Everyone has a friend who thinks they can do ‘the robot’, but we know where you can find some.
More than 560 students from Australia, China, Taiwan and South Korea are coming to The University of Queensland to take part in the RoboCup Junior Australian Open Championships – the biggest robotics event of its kind for school-aged kids.
RoboCup is a hands-on event where primary and high school students design, program and build robots to respond to a range of challenges, from performing rescues, dancing and competing in sports events.
RoboCup Junior Australian Open Championships Coordinator and UQ School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering researcher Dr Marie Boden said the competition was a fantastic way to introduce new digital technologies and the future skills needed for Australian students.
“RoboCup Junior is about fostering team work, creativity and innovation using technology,” Dr Boden said.
“Many UQ alumni started at a RoboCup Junior competition, which inspired them to continue with higher education.”
UQ Bachelor of Engineering (Mechatronics) graduate Erin McColl remembers the excitement of competing in her first Robocup competition as a teenager.
“The experience completely changed my perspective and every decision I made from that point was to ensure I could work in robotics and use it to help people,” she said.
“I got to meet so many interesting people and was exposed to some of the most incredible, cutting edge technology from universities all across the world.
“I was particularly taken by the senior rescue division, where I saw that robotics was not just a cool science fiction concept, but something we could use and develop to help people.”
From her ongoing work with Robogals UQ and Robocup, Ms McColl received the Anita Borg Google Scholarship and was awarded a scholarship to complete a Master of Biofabrication in Germany.
Queensland students are ahead of the pack in coding and robotics skills, with three teams from Brisbane Boys’ College having taken home third place at the Robocup International Championships in Nagoya, Japan in July 2017.
RoboCup was introduced in 2000 in Melbourne and is now hosted in 30 countries. The World Finals will be held in Montreal, Canada in June 2018.