On Saturday 17th November, over 50 Year 9-11 pupils from eleven schools from across Cambridgeshire came to Hills Road to take part in a kick-off launch event ahead of the Hills Road RoboCon, a robotics competition that will take place next April. The competition is organised by students from the Hills Road Robotics Group.
The launch event started off by introducing the competitors to this year’s competition game and rules. Once the competition rules had been explained to the teams, a selection of workshops were on offer, including giving advice on everything from how to get robots to move autonomously to using computer vision to navigate.
In order to enable as wide a participation as possible, the Hills Road Robotics group of students have designed a ‘starter-kit’ which they loan to the teams of pupils taking part in the competition, free of charge, thanks to generous sponsors of the competition who are Arm, CITRIX and Frontier Developments.
The kit contains everything the teams need to help get them off the ground. It enables them to use the full extent of their ingenuity and creativity to solve the challenge of the competition. In addition to providing the teams with starter-kits, the teams are encouraged to think of strategies to win the competition.
The Hills Road students were impressed with the wide range of ideas and suggestions that the competitors came up with, many of which they had not thought about!
This year’s competition will involve robots identifying, moving to and picking up cardboard cubes, and then returning them to a ‘home zone’. Whilst the objectives of the competition are relatively straightforward, the competitors were able to come up with countless ways to approach the problem and optimize their solutions.
The Hills Road Robotics students were kept on their toes throughout the session assisting the teams by answering their questions and lending them a hand. One of the Hills Road organisers Arvan said, “It was great to engage with younger pupils and help them solidify and develop their ideas using the experience we have gained in previous years.”
“Although we were super busy, I think everyone really enjoyed the experience and we look forward to seeing the competition develop in the coming months.”
“The day was a resounding success with everyone having tons of fun with an extremely productive five hours.”
If you are interested in finding out more about the RoboCon competition please see our website https://hr-robocon.org