Over nine days in early July, Emilia Macdonald and Meera Balendran accompanied 12 SAC students to Bordeaux, France, for the 2023 RoboCupJunior competition.
The students spent days, weeks, and, for some, months building the robots they competed with.
“We are so proud of how hard the students all worked leading up to the competition and throughout our time there. They made many new contacts from around the world and learned so many new techniques,” Meera reports. “They carried themselves with the respect we all know and come to expect from true Andreans.”
In fact, she says, the SAC Rescue Maze team won a community award for how helpful and kind the students were to their competitors and judges.
RoboCupJunior is a project-oriented educational initiative that sponsors local, regional, and international robotic events for students up to age 19. It emphasizes education over competition, and the challenges remain the same each year, allowing competitors to develop more sophisticated solutions as they grow and expand their knowledge.
RoboCupJunior offers several challenges, each emphasizing cooperative, problem-solving, and task-achievement aspects. There are three leagues:
- Soccer: Teams of autonomous mobile robots play soccer in a highly dynamic environment that mimics a real soccer field.
- Rescue: Robots identify victims within recreated disaster scenarios, varying in complexity from line-following on a flat surface to negotiating paths through obstacles on uneven terrain.
- OnStage: One or more robots come together with humans, dressed in costume, and moving in creative, interactive, and collaborative ways.
“We were especially happy and proud to hear them talk on the way back to Canada about strategies to improve their performance for next year,” Meera says.
Meera leads the Grade 11 Computer Engineering classes, and Emilia heads up the SAC RoboCup option for Arts/Co-Curricular Plus.
For more photos from the trip, you can follow @sac_makerspace on Instagram.