Award-Winning Robots. Made in SCIFI!

The second semester of the current academic year has been quite nurturing for the robotics culture and community at the American College of Sofia. Many projects designed and constructed in the Student Computer Innovation and Fabrication Institute (SCIFI) took part in and won awards from Robo Days ’23 at the Technical University of Sofia at the end of April. Robo Days is the biggest robotics competition in Bulgaria for high school and university students. Participating robots competed in four categories: Line following, LEGO line following, Mini sumo, 3D maze and Freestyle. The famous robotic dog Sharo by Momchil Kolev ’24 and Kaloyan Dimitrov ’25 won first place in the Freestyle category, while the robotics team ACS Phoenix, represented by Ivan Guylev ’23, Momchil Kolev ’24, Kaloyan Dimitrov ’25, and Dimitar Samokovski ’24 won a special award by the industrial automatization company Ekhaton. Omniplantus by Mario Berov ’25 and Boris Topalov ’24 won a special award from Bosch Engineering and Beep-boop101 by Kaloyan Slavkov ’25, Eren Aksoy ’25 and Konstantin Boyadzhiev ’25 sweetened up with a special prize by Liebherr Bulgaria. In addition to them, many other ACS students won places at the top of the competition, including fourth place in the category "Mini Sumo'', won by Alexander Arabadjiev ’26 and Yan Yordanov ’26. Ivan Tochev ’26 and Spas Stoimenov ’26 also took part.

Earlier in March, Stamat came to life at the FIRST Robotics Competition international event in Istanbul. FIRST is one of the biggest international forums for high school students.The year-round preparation for the competition includes recruitment, creating a brand image, and acquiring funding. Less than three months before the date of the event, the theme is revealed, and the team, with the support of its mentors, is expected to build an industrial-sized robot to complete the task. ACS students Ivan Gyulev ’23, Valerie Kamberova ’23, Ema Doneva ’23, Momchil Kolev ’24, Dimitar Samokovski ’24, Viktor Ivanov ’24, Eva Vladimirova ’24, Boris Topalov ’24, and Kaloyan Dimitrov ’25, alongside their mentors David Yordanov and Eda Yavuz, encountered a lot of obstacles, but nevertheless, managed to successfully complete the task after many sleepless nights. ACS Phoenix became the first Bulgarian team to participate in this competition. Enthusiastic preparations for next year have already begun, and the participants are even more motivated.

We express huge appreciation and endless gratitude towards the sponsors of the project Ocado Technology and Festo, without whom participation in the competition wouldn’t have been possible.

You can support the ACS robotics team at the upcoming Arts Fest on the 10th of June.

Anna-Maria Alexandrova ’26 contributed to this publication.