Community Engagement Through STEM Education

STEM Teacher Affiliate leads Robotics Team to National Success

Devil Robotics Logo

“Tasmania's FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) team, Devil Robotics (aka Team 7777), blew away the opposition at Australia's (and indeed the southern hemisphere's) first FRC event, the Duel Down Under, held in Sydney, 28-30 June 2012. The team included students from Claremont College, Ogilvie High School, Guildford Young College, The Hutchins School, and Rosny College.

The FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) is probably the world's largest educational robotics competition. Each year, teams of as many as 25 students (and often many more!) are challenged to raise funds, design a team “brand,” hone teamwork skills, and build and program a robot to perform prescribed tasks against a field of competitors. The teams operate under strict rules, limited resources, and time limits, making this as close to “real world” engineering as a student can get. Professional mentors volunteer their time and talents to guide each team.

In this year's challenge, "Rebound Rumble", teams were challenged to build a robot capable of shooting baskets and balancing on a see-saw! Six other teams were at the Duel Down Under, and they came from Sydney, Adelaide and Melbourne.

After fifteen games in the qualification matches over Friday and Saturday morning, Devil Robotics was in second place coming into the finals. We turned down an alliance with the top seed team, instead choosing to pair with the 4th ranked team in an alliance. This was, without a doubt the riskiest option. It meant that instead of going directly to the finals, we had to first win the semi-finals in the best of three games. Our team’s alliance won the semi-finals in two games, and then also won the finals in two games in a nail biting finish!

The team’s success was a combination of some very cunning strategizing with alliance partners throughout the competition as well as our robot’s design. As well as winning the “Robot Championship” award for success in the robot game, we won the “Quality” award for our robot’s simple and effective design. Our robot, nicknamed the “Tassie Tower of Terror", was about 1.5m tall and weighed over 45kg. It was designed so that it could be disassembled and taken on the plane to Sydney as checked luggage!

Rob Torok
Devil Robotics Team Leader.”

We warmly congratulate our STEM teacher affiliate Rob Torok for leading a Tasmanian multi-school robotics team on the road to national success!

Published on: 06 Oct 2012 9:51pm