LSS @ the VEX Robotics Schools Challenge

A team of six from years 7 to 10 competed in the VEX robotics schools challenge.

The students; J Noguiera, T Boyns, M Dawson, D Fitzpatrick, A Olczyk and G Smith supported by Mr D Scarsbrook and Mrs K Dadd, travelled to Stoke Park School in Coventry. A total of seven teams attended. For the three weeks leading up to the Monday the LSS team had met during many lunchtimes and after school to build a robot capable of competing in the VEX competition called ‘Swept Away’ (if you Google it there are the rules and U tube clips). The robots are not autonomous but controlled by a driver using a game controller.
The game is played on an 8 ft x 8 ft field which is divided in half by a 12” tall wall. At the centre of this wall are two 18” tall trapezoidal shaped goals, one on each side of the wall. Along the base of the wall there are two 4” high slots. Around each half of the fields are placed twelve small foam footballs, 6 larger foam rugby balls and 8 bean bags. The bean bags and footballs can be pushed through the slots. The footballs can also be placed in the goal on the other side of the wall. The rugby balls have to be thrown over the wall. The object of the game: to get as many balls/beanbags on the opponent’s side of the wall in a 2-minute period. Footballs and bean bags score 1 point, footballs placed in the goal score three points, rugby balls score 3 points.

The first round of the competition was a league of 21 games where each team competed against each other. Disaster in our first game as the lifting arm failed to operate – lost. Second game much better – win. And so, with each of the six team members controlling the robot in turn, the games proceeded with the following results - lost, won, lost and for game 6 won. The team were fourth in the league and so proceeded into the Knock Out.
In the Knock Out each round became the best of three. Semi-final LSS won 2 – 0. FINAL LSS won 2-1 (well done to D Fitzpatrick for holding his nerve in the third and deciding game of the final). So after a shaky start and careful development of the robot between rounds the team went from strength to strength and WON. The reward – a £200 voucher to purchase further VEX robotic kit, a £100 voucher to be used to gain entry to the annual Vex Robotic competition and from the sponsors (National Grid) a box of Vex robotic kit.

The Students need to be congratulated for the way in which they worked together as a team and supported each other in building, driving and developing their robot. A GREAT day was had by all.

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