The robot revolution comes to Melbourne

August 15 / 165

 RoboCup Junior State Finals involved 500 students in close to 200 teams from 42 schools competing in Robot Soccer, Rescue and Dance
RoboCup Junior State Finals involved 500 students in close to 200 teams from 42 schools competing in Robot Soccer, Rescue and Dance

 

Young robot designers revealed their machines at the 2015 RoboCup Junior competition, hosted by the University last week.

 

The RoboCup Junior State Finals involved 500 students in close to 200 teams from 42 schools competing in Robot Soccer, Rescue and Dance. 

 

RoboCup Junior has been running for 16 years and in the past year the entry level has almost doubled.

 

The robots all operate autonomously, without any human intervention. 

 

This is the culmination of months of planning building and programming in the classroom.

 

Students not only learn how to build robots, but also need to work as a team making the most of the different skills available within the team. There are programmers, engineers, managers, dress designers, team PR and fundraising and even choreographers for the dancing robots.

 

Dr Denny Oetomo from the Department of Mechanical Engineering in the Melbourne School of Engineering said the RoboCup Junior competition offers primary and secondary students an opportunity to create, design and develop robots.

 

“The competition not only allows students to demonstrate their engineering and mechatronics skills, but teaches them to work as a team,” he said.

 

“This year, teams have had the added advantage of being able to access new and emerging technologies such as 3D printers and laser cutters,” Dr Oetomo said.

 

A highlight of the tournament was the Open League Soccer. As well as the robots’ speed and ability to kick a goal from anywhere on the field, they were built from the highest cutting edge technology available.

 

Students submitted their plans to the 3D printer and in a matter of minutes their robot parts are created on the printer surface.

 

Winners will represent Victoria at the national finals in September. From there students can go to the RoboCup World Finals, or qualify for the World Robot Olympiad.

 

Story by Annie Rahilly

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