From education to employment

.@SERC host annual #RoboCon competition

South Eastern Regional College (SERC) students from the School of Computing and Engineering took part in the second annual RoboCon competition which took place at the colleges SPACE Campus. Students designed and built robots to take part in a range of timed challenges to reach the finals and be crowned champions.

The competition took place in front of family, friends, peers, parents and under the watchful eye of the judges.

The ROBOCON 2018 competition required participants to compete in teams of two to design and build a robot using microprocess control to complete a maze and move to an arena to throw ping-pong balls into targets. The competitors have worked tirelessly on their designs since the beginning of term in preparation for the event.

The students and their robots had to race to complete the task in just 3 minutes with the top two robots going into a grand finale. Prizes were awarded for the most innovative and most competitive robot, presented by SERC Director of Curriculum and Information Services, Dr Michael Malone and Director of Further Education at the Department for the Economy Beverley Harrison.

Winner for most innovative robot was ‘Brick’ due to the unusual sensors and level of programming used in its design. ‘Brick’ was designed by students Emmet McCartan from Castlewellan and James Morgan from Carryduff from the Level 3 Extended Diploma in Manufacturing and Electronic Engineering at the Colleges Downpatrick Campus.

Winner for most competitive robot was ‘F5’ designed by students Ross Shaw from Lisburn and Patrick Beatty from Downpatrick from the Level 3 Extended Diploma Electrical/Electronic Engineering course. Both study at the colleges Lisburn Campus. Both teams were awarded on Amazon Echo Dot as their prize. 

The competition was a great example of the benefits of Project Based Learning with collaborative input from numerous trades and disciplines across the college including production arts and music student’s providing the entertainment, and hospitality providing front of house service.

Marks were awarded for overall quality of work produced, ability to work within the timeframes and the fastest robot to complete the circuit.

The standard of robots at the competition was excellent with many boasting innovative features such as 3D printed parts and pneumatics design concepts.

SERC Deputy Head of School of Engineering and Computing, Anthony Johnston said:

The competition was great fun for the students and the standard of work produced was outstanding. We encourage students to participate in all competitions, which will enhance their skills and knowledge. The Inter Campus competition contributes to the students overall learning experience and improves their confidence, while providing them with the opportunity to test their skills against their peers.

SERC is a fertile learning ground for innovative and dynamic students in the field of robotics and mechatronics. From conception of ideas to design and prototyping development, robot testing and final robot release the task was challenging but gave the students the opportunity to work in teams and under pressure, to learn the skills they will need in the workplace.”

SERC Director of Curriculum and Information Services, Michael Malone said:

Competitions like this provide a unique stage for student-engineers to showcase their skills and expertise and motivates them to reach the highest standards in their careers.”

Related Articles