RoboCup Junior WA is a statewide project-orientated robotics competition and educational initiative for WA students and mentors. It’s also great fun! Students are required to work together over the course of the year to design, build and program robots that can compete in one of three robotic challenges.
Create one or more robots that move in time to a piece of music, accompanied by student performers. Students choose the music themselves, and costumes and set design play a big role, with aesthetics and programming skills emphasised in the scoring criteria. Sensors may be used to detect human performers and/or the edge of the stage. On a more advanced level, Bluetooth can be used between robots to synchronise movements.
Design, build and program a robot to autonomously follow a black line that eventually ends in a ‘danger zone’ marked by a green circle. The robot then has to detect a ‘victim’ (in this case a silver aluminium can) and rescue the can by moving it out of the green circle. Courses are determined randomly on the day and include a number of obstacles such as corners, raised sections, see-saws and short-cuts that can be followed.
Build one or two robots that can play a game of Soccer against another team of one or two robots, scoring goals with an infra-red emitting ball on a specially-marked field. RoboCup Soccer promotes a high level of programming expertise, and also requires additional sensors to detect the ball and the direction in which the robots are facing. If you have students that are looking for an extended challenge, Soccer is a great place to start.
The annual RoboCup Junior WA state final takes place at Curtin University Stadium in the first week of August, with winners progressing to the Australian finals and some teams even competing on international levels.
If you’d like to come along and watch this unique event, entry is free and spectators of all ages are welcome on both the Friday and Saturday of the event.
The RoboCup Junior WA state final is organised by WA event partners Scitech and Rio Tinto. Further support comes from Curtin University and Murdoch University, and platinum national sponsors Modern Teaching Aids.
Registrations and more information can be found via the official RoboCup Junior WA website www.robocupjunior.org.au/wa.