Published 22 May, 2016
‘RGS Guildford’ from Royal Grammar School Guildford took 1st place at this year’s Student Robotics tournament, held at Newbury Racecourse. In a tense final, their robot beat The Ladies’ College, ‘Team GRD2’ from Gordano School, ‘Where’s Me Jumper?’ from Brockenhurst College and more than 40 other teams from around the UK and Germany to take victory.
The challenge: Sunny Side Up
For this year’s game, the competitors had to build and program robots to turn tokens so that their side faces upwards. Additional points could be scored by moving suitable turned tokens into the robots’ corner zone. Full details can be found in the rulebook.
This presented an especially difficult challenge; to score well, teams had to program their robots to decide which way to rotate their cubes based on their orientation. It was also a difficult challenge mechanically, as teams had to engineer a robust way to rotate their cubes.
The standard of robots was high this year, with some very advanced robots and a variety of approaches for flipping cubes. Whether it was vacuum pumps, a turntable, or even just a stick pointing out of the front of the robot, almost all of the robots were interesting and well designed. Some highlights were:
- ‘PSC Robotics’ from Peter Symonds College had their webcam mounted on a servo in order to constantly build up a view of the arena.
- ‘Systemetric’ from Hills Road Sixth Form College created a robot entirely out of copper-clad printed circuit boards.
- ‘Team GRD2’ from Gordano School created a beautiful ‘steam-punk’ style robot with a lovely under-glow.
- ‘Where’s Me Jumper?’ from Brockenhurst College decided to flip their cubes with a big fork-shaped rotator, atop their jumper-clad robot.
- Clifton High School’s robot ‘Hammer-Time’ flipped cubes with giant hammers, which was great fun to watch when it worked.
- ‘TWGSBrobotics’ from Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys produced a beautifully engineered robot with some very fancy electronics inside
Winning the knockout is not the only prize-worthy achievement at Student Robotics. A complete list of awards are shown below.
|1st Place||‘RGS Guildford’ from Royal Grammar School Guildford|
|2nd Place||The Ladies’ College|
|3rd Place||‘Team GRD2’ from Gordano School|
|Committee Award||‘TWGSBrobotics’ from Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys|
|Rookie Award||The Ladies’ College|
|Robot and Team Image||‘Measure, Analyze, Improve’ from Gymnasium Markt Indersdorf|
|Online Presence||‘Team QMC’ from Queen Mary’s College|
The Committee Award, given for an elegant and well made solution to this year’s challenge, was awarded to Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys, for their design made out of beautifully-machined wood.
The Rookie Award is for the rookie team who performed best in the league. Considering the team from The Ladies’ College managed to achieve 2nd place overall, they very much deserved the award.
The Robot and Team Image prize is for the team which present themselves and their robot in the most outstanding manner. This year the prize went to the team from ‘Measure, Analyze, Improve’ from Gymnasium Markt Indersdorf, who came all the way from Germany looking very Frankenstein-esque, wearing their bio-hazard suits and zombie face paints. Their robot was a rotten-fleshy-green colour with a brain exposed.
The Online Presence award is given to the team with the best website, social media presence, or combination of the two. This year it was awarded to ‘Team QMC’ from Queen Mary’s College for their entertaining regular updates on their blog and their relentless interaction on twitter.
For official details of what the awards are, please see the rulebook.
44 teams made it to the competition this year, 6 of whom came from schools or colleges which had not competed before.
Student Robotics 2017 promises to be bigger than ever! If you’d like to compete, see Compete page for more information. Start talking to your teachers and recruiting team members as soon as possible!
The Student Robotics Team
Notes to editors
Student Robotics is an annual robotics competition for 16-18 year-olds in the UK and Europe. It was founded in 2006 by university students and is free to enter thanks to our sponsors and many volunteers. Since it was first run in 2008, the final competition has grown from one room at the University of Southampton1 to the UK’s biggest autonomous robotics competition; a two-day event for more than 50 teams and over 400 students.
At the start of the academic year, teams are given a kit containing custom-made electronics at a Kickstart event, where the game for the year is announced. They then have until the end of the Easter holiday to build fully-autonomous robots which will compete against each other in the final competition. They are supported by volunteer mentors, and software to assist them in programming their robots is provided.
Student Robotics is independent from the University of Southampton. ↩