Supporting the development of robotic technology and those working in the field is one of the most prominent initiatives of Volnoe Delo Oleg Deripaska Foundation. The programme aims to promote the development of creative skills of future Russian technical elite by bringing up engineering cadres for Russian industry starting from school.
In 2007, Oleg Deripaska visited world robotics competitions FIRST that has been held in the United States since 1992. Hundreds of children and teenagers enthusiastically built robots and were eager to use their skills not only for entertainment but also for more practical reasons. At that moment there were no such engineering initiatives or programmes in Russia. The idea proved extremely successful with more than 40 000 students from 69 regions involved in the robotics programme since its start in 2008.
The program itself is educational. Children, teenagers and youth aged 8 to 25 study mechatronics and programming in the resource centres created on the basis of schools, colleges, technical schools and universities.
Robotics participants pass exams taking part in engineering and technical competitions whose final stage is All-Russian Robotics Festival RoboFest that is held in Moscow.
In 2016, RoboFest was held for the eighth time. Since its start, RoboFest has become the largest robotics festival in Europe.
An annual competition among robotic vehicles RoboCross is also part of the Foundation’s Robotics programme. Russia has become the third country to organize RoboCross after the USA and Europe in 2010.
The winners of RoboFest and RoboCross represent Russia at the international robotics competition and participate in exchange programmes and internships in the USA, Europe and South Eastern Asia.
About 30% of the programme’s participants have been admitted to engineering faculties of technical universities since the inception of the programme.
Facts and Figures
160 500 000 rubles invested in robotics in 2014-2016
500 regional resource centers
27 universities participate in the program
8 partner enterprises