gives free rein to explore unfettered all the other possible paths !

    Incidentally in the Observer article linked by the Blogmaster the author asked about another null-positive….”Would you you allow your child to drop out of college to pursue a dream or build a business?”

    There are lots of (lesser wealthy) Zuckerburg/Gates dropout type successes and then too there are lots of uni grads looking for work…so who is to say when the admonition NOT to take that first left turn coming out of College Avenue is positive or negative.

  24. De Word,

    In my attempt not to be my long winded self de ole man sought to find a generic and pervasive practice of such frequency that all and sundry could rapidly identify with the concept of “reinforced subservience and penchant NOT TO DO”

    Have you ever ridden that parallel beams pommel thingy or done that balance beam exercise that dem chinese does seem to lik up every single year at the Olympics?

    Why is it that we Bajans, wid de sea right behind our back door, ent got no Mark Spitz’s? Could it be “boy de sea ent got no back door, you gu’ long down deah and drown and see ef i doan lik out you melts!!”

    And why we ent got no balance beam competitors?

    Remember “go up deah and fall and brek you hand and see if i doan brek de nex one and give you a pair” See who gine was you as* when you got dem in a sling…”

    seemingly simplistic stories but I speak to you of what is reinforced or vehemently avoided (a strange juxtaposition of words if i must say so meself) while several generations accentuated the negative and denied any encouragement of the positive in our collective society.

    You tink dat Rihanna Fenty get where she is by dint of positive encouragement from the “village” in which she lived? pure chance my man pure chance?

    Look how a man come here and call the fellows above “geeks and something else”

    What is your mirror image resonates here with such clarity and it is why the more fortunate Cardinals among us, to whom much has been given must give back so much, as opposed to resting on their MIT laurels “lest they offend the gentry”.

  25. And finally for those of us who are anti-drone inclined here is an article for you to read.

    “With delivery drones set to fill our skies in the near future, dropping everything from donuts to pizzas, it’s no surprise that these cheap little flyers are being embraced by local law enforcement. Three police forces – Devon, Cornwall and Dorset – have teamed up to create the UK’s first dedicated drone unit that will provide 24/7 support to operational policing across the three counties.”

    Now mindful of the past infelicities of the Barbados Police Force as it relates to (i) killing people in their custody (just two months ago) (ii) killing people who they claim were seeking to escape custody (at the Furniture Limited Property a few years ago) 9iii) trying to kill people in their custody (Nazzim Blackett just a year ago) (iv) purportedly killing two of their own officers *** & *** who would have attempted to shed light on their infelicities and (vi) purported wiretapping of the past PM purported by a former Attorney General? and ostensibly to be the future PM of Barbados purported by a former Commissioner of Police, what would this technology portend in their hands?

    For certainly while it would bring some technology to aid in the fight against the carjackings and the late night robberies of the common bajan it might also mean that when a feller going to pass out an outside chick (or to be politically correct in Bulbados, an outside cock) de police would be abull, sorry able, to monitor that feller and where he is going.

    According to De Word, it is time to invent a “Drone Killer” technology or install a Sun roof in your car and use the 30.07 Remington rifles to shoot it down.

    • Good exposure for Barbados team. Given the lack of a STEM approach in Barbados they would have started at a disadvantage.

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