BT Challenge

The Finals of this year’s UK Robotic Games was held in the Munrow Sports Centre at Birmingham University . The event was attended by over 300 students from the whole of the UK . Regional qualifiers were held earlier in the year to determine who would take part in the Finals. Over 100 machines took part in a variety of challenges that ranged from underwater swimming and electric drag cars, to robotic football.

The events required young people from schools and technology clubs to design and build machines that would then compete against each other in one of the 15 challenges made available this year.

By far the highest number of entries were in the 12Kg Featherweight category.

From the heat stages in May to the Finals in July there was a remarkable improvement in the reliability and times set by the machines. The students had obviously learnt from their qualifying experiences and returned to their clubs and schools to make the necessary adjustment in time for the July finals.

The sumo event required two machines to have a best out of three competitions to remove the other machine from a raised plinth.

The football event lasted three minutes a game, and was probably the noisiest challenge that really encouraged crowd participation.

In the Obstacle Course, the machines recorded remarkable times. The winner eventually getting under 20 seconds.

On the track this year we had Robotic walking races, as well as egg and spoon, and electric drag cars.

There were many other categories such as antweight combat, line followers, and robotic micro-football.

The most hilarious event had to be the Water Wars. Which saw machines (designed to sink) kept buoyant only by a few balloons. The object was to sink your opponent by piercing their balloons. An experimental event this year that went down really well.

Also in the pool were underwater and over water swimmers.

Hundreds of young people have taken part in a technology event that is both fun, competitive, and extremely rewarding.