Battle of the bots

SumoBot challengers: Smithton High School students took part in a competition in applied robotics, building and programming robots to enter into battle.

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Competition. Smithton High School students have tested their technical skills in a robotics race at the University of Tasmania’s Cradle Coast campus.

The local school and Yolla District School took on a SumoBot battle, a new competition allowing students to practise applied robotics.

Working in teams, students were challenged to build and program EV3 robots to remain inside a ring, detect an opponent and push it outside the boundary.

A number of rounds were held, with the top two teams facing off in a final.

Pro vice-chancellor Professor David Adams said the institution hoped that the experimental pilot project would lead to a future annual competition in the region.

“Our aim is to build aspiration and skills in the digital technology space, which is considered to be integral to the future employment market,” Professor Adams said.

“The competition also presents an opportunity for young students to experience a university campus, and see where higher education might take them.

“We are very keen to work with external parties, both in education, industry and the broader community, to build these important skills across our region and beyond.”

Smithton High School science and digital technology teacher Sarah Prior said the competition idea stemmed from the digital technologies curriculum which is being implemented across the country.

“Through having inter-school robotics competitions, students’ learning has a greater purpose, and we also have a chance to work with other teachers in digital technologies,” Ms Prior said.

“This particular event is a first step in what we hope will become a regular tradition of robotics competitions in the north west.”