The National Robotarium is continuing its successful outreach and engagement work through its prominent support of the VEX IQ Robotics competition, an international contest sponsored by global tech heavyweights, including Tesla and Microsoft, to encourage budding roboticists to design and create their own innovative robot.
As host venue for the first event regional heats in Scotland since 2019, the UK’s leading centre for Robotics and AI welcomed 13 teams from 10 high schools to take part in an intensive battle, during which teams had to engineer innovative robotic solutions with a basic kit of components.
Teams from primary schools James Gillespie and Strichen were the overall winners and relative newcomers First Step Robotics, a community interest group from Livingston, also dazzled the judges to win the prestigious Amaze Award, which recognised their submission as the most outstanding, well-rounded, and best performing robot in the competition.
The winning teams will now take on other regional winners in the UK finals event taking place in Telford on 1-2 March. Over the two days, the finalists’ robots will be judged based on criteria including design, build, sportsmanship, and innovation, with the Tournament Champions securing a place at the ‘largest robotics competition in the world’ final in Dallas.
Blair Wilson, lead for Engagement at the National Robotarium will be attending the event with support from robot dog Spot. He’ll also be judging one of the categories. He said: “I am thrilled to join-up with VEX Robotics to support young people in Scotland in developing their robotics engineering skills.
“The National Robotarium is passionate about inspiring the next generation to become the roboticists of the future, empowering them to learn an entire range of STEM skills including maths, programming, computer science and engineering.
“That’s why we were so excited to host the Scottish heats and help provide the robotics kits to the teams to enable them to realise their vision.
“I’ll be at the finals to cheer on all our Scottish regional qualifiers as well as all the amazing UK teams that are taking part.”
WATCH the stream of the VEX Robotics Competition UK National Championships using this link, live from 0900 on Friday 1 March.