On Saturday, 27th April, seven teams from Saint Thomas of Villanova Parish School went to the Cairns PCYC Hall to compete in a robotics competition.
The task for teams was to construct and program a ‘Sumo’ Robot for the Competition’s Sumo Challenge. According to the competition creators, The Queensland Society for Information Technology in Education (QSITE), the competition engages students in the field of robotics and is an opportunity to learn about gearing systems, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, computer science and autonomous programming. The teams that competed from St Thomas’s were Killer 12 (created by Milan Quintieri and Cameron Reppel), Fatso (created by Caleb Shorey, Blake Tahir and Michael Martins), Defender (created by Jocelyn Eaton and Liam Newlands), Death Machine (created by Sam Jennings, Ryan Paton and James Raines), King Push (created by Wade Powderham, Jarek Sprecher and Brayden McKinnon), It’s Completed (created by Lukas Avolio, Braydon Oulfson and Xavier Guy) and Sumostroyer (created by Milan Bagic and Joshua Kievit). All students worked exceptionally hard to construct and program the robots.
The competition involved two robots competing in a head-to-head match following the basic system of traditional human sumo matches. Robots are allowed no weapons, and are not allowed to flip each other. The sole purpose is a pushing match between the two robots to force the other from the arena.
The students competed in the junior competition against other primary school aged teams from across Cairns. Five of our teams from St Thomas’s made it to the quarter finals. Then from the quarter finals, two of our teams made it to the semi finals. These two teams were ‘King Push’ and ‘Death Machine’. Both teams went head-to-head in their sumo match with Death Machine winning and moving into the grand final to compete against a robot named ‘The Destroyer’! It was a close grand final but in the end Death Machine couldn’t overpower the brutal strength of ‘The Destroyer’. Death Machine won second place in the junior section of the Robotics competition. This was a great achievement by Death Machine. Organisers of the competition were so impressed with the efforts of St Thomas’s students in the grand final that they awarded ‘Death Machine’ an Encouragement Trophy as well.
Organisers of the event were very pleased with the level of support and dedication from St Thomas’s students. St Thomas’s teams have been competing in regional robotics competitions for the past four years, placing as high as second in a Pen Throwing Robotics Competition in 2011 and first in the Sumo Robotics Competition in 2012. The results at the latest competition are excellent and students will no doubt continue to improve with time and experience.