News

The Ladies' College, Guernsey Wins Student Robotics 2019

All the teams from SR2019
All the teams from SR2019

That’s a wrap on Student Robotics 2019! Our teams have been working hard since November to design, build, and test their robots; finally seeing the fruits of their work on the competition weekend. It was great to see our competitors quickly adapting their robots, from the physical design to the software, to overcome unforeseen challenges; giving themselves every small advantage towards claiming victory.

The Challenge: Caldera

The arena with a raised volcano area
The arena with a raised volcano area
The Ladies' College Guernsey's token launcher
The Ladies' College Guernsey's token launcher
South Wilts Grammar School's volcano-climbing robot in the caldera
South Wilts Grammar School's volcano-climbing robot in the caldera

Our game this year, Caldera, challenged teams to control scoring zones with tokens while navigating an arena with raised platforms. Twenty-five scoring zones were arranged in a grid, varying in value from two points for each of the outermost 16 zones, a ring of eight on a raised “volcano” worth seven points apiece, to the the central “caldera” which was worth thirty points. Parking your robot in a zone tripled the points of that zone and the 4 adjacent zones.

There were a range of inventive designs this year. Many teams opted for tank tracks as a method of climbing the volcano. Instead of climbing the volcano, a few teams built catapult mechanisms with varying degrees of success. Others scooped up tokens and deposited them on the low scoring areas and/or the edge of the volcano. Some teams lifted tokens onto top-mounted conveyor belts which dropped them onto the volcano’s surface.

Some of the more notable designs were:

The Final

Student Robotics 2019 concluded with an intense match between Peter Symonds College, Hampton School and Lady Eleanor Holles School, The Ladies’ College Guernsey, and Hills Road Sixth Form College. Hampton and Lady Eleanor Holles School were quick off the mark pushing their tokens into the scoring zones. Hills Road soon followed, quickly shifting their tokens across the arena. Peter Symonds’s robot slowly moved 4 of their tokens into a single scoring zone before unfortunately flipping onto its back. Meanwhile, The Ladies’ College quietly moved towards the edge of the volcano and launched a token directly into the caldera.

We saw some brilliant robot designs this year, great work by all teams. We hope you enjoyed the competition as much as we did!

If you didn’t take part, or you want to enter again next year, the sign up page for next year’s competition will be up later in the year. Get a team together and start talking to your teachers now!

Results

Prize Team
1st Place The Ladies’ College Guernsey
2nd Place Hills Road Sixth Form College
3rd Place Hampton School and Lady Eleanor Holles School
Rookie Award Eltham College
Committee Award South Wilts Grammar School
Robot and Team Image Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School
Online Presence Collyer’s (Twitter)

We always like to see new teams joining the competition, and Eltham College were still able to pull their weight against our seasoned competitors. Their robot picked up a stack of tokens and used tank tracks as a method of climbing the volcano.

The Committee Award is especially important to us. As engineers, we are looking for the most simple and elegant solution to every challenge, and Team SWI from South Wilts Grammar School managed to do exactly that. Their robot was designed to take a single token into the highest scoring zone, the caldera, by using large wheels to climb the volcano. Over the course of the competition weekend, they made notes of other teams’ strategies and were constantly evolving their own to stay competitive. They also quickly and cleverly changed their approach to overcome technical difficulties midway through the competition.

We love to see teams dressing up to compliment their robot theme, and this year Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School won the Robot and Team Image award with their Hawaiian theme. This was complimented with inflatable palm trees and a 3D paper pineapple on top of their robot.

Lastly, we like to see the robot-building process over the course of the year, and Collyer’s were keeping us up-to-date on Twitter all the way from Kickstart.

For full details on all the awards, please see the rulebook.

You can see a breakdown of scores for each match, as well as the overall league ranking on the competition website.

High resolution photographs of the event have been uploaded to our Google Photos Album.

Of course, this competition would not be possible without the support of The Motorola Solutions Foundation, our sponsor for this year, who enabled us to provide a fun and educational opportunity for students from a range of engineering disciplines.

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.

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 start 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.

If you would like to find out more, please get in touch.

The SR Team

  1. Student Robotics is independent from the University of Southampton. 

SR2019 Competition Dates

We’re pleased to announce this year’s competition dates.

The Student Robotics 2019 competition will be held at Southampton University on the 6th and 7th of April 2019.

These two days mark the ultimate stage of SR2019, showcasing the months of preparation. Our teams will work hard to push their robots to the limit and quickly make repairs between league matches. We will finish the weekend with the finals where the best bots will be named victorious.

As usual, we will require attendees to fill out a media consent form.

For more information, please see the competition event page.

See you there!

Tech Days confirmed for SR2019

As was announced at Kickstart, we will be running some Tech Days during this competition year.

Tech Days are opportunities for teams to make concentrated progress on their robots with help from highly-experienced blue-shirts. They’re also an opportunity to get technical help and to see how well teams are doing in comparison to other teams. Later Tech Days may feature mockups of the arena, enabling teams to test their robots in more realistic ways.

As with all other events, students must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

We will be running Tech Days at the University of Southampton on the following Saturdays:

These Tech Days will be at the Highfield campus, start around 10am, and finish around 5pm. However are free to attend for as much of that time as they would like.

We are also planning to run some Tech Days in London. If you would be interested in a tech day in London too on these dates, please let us know as soon as possible. For the December tech day, we need enough teams by Wednesday 12th to make it happen.

We look forward to seeing your robots at our Tech Days!