Brisbane Regional RoboCup

Eleven girls participated in the Regional Brisbane RoboCup competition, in the Novice ‘OnStage’ challenge. They formed three teams, each responsible for designing, building, and programming robots to perform either a dance synchronized with music or a theatrical presentation. Two teams opted for a theatrical performance, while the youngest team chose to dance. Each team’s performance was evaluated based on their stage presentation and a technical interview, which included a detailed technical description paper.

The Year 8 team decided on a circus theme for their performance. They showcased three robots representing an elephant, a strongman, and a clown. The team’s attention to detail was evident in the robots’ mechanics, such as the elephant’s moving head and trunk. Ultrasonic sensors were utilized to detect the elephant’s movement, triggering the strongman to lift weights and the clown to juggle balls. The elephant, programmed with colour sensors, followed a designated line throughout the performance. The grand finale featured a Gyro Bot moving between the audiences.

The Year 7 team created a captivating carnival atmosphere, incorporating robots that magically repaired malfunctioning parts. Their performance revolved around a Ferris wheel, bumper cars, and a merry-go-round. When the Ferris wheel experienced a breakdown, a repair truck equipped with a colour sensor followed a designated line to fix it. The timing of the repair was synchronized with the truck’s arrival. The carnival atmosphere was further enhanced by a rotating merry-go-round and the interaction between Cute Bot and BotXL, both programmed with Micro:Bits, serving as the bumper cars.

The youngest team, from Year 5, performed a dance routine involving ghouls and ghosts. They programmed an EV3 robot as the Zombie and used two Spheros to represent humans. The four team members acted as ghosts. The Spheros followed a mossy cobblestone path and entered a haunted house. Upon reaching the room where the Zombie awaited, the humans reacted by running away. The EV3 robot was programmed to wait for thirty-five seconds before commencing its dance routine, as if awakened by the humans’ presence. At the end of the performance, the two Spheros changed colour to green, symbolizing their transformation into Zombies.

Each team’s performance was assessed based on their stage presentation and a technical interview, which included a comprehensive technical description paper. This evaluation criteria ensured that the teams’ showmanship was considered alongside their in-depth knowledge of robotics and programming.

We couldn’t be prouder of our teams and the remarkable efforts they invested in their performances. Their outstanding creativity, teamwork, and technical expertise deserve high commendation. The Year 8 team won the competition, and the Year 7 team came second, with our youngest competitors receiving encouraging and positive feedback. Congratulations, girls!