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Springbot team excels in Global Robotics Olympics
4th Quarter 2018, News & events


A team of learners from Tshwane was placed sixth out of 180 teams from around the world participating in the annual FIRST Global Challenge Robotics Olympics in Mexico City. The teams were required to build and code their own robot. Team South Africa, which named itself The Springbots, also won The Walt Disney Award for Imagination and Creativity, awarded to the team that displays the most creative approach to problem solving. The University of Pretoria’s MakerSpace centre and a group of engineering students mentored the team, training them to build and code a functional and competition-ready robot. This year’s theme, Energy Impact, required learners to think strategically how to make the shift towards a cleaner and more efficient energy source. The team had to build and code the robot to show how mechanical components, coupled with software, can address real-world problems relating to sustainable and renewable energy.

The robot, which was required to be 50 cm x 50 cm, was then handed to the team of learners to dismantle, practice and redesign, based on MakerSpace’s advice for the competition. At the competition in Mexico, the team had to reassemble their unit and test its connectivity, software and mechanics to ensure it was functional. Their robot was then given just two and a half minutes to select the best energy options by placing boxes in corresponding areas to activate the chosen energy source. In some instances, mechanisms such as the wind turbine crank needed to be activated.

For more information contact Liesel Swart, University of Pretoria, +27 12 420 3650, liesel@roundtree.co.za, www.roundtree.co.za


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