A team of robotics competitors from Kinross Wolaroi School have been selected to represent Australia at an international high school based robotics tournament.
The school’s team, the Blues Bots, made up of year 10, 11 and 12 students Georgia Edmonstone, Sneha Srikanth, Amy Button, Harry Allen, Alex Butcherine, Bradley Gavin and Will Prince, was named as one of the well performing teams in the Australian Zero Robotics Competition.
As a result they have been selected to compete in the International Zero Robotics High School Tournament, which runs from September to December.
The preliminary competition involving 50 high schools, was run by The University of Sydney.
It provided students with experience in coding and learning the maths and physics behind the motion of the robots used in the competition called Synchronized Position Hold Engage and Reorient Experimental Satellites (SPHERES).
The international final will require students to program SPHERES located on the International Space Station and will be held in January 2018.
It will include an astronaut conducting the championship in microgravity live from the space station.
This year, the Australian competition was expanded to give more high school students the opportunity to compete and gain valuable experience in programming a robot.
The Blues Bot’s coordinating teacher David de Bruyn said this is the first year the school is taking part.
“As far as we know we are the first regional school to take part, unless you include Wollongong, but I don’t think that’s truly regional,” Mr de Bruyn said.
With help from mentor Craig O’Toole, the students worked as a team to delegate tasks, communicate effectively and be well organised.
Although they learnt to develop strategies for successful game play, Mr de Bruyn said there was some difficulty with submitting code and overcoming networking issues during the six-week preliminary competition in July and August.
The Blues Bots will now compete against teams throughout the world with the competition run by Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston, USA.