30 August 2006

Schools from Mackay to Brisbane and the Gold Coast were among the top-placed teams in Queensland’s premier robotic competition which has been held at The University of Queensland.

More than 400 students competed in the RoboCup Junior Queensland competition in five categories: Soccer, Rescue, Premier Rescue, Primary Dance and Open Dance. For a list of winning teams see below.

The students are now preparing to represent the State at the Robocup Junior Australian Open Championships to be held at UNSW, Sydney on September 16.

The students are competing for the chance to represent Australia at the world finals in Atlanta, USA in June, 2007.

Dr Gordon Wyeth, a robotics expert and senior lecturer at UQ’s School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering (ITEE) said the RoboCup Junior Competition had been operating nationally since 2000.

“The competition aims to encourage young people to take an interest in scientific and technological fields, he said.

“It’s an excellent opportunity to cultivate their interest through hands on creation, in a fun and exciting environment.”

Dr Wyeth said RoboCup Junior provided an exciting introduction to the field of robotics for young students.

“It offers a new way to develop technical abilities through hands-on experience with electronics, hardware and software and provides a highly motivating opportunity to learn teamwork skills,” he said.

Dr Wyeth said the upcoming generation would develop the technologies of the near future and robotics would very likely be a key technology.

“RoboCup Junior is all about learning the technical and teamwork skills that will lead young Australians to the forefront of the next technology revolution,” he said.

Dr Wyeth said world-class tutors at UQ had developed workshops to help students and teachers build their knowledge and understanding of the simple concepts that formed the basis of robotics.

Students took these skills back to the classroom, and worked independently to build and program the robots that competed in the Robocup Junior Competition.

The winning Queensland Robocup Junior teams are:

Junior Dance
1st place: Churchie Dragons - Anglican Grammar School (photograph available)
2nd place: Kimberly Park on Parade - Kimberley Park SS
3rd place: Lets get it Started - Pacific Pines Primary School (photograph available)

1st place: NLSC SES - North Lakes Secondary College
2nd place: NLSC SAR - North Lakes Secondary College
3rd place: The Demons - Sunshine Coast Grammar School

Dynamic Equilibrium - Corinda State High School (photograph available)
2nd place: Infinity - Mackay North State High School
3rd place: BGS 2 - Brisbane Grammar School

Open Dance
1st place: Churchie Dragons - Anglican Church Grammar School (photograph available)
2nd place: Snr-Bot Roar - Pioneer State High School
3rd place: The Crabby Patties - Independent team

Premier Rescue
1st place: Slownsteady - Brisbane Boys College
2nd place: Joshua Charlesworth - Varsity College
3rd place: Faith Deja Kaku - Faith Lutheran College, Redlands (photograph available)

Australian Robotics and Automation Association Award
BGS 2 - Brisbane Grammar School

UQ Encouragement Awards
Joshua Charlesworth - Varsity College (Lone Pine)
Yeronga Robotics - Yeronga State School (Science Centre)
Brainiac - Mackay North State High School
Tail feathers - Lourdes Hill College

For more information, or pix, contact Ms Corinne Gordon (telephone 07 3365 4195, email activities@itee.uq.edu.au) or Dr Wyeth (telephone 07 3365 3770, email: wyeth@itee.uq.edu.au)