Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Infomatrix2013: Verònica and Tatiana Benalcazar Vayas, two Ecuadorian sisters on the cusp of the global robotics. Won the Gold medal.

WorldWide Tech & Science. Francisco De Jesùs.


Infomatrix2013: Two Ecuadorian sisters on the cusp of the global robotics. Won the Gold medal.


Prototype Vitrectomy is the national apparatus constructed with parts that will restore sight.

 Veronica and Tatiana Benalcázar Vayas are the creators of the first national prototype eye surgery robotics won the world Infomatrix 2013, in Romania. This is not the only awards of the two cotacacheñas. Twenty gold medals, trophies and diplomas reward their talent and imagination.

An aluminum sheet to which are attached three screens liquid similar to a smart phone buttons and keypads cover cables, air hoses, valves, sensors, motors and filters to irrigate ablate tissue or blood clots that impeding the vision of patients with retinopathy.

 So looks like the prototype with Veronica and Tatiana Benalcázar won the gold medal at the World Infomatrix 2013, held in Bucharest, Romania in May 2013.

Veronica, most of them, that the idea of ​​participating in this competition came in December 2011, when an ad on the internet found out the biggest event programming projects worldwide.

Then started the adventure of these sisters. The first step was to think about creating national technology that provides a service, a contribution and innovate. So brainstorm invaded these brilliant minds and winning 11 races in local, national and international robotics, in which they have participated together and  individually.


Luis Benalcázar, his father, who is dedicated to the maintenance of ophthalmic equipment told them the need to have an apparatus to remove the vitreous humor of the eye patients, ie when the opaque fluid for some reason (eg bleeding) must perform an operation known as a vitrectomy, wherein the surgeon removes the mood vitreous clouding the eye and replaces it with a saline solution.

The next step was to acquire fat medical science books, understand the anatomy of the human eye, diseases that invade and how to make the vitectromia or surgery to remove the eye opacities.

This was no easy task, says Tatiana 24 years. The younger sister that medical science books are expensive and are almost always written in English. They acknowledge the support of all members of his family. From his grandparents Arthur and Rosa Gomez Benalcázar who inspired them since childhood, his parents, uncles, cousins ​​and even his best friends and academics.

Once you understand how the human eye. The challenge was to get the elements that compose its prototype eye surgery. This machine is built with readily available items that can be replaced easily in case of failure. So the device is cheaper and efficient.

Hard work and little sleep were the tone for the sisters for two months. On February 22 at the University of the Americas (UDLA) presented the Prototype Vitrectomy in the VI Latin American Contest Computing Project.

That the Scientific Community Technological Continent gave them the gold medal and 2013 to be internationally accredited representatives of Latin America in the category Hardware Control in the Event: The International Computer Project Competition INFORMATRIX 2013, in Romania, Bucharest, from 16 to 20 May at Universitatea De Sud-Est Europei Lumina.



Best programming projects in one place.

The International Informatics Project Competition "Infomatrix 2013" is a competition that features the best in IT projects in the world. This meeting, organized by Lumina Educational Institutions, the Ministry of National Education, seeks to develop the imagination and creativity of young people in the field of technological innovation.

With accreditation to participate in global competition, began a new adventure: seeking funding to cover travel expenses. Along with his mother, and a folder of applications, beat several doors of public and private but received no response.

Navigating social networks Evolutionary found, a service created for young Ecuadorian they learn, participate, solve doubts, proposed and seize every opportunity, programs and services dedicated to them. Evolutionary directed them to seek help at the National Secretariat of Higher Education, Science, Technology and Innovation (SENESCYT).

They were supported by the program "Financial Aid", which is a complement to other scholarship programs that have SENESCYT. This program aims to financially support students, teachers, researchers and professionals to cover the cost of items related to their higher education, training, retraining, professional training and / or research to strengthen their capacities.

Although the feat did not end there because in less than two months had to change 70% of the prototype due to air transport regulations limiting the weight and volume of the luggage. For this new developed electronic cards, designed new systems to a voltage 220V and a new compressed air system. So a few days before traveling to the city of Bucharest managed the new prototype.

The first prototype of Vitrectomy 'made in' Ecuador.
The Prototype is a prototype Vitrectomy eye surgery that removes the vitreous (gel that fills the eye socket) when it is cloudy and prevents the visibility of the individual. This device cleans opacities; allows removing blood clots, treat infections and other diseases.

The technique involves inserting quirúgica human eyeball within the cannula to place saline irrigation, replacing the cloudy vitreous. A fiber optic light illuminates the retina and vitrectomy tip blade cuts with a small diseased tissue.

Through software and hardware designed by sisters cotacacheñas, the physician performing the intervention can control fiber optic light that illuminates the eye socket; irrigation cannula maintaining intraocular pressure in the eye moisture, and the instrument which cuts and removes the vitreous.

Air turbulence
Getting to Bucharest, Romania, was laborious for sisters Veronica and Tatiana Benalcázar. The prototype traveled completely unarmed eye surgery. They had four suitcases accommodate transformers, electronics, screwdrivers, computer equipment and spare parts for your project Vitrectomy.

The team, which takes three weeks in arm, was calibrated and tested in just two days in Bucharest for Tatiana and Veronica Benalcázar will compete. In 2013 Infomatrix clashed with 45 countries and 249 projects in the categories: Programming, Computer Art, Hardware Control, and Robotics Short Movie. Exposing your project was conducted in English.

Despite the troubles, on 20 May at the National Palatul to Copilor, Ecuador was declared champion of the category Hardware Control. The judges felt the winning one gold medal for research, wit, difficulty, usefulness and originality of the project Vitrectomy Prototype.

So Benalcázar Vayas sisters impressed the judges. The team, made with few economic resources readily available materials, software and hardware designed and developed by them myself, was awarded the highest award in programming world.

These sisters cotacacheñas, representing Latin America in global competition programming Ecuador name placed on Azerbaijan, Bosnia, Georgia, Malaysia, Romania, Turkey and Ukraine, which were also finalists.
First Circuit ...

A hippo toy was the first thing Veronica and Tatiana disarmed. Knowing why emitted a sound like a buzzer motivated them, but that was not the first time the research instintito invaded them. Ayda Vayas, his mother, proudly boasts that they disarmed their toys to see that they had inside, arming puzzles, legos and creating new toys.

Both grew up in Cotacachi. There playing with tools, scraps of fabric, leather and wood workshops in sewing, carpentry and mechanical Benalcázar his grandparents Arthur and Rosa Gomez. In those places experienced at an early age, the rewarding feeling of building something for themselves. Such emotion is similar to that feel now, when after many attempts, an electronic card works. Veronica explains that the electronic card is like the brain of your robot Arturito (named after his grandfather and preceptor), sensors are the eyes and the chassis is the body of this and other prototypes that have earned with his 'nursemaid' once robotics competitions at local, national and global levels.

Veronica studied Electrical Engineering at the Salesian University. She admits that the numbers were always his passion. At 17, he discovered his love of wires and circuits after completing a bachelor's degree in Physical-Mathematical received at par Electricity practical option in Ambato Association. The older sister Benalcázar Vayas family Arturito think late 2009. The robot has two wheels for mobility and hundreds of cables that allow follow defined routes and move on schedule. This underwent several transformations (arrangement of sensors, new design change control board and programming) until 2011, when he won first place in the Robotics Intersedes ENIR Ecuador.

In the same year, both sisters worked on two robots creditor who made the first and second place in the International Robotics Intercon (Peru) 2011 in the category line follower robot dexterity, fully completing the track. These robots have wheels, cables and electronic cards that allow programming.

The mill was inherited from his parents, both engineers. And in the scraps of fabric from her grandmother dressmaker discovered their taste for design. They also love mathematics, physics, languages, art, painting, crafts and graphic design.

Veronica and Tatiana have it hard to be women in the world of robotics. "Our greatest sin is to gain the skills, some participants are macho and we close the doors because our robots are the fastest skill of Ecuador". Veronica and Tatiana share different tasks such as: design, implementation and programming electronic cards.




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