Filipino American League of Engineers & Architects


by Joey Resurreccion

Elvine Philip Pineda II, a FALEA scholar since 2007 who is currently a Mechanical Engineering student at the Massachusetts Institute Technology (MIT) was part of a select team to participate in the prestigious Robocon 2009 competition that was held in Japan last August 2009.  He is one of the members of the team who won the over-all championship. Selected university students representing eight countries from well renowned engineering schools gathered up in Tokyo Denki University in Japan from August 6th to 18th, 2009 for the robotics competition.  Participating universities were Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA), University of Cambridge (UK), Sao Paulo University (Brazil), Seoul National University (Korea), Telecom Sud Paris (France), KMITL (University in Thailand), Chulalongkom University (Thailand), Suranaree Institute of Technology (Thailand), Thai-Nichi Institute of Technology (Thailand), KMUTT (Thailand), KMUTNB (Thailand), Kasetsart University (Thailand), Tsinghua University (China), Tokyo Denki University (Japan), Tokyo Institute of Technology (Japan). The Robocon 2009 was a twelve-day event where all participants did brainstorming, machine designing, and workshops. Engineering principles were applied during the designing stage such as the gravity potential, elastic energy generated by the spring, the electric energy generated by the controller unit, and the compressed air generated by the distributed air tube.  All machines were manufactured only with the provided kit that included materials and parts such as the motor, DC motor, pneumatic cylinder, micro-switch, solenoidal electromagnet, free bearing, bearing, gear box, spiral spring and miscellaneous items like plywood, aluminum plates, aluminum flat bars, aluminum square pipes, aluminum rods, acrylic boards, rubber sheets, rubber bands, adhesive tapes, cardboards, bamboos, plastic ties, clips, polyurethane tubes and wires. Their robots were put into test on the last day of the event on August 18, 2009 where each team competed with the rest of the other participants.    

On a televised interview, Elvine described the event as memorable and especially amusing.  His biggest challenge during the competition was the interaction among his team members because each one did not speak the same language,  and communication between them was extremely difficult. His winning team members (Orange Team) were Wentao Yang (China), Sirawut Tattiyakul (Thailand), and Sho Kojima (Japan).  According to Elvine, most of their interaction was by drawings on pieces of paper and sign or body language.  That was the fun part of it.  And because of their determination, exceptional teamwork and camaraderie, they made it.  For Elvine, it was an experience of friendship, fun, and triumph.

The competition video highlights is posted on you tube at



Elvine is a 2007 graduate of Damien Memorial High School in Honolulu, HI, and is the son of Philip and Elvi Pineda. The FALEA organization congratulates Elvine for participating in this prestigious tournament and we wish him all the best in his future endeavors.