Two Holon high school pupils who built a robot that raised an Israeli flag to the height of 30 meters beat out university students to win the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology's TechnoRosh competition on Thursday.
Each year the organizers dream up different ideas for students. This year's challenge was to have their robots climb up the Technion's senate building and then release the Israeli flag.
Tomer Fridel and Yotam Rosenblatt of Holon amazed hundreds of Technion engineering students by taking first place. Their robot rose along the sides of the Architecture Faculty building and raised the national colors. It was made of two rollers, one with a large and one a smaller circumference. Because of the difference in size, the small roller pulled the robot upward.
When it reached the top of the building, two disks were pushed backward, tearing a aluminum band and releasing the flag. "The wisdom is in the simplicity of the thing," said their proud high school teacher, Kobi Laham.
Yisrael Peleg, a Technion student, shared first prize for his robot, which he called "Bridge Between Heaven and Earth." He said: "I struggled with the wind using a mechanism that stuck to the wall. A Japanese knife cut thread, and the flag was released on a fishing pole that served as a flagpole. The robot rose thanks to a motor that drove a roller, which had a string rolled around it."
The traditional TechnoRosh competition is held every year at the Haifa institute in memory of its initiator, Seren Nif-Ya Darban, a Technion graduate and outstanding Israel Air Force officer who was brutally murdered a few years ago by a thief in a quiet Tel Aviv street.
Fifty projects were entered into the competition, and 42 reached the semi-finals; of these, 18 were in the finals. Three of them were of high school pupils, and there was also a team of Darban's friends from the air force.