Issue 10
Monday, 03 July 2017
Charles Darwin University
E-news
From left: Reuben, Yuen, Elisabeth, Taria and Kerryn at the RoboCup event in Alice Springs
From left: Reuben, Yuen, Elisabeth, Taria and Kerryn at the RoboCup event in Alice Springs

Kids meet challenge in robot games

By Patrick Nelson

About 600 Territory school students have put their coding skills to the test at RoboCup Junior events in Alice Springs and at Casuarina campus.

Charles Darwin University Science Outreach Coordinator Paul Lyons said the children worked creatively in teams to program robots to compete in robotic soccer, dance and rescue.

“It’s a fun program for young people to experience engineering science and technology in a way that develops their intellectual and problem-solving skills,” Mr Lyons said.

“We want kids with good IT capabilities and who are adept at adjusting to different challenges.”

Mr Lyons said that in the soccer event, students designed and programmed two robots to compete against an opposing pair or robots by kicking an infrared transmitting ball into their designated goal.

In Rescue, students programmed a robot to negotiate various obstacles on a path to a chemical spill rescue scene, then manoeuver “a victim” to safety.

Among the 100 participants in the first RoboCup in Alice Springs were the “Desert Bots 5”, a home-school team who dressed up their robot as a sailing vessel for the dance competition.

“In Dance, teams are encouraged to think creatively, to interact with their robots and to give them personality,” Mr Lyons said.

“It’s an exercise that integrates science, technology and the arts,” he said.