IBM Robo Challenge 2014


    This year the progress of the competition was documented through out the day by our live blogging team: Hannah and Meg from year 6 at Henry Cavendish and our very own Julia Lawrence, deputy director of London CLC. Click here to relive the day through their blow-by-blow account.

      The first contest was Best Dressed Robot, and we saw some truly stylish creations. The deserving winners of this category were The Walnuts of Walnut Tree Walk. Other great ideas included the Macaulay Rockers’ robot guitarist, Hitherfield’s fabulous jockey bot and the Grantronics’ robotic Thomas Edison.

     Next up was Strictly Robo Dancing. In this contest teams got the chance to showcase their Robots’ dancing talents, as well as the weeks of hard work and preparation required to achieve every single required element; from forwards and backwards movements, to turns (in both directions) to the elusive robot wiggle. We saw some superb routines but the overall winners were the Grantronics for their seamless interpretation of the music.

     In between the exciting competitive elements of the day, team members had the chance to get experimental with science and technology, in the morning’s TryScience project. Activities included measuring lung capacity, constructing a spaghetti bridge and building a protective vessel for a runaway egg!

      The next challenge was the Robo Race. Walnut Tree Walk, Granton and Hitherfield all made it through the heats, and the overall winners who picked up the crucial 10 point bonus were Hitherfield’s Swagga Ponies.

     After a well earned lunch break it was the turn of a few brave members of each team to take to the stage and share their group’s presentation on their experiences preparing for the Robo Challenge. We were blown away by the standard of delivery we saw, with children from some of the schools able to reel off their entire scripts without even glancing at their notes! There could only be one winning team, though, and fittingly it came from the same school that gave us our talented live bloggers; Henry Cavendish.

Presenters from St John’s Angell Town tell us about their Robo journey.

     Another fun activity the challengers had the chance to try was programming with a tiny computer: the Raspberry Pi.

I like the Raspberry Pi because you get to learn about programming and you are able to make your own computer game on Scratch.

(Ivan, Walnut Tree Walk)

     Possibly the most difficult challenge of all came next; the X Factor. This year the teams had to programme their robot to negotiate a complex maze in the role of a secret agent, rescuing the good guys and foiling a dastardly plot while avoiding the obstacles along the way.

The level of concentration from participating teams was phenomenal in this challenge, and we were amazed by the accuracy of some of their programmes. The winners, though, were the team who not only came closest to completing the challenge but who also avoided hitting any of their obstacles: Henry Fawcett’s Disco Dudes.

     As well as the many programming challenges the teams completed throughout the day there was also an opportunity for them to show off some of their creative flair. Clapham Manor were the lucky winners of the next challenge, in which teams used craft materials to create their very own Rubbish Robot.

     Clapham Manor wowed us with their inventiveness and creativity, but they also won another extremely important prize; the Team Work award. Judges noticed that not only did the Clapham Manor team work well together but they also showed support and co-operation towards competing teams. As well as winning them an NXT Robot for their school, this also earned an individual Lego kit for each lucky team member.

Throughout the day a running total of scores told us who was in the lead, and at the very end of the day the team with the most points were crowned this year’s victors. The deserving overall winners were…

The Swagga Ponies, from Hitherfield!

A huge well done to the Swagga Ponies as well as all of the other amazing teams, who rose to each challenge in such spectacular style.

See you all next year!

Leave a comment