Huge congratulations to King’s Ely Senior students, Elijah Martin, Evie Staples and Amélie Griffiths for winning this year’s RoboCon competition!

The talented trio were among thirteen school teams who competed in the regional robotics event at Hills Road Sixth Form College in Cambridge during the Easter Holidays.

RoboCon is a free annual competition for Senior School students, organised by the Robotics Society at Hills Road. The society provides each team with a kit containing all of the equipment required to build a simple robot, including a ‘BrainBox’ and a laptop that they can use to program it. Teams are encouraged to use this kit as inspiration to create a robot as simple or as complex as they wish.

The theme of the competition changes each year, and this year’s was ‘Hot Potato’.

Evie, Elijah and Amélie said: “Sadly, there were no real potatoes, only QR-coded cubes known as potatoes, and it was these that the game centred around. The objective of the game was to score as many points as possible. You scored points if your robot left its starting zone, pushed a “hot potato” out of your zone, or claimed possession of your “jacket potato”, originally located in a different team’s zone, and brought it back to yours.

“In the months preceding the competition, students involved were expected to produce a feasible strategy for getting points and to build a robot that could autonomously enact their chosen strategy. We quickly worked out that the strategy with the best points-to-effort ratio was to systematically sweep our area of the arena and push out all the hot potatoes, not making any attempt at the jacket potato.

“By the day of the competition, we had managed to prepare a working robot that proved to be very efficient and was able to achieve its purpose and rid our zone of the hot potatoes. During the competition, we encountered a few technical difficulties, including the platform connecting the servo to the arms falling off, and the tension of the wire connected to the arms being altered during a collision in the arena, but these problems were easily overcome. The only consequence was that we had to skip one round to make repairs, which in the end, did not majorly affect us as by the end of day two we had won the competition! Our thanks go to Mr Hawes and Mr Carberry for helping us along the way.”

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