Bath teenagers triumph at Lego Robotics UK Championships

PUBLISHED: 15:15 08 February 2013 | UPDATED: 22:09 26 February 2013

Bath teenagers triumph at Lego Robotics UK Championships

Bath teenagers triumph at Lego Robotics UK Championships

A team of seven boys and girls from King Edward's School and Ralph Allen School Bath, aged 11 to 15, fought off fierce competition from 22 other teams to become the UK Lego Robotics champions

Bath teenagers triumph at Lego Robotics UK Championships


Now preparing to represent the UK at the World Championships in the USA

A team of seven boys and girls from King Edwards School and Ralph Allen School Bath, aged 11 to 15, fought off fierce competition from 22 other teams to become the UK Lego Robotics champions, in a competition designed to test young peoples engineering, programming, design and teamwork skills.

The winning team were presented with the trophy and their winners medals by Yewande Akinola, the UKs Young Woman Engineer of the Year 2012, at the UK finals held on Saturday 26 January at Loughborough University.

The competition included two key challenges:to design, build and program a robot capable of performing a range of complex tasks in a live competition, and to research, design and present an innovative product aimed at solving a problem experienced by elderly people. The four girls and three boys, from Ralph Allen and King Edwards schools in Bath, had to work independently without input from adults.

Triumph of The Beast

The Bath teenagers, who called themselves Untitled 1, built a robot of unusual size and complexity that became known as The Beast at the national finals, nicknamed by compere Paul Sleem (the only robot to receive such recognition!).

Using light, touch and ultrasonic sensors to find its way round the course, the Beast contained a range of attachments for specific tasks, and even included a detachable mini-robot for missions requiring more dexterity. It was the largest and most ambitious of all the robots at the competition one key reason for the teams victory.

A fingerprint-recognition doorbell

The team also invented an intelligent doorbell for elderly people which recognises visitors by scanning their fingerprints and informs the elderly resident who is at their front door via a screen display. For someone with either poor mobility or dementia, it can automatically open the door for recognised visitors. The system also reduces anxiety for older people by letting them know who is calling.

The team carried out extensive research with a number of elderly people as well as experts from organisations including Bath Institute of Medical Engineering, Rolls Royce and Age UK.

Looking forward to the World Championships in St Louis, USA

The team are now preparing to take on other national teams including the USA, China and Japan at the World Championships, which will be held in St Louis, Missouri, in April.

The UK finals included 22 teams who had each won a regional final. The South-West regional final is the best attended in the whole of Europe, and as a result four South-West teams (two primary, two secondary) go through to the UK national finals. This year the teams were Untitled 1, TechHeads, Robogens and Widcombe Wrobotiers. All four teams finished in the top half of the leaderboard.

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