Robo-champs: William Ahern, Evan Broderick and Jack Kelly of Killoughteen NS
PUPILS from Killoughteen NS in Newcastle West “wrestled” their way to victory in this year’s Analog Devices Primary School Robotics Competition which took place in Limerick last weekend.
The sumo-wrestling robot designed by the Killoughteen trio of William Ahern, Evan Broderick and Jack Kelly saw off robots designed by pupils from 29 other Limerick schools and secured them their claim as robot champions
It was heady stuff for the 100 or so pupils who took part in the final of what is the fourth year of the Robotics Competition.
But before competition day proper, up to 900 pupils across the city and county had taken part in workshops in their own school, learning the basics of robotics. At these workshops, almost 900 students were taught the basics of robotics and, working in teams, got to design, build and test their own robot.
The winning team from each of the 30 schools then got to compete in the Limerick-wide challenge. And it was most certainly a challenge for the 10-12 year olds. The theme and game objective were only announced during the workshop, to allow the judges to score the 30 teams on their teamwork, design and innovation.
In the afternoon, each team played four matches as part of the pool stages with the top 16 teams going forward to tense and exciting knock-out rounds where the final points were allocated.
At the end of the final, the highest placed team, Killoughteen, was crowned the overall winner. But the Monaleen team of Noah Connell, Anna Gleeson and Nikolay Stioakine put up a strong challenge to end up as runners-up.
“Based on what I have seen here today our future is in good hands,” said Brendan O’Dowd, General Manager, Industrial Automation, Analog Devices when he announced the winners.
“It is great to see such huge interest from schools in this competition,” Mr O’Dowd continued. “Feedback from past events tells us that students enjoy this early experience of robotics design which gives them a taste of the exciting challenges that a career in engineering could offer. The abilities shown here today in teamwork, problem solving and robust competition are all skills that will be valued by the business of tomorrow.”