RoboCup Junior Australia 2014 WA State Championships


David Meego - Click for blog homepageIt has been a while since my last post. I have been very busy with a number of activities (more on that in a later post). One of those activities has been this year's RoboCup Junior Australia competition.

For the last two years I have been the mentor for the All Saints College Robotics Club. I got involved because my two sons were creating cool robots at the club, and also because I wanted to join in the fun. What is better than combining robots and Lego to build and program robots built from Lego Mindstorms NXT and the new Lego Mindstorms EV3?

Aaron finished secondary school last year and so can no longer compete in the competition, but he still comes down to the club every now and then to mentor.

Rohan has this year and next year left at the school. This year Rohan has gathered a team together (Noah, Megan, Sarith, Josh and CJ (Christopher John)) and is competing in the Secondary Theatre category as "Pickle JAR Productions".  Secondary Dance is limited to 2 controllers and 8 motors and Rohan wanted to create more than one robot. Secondary Theatre does not have a limit on the number of controllers and motors, so you can have flexibility to create more robots.

We also have a number of other students competing from the school, including Pragash (Secondary Dance) with "The Inspector", Nick and CJ (Christopher Jack) (Open Rescue) "Me, Him and It", Disura (Open Rescue) "Sam", Anthony (Open Rescue) "Boxer" and a team of Year 7 students (Janardan, Liam, Mason and Mitchell) competing for the first time (Secondary Rescue).

For more details on the RoboCup Junior Australia competition, its divisions and rules, please check out the website: RoboCup Junior Australia.

If you can remember Rohan and his team's entry from last year, he had a dancing Teddy Bear. So this year the Ted is back (after a sex change) as Red in the story of Little Red Riding Hood. Red also has her friends Albert the Narrator and the BBW (Big Bag Wolf). For Red, while the external soft toy is the same, the mechanics of the robot are completely new. The Mindstorms NXT hardware has been replaced with Mindstorms EV3 gear. As each EV3 controller can handle one more motor now (total of 4), Red and the Wolf can have up to 8 motors with their two controllers.

Red has the following configuration, 2 EV3 controllers with 3 motors on the base and 4 motors to control the legs, each arm and her head. The Wolf has 2 EV3 controllers with 3 motors on the base and 4 motors to control the tail, each arm and the mouth, as well as an extra motor to control the flexible spine (made with wooden vertebrae and fishing line ligaments). Albert has a NXT controller with 2 motors to control his head and 1 motor for the arms. The last robot is the butterflies (watch the video) which has a NXT controller and 3 motors.

Below are some photos of Albert, Red and the Wolf:


Albert, Red and the Wolf (with spine hunched over)


Albert, Red and the Wolf (with spine straightened)


Red and the Wolf used a Killough "Holonomic Platform" base with 3 omni wheeled motors

The West Australian (WA) state competition was held at Sacred Heart College on the 1st and 2nd of August 2014. All Saints College entered all the teams mentioned above for the competition with the preliminary rounds held on the first day (Friday) and the finals held on the second day. At the end of the first day, all but one of our teams had made it through to the finals. Sadly, the year 7 team finished in 9th position failing to make the top 8 by only a few points. A great effort for their first year doing robotics.

Here are some photos of the teams:


Rescue Teams and their robots


Pickle JAR Productions team


All Saints College State competitors with Donna Hatton and mentors (David and Aaron)

On the second day, the All Saints College teams competed in the finals for Senior Theatre, Senior Dance.  Here are some videos from the day:

RoboCup Junior WA 2014 Senior Theatre State Championships - Pickle JAR Productions (Direct Link)

RoboCup Junior WA 2014 Senior Dance State Championships - The Inspector (Direct Link)

In the Open Rescue competition, our teams made it through from the top eight (Semi Finals) into the top four (Finals) and eventually into the top three (Grand Final). The Grand Final was three rounds to decide the final rankings for the three All Saints teams. Here are some videos from the competition showing each of the robots on the same track:

RoboCup Junior WA 2014 Open Rescue State Championships - Grand Final Run 1 - Boxer (Direct Link)

RoboCup Junior WA 2014 Open Rescue State Championships - Grand Final Run 2 - Sam (Direct Link)

RoboCup Junior WA 2014 Open Rescue State Championships - Grand Final Run 3 - Me, Him & It (Direct Link)

So after the smoke of the competition cleared, All Saints College came away with:

  • 1st Secondary Theatre - Pickle JAR Productions
  • 1st Secondary Dance -  The Inspector
  • 1st Open Rescue - Sam
  • 2nd Open Rescue - Me, Him & It
  • 3rd Open Rescue - Boxer

A fantastic results and vindication of the hours of work that the students put into their robots and performances.

 
Anthony, Nick, CJ, Rohan, Megan, Noah, Josh, Disura and Pragash (Absent: CJ and Sarith)

Now we plan for the National competition in Brisbane on the 27th and 28th September.

For the previous posts on the RoboCup robotics competition see:

Enjoy

David

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