Thanks to lots of work outside of class and many, many revisions of the robots and code, we had a reasonably successful trip to the Robocup Junior Australian Open National Championships in Melbourne during the October school holidays.

Earlier, Amity Bailey (Year 12) had won the ‘standard league’ division of Robocup Soccer at the State Championships. Her partner Bailey Kingston (Year 11) had been unable to attend that day.

The other GYC team, Nick Martin (Year 12) and James Gravina (Year 12), came second.

After the state championships Nick (standing, left) spent a lot of time rebuilding and refining the build of his robot, the goalie for his team.

James (keeling) came to GYC every weekday over the term break getting his striker robot ready for the championships. He re-wrote the code for his robot nearly from scratch, combing out the bugs that had made the compass unreliable and fine-tuning the turns that go back and scoop up the ball when it gets behind the robot. He worked hard to get a stall detector working, allowing the robot to backup and not get stuck in a scrum.

James, Amity, Bailey and Nick were taken aback when they arrived at the Robocup nationals. They found a huge number of teams and lots of very advanced robots. It was daunting.

However, they held their nerve and at the end of the first day, Nick and James (the Just Above Standard team) was tied for first place in our pool of eight teams. They had beaten some of the teams that had advanced building features such as omni-wheels and holonomic motion.

The second day was more challenging, as the omni-wheel robots teams had a chance to improve their code overnight and Amity and Bailey (the Bailey-Squared team, pictured right) had trouble with sensors not working properly.

Nick and James hung on to win a spot in the finals, but unfortunately lost in the first round.

In spite of the disappointment at the end, the experience was fantastic and everyone had a great trip.

Bob Elliott, teacher