On July 28, St Michael’s hosted the RoboCup Junior Rescue Melbourne Regionals for the third year, where students designed, engineered and programmed robots that autonomously navigated an obstacle course to rescue a ‘victim’.
With 144 team entries; comprising 329 students from 25 schools and organisations, this year’s RoboCup was the largest rescue yet at St Michael’s. We had 11 teams and 24 students across all 4 divisions ranging from Years 5 to Year 8 compete.
In the Open Division (the most advanced), we had two teams, ‘Gavvvvinne’ by Tim (8B) and Liam (8B) and ‘Catbot 7.0’ by Dominic (8B) and Zac (8H). Tim and Liam finished in a commendable 5th out of 13 teams and completed two successful rescues in their 5 rounds. Both teams have spent considerable time and effort over the past 12 months and all deserve to be commended.
In the Secondary division, ‘Mibot’ by Chloe (7B) and Jaime (7K) stepped up two divisions from last year and finished 19th out of 38 teams. Mibot is aiming for the State and National competitions later this year and this event was a fact-finding mission on what worked well and potential areas for improvement.
Students worked diligently throughout the day to make improvements to their robots as such reliability wasn’t fine-tuned. At the core of these competitions is the essence of learning and collaboration, and it was fantastic to witness our students problem solving the final stage of their code and a competing team member from another school offer some great advice during the process.
In the Riley Rover and Primary Divisions, we had all first time teams that finished in the middle or lower placings. One team suffered the unfortunate event of dropping their robot and students attempted to rebuild it between rounds but with the level of damage, they had to forfeit 4 of their 5 rounds.
This event is a learning experience for our students and the results as such are not indicative of the learning outcomes. For some of the teams, it was a great achievement just to get ready for the competition.
We are looking forward to entering some teams in the State and National competitions later in the year.
Mr David Howard
Director of Learning Technology and ICT