Students succeed in robotics at Hills Road!

Students involved in robotics at Hills Road have had an incredibly busy year with two major competitions taking place!

It’s been a busy year for robotics students!

Students involved in robotics at Hills Road have had an incredibly busy year with two major competitions taking place! The Student Robotics competition saw students build their own robot and compete with other sixth form students across the country! Robocon 2024, an annual event held at Hills Road, saw our students help organise a competitive robotics event for students up to GCSE age.

Student Robotics

Student Robotics is a national competition that challenges teams of 16–19-year-olds to design, build and program fully autonomous robots. Teams have just six months to engineer their work.

Student Robotics, the organisers of the competition, supply each team with a kit, which they can use as a framework for their robot and even provide mentorship over this period!

Four weeks before this year's competition Hills students combined their prototypes to complete their final robot, which was constructed out of aluminum.

Upon leaving for Southampton, where the competition is held, the robot was all but ready, outside of being tested.

During their first day in Southampton, Hills students could be seen frantically coding and checking the robots' functions.

While at first the robot could barely move, it gradually became more and more dynamic and eventually was able to collect some ‘asteroids’ and return them to its ‘planet’, which was the aim of the seeding rounds.

However, despite the rapid improvements the students achieved, the Hills Road robotics team was knocked out in the first round of the competitive heats.

Well done for all your hard work! Your grit and determination

Each year we try to incorporate a new technology or process into our robot, and we like our machines to be well-engineered and finished, so that our students pick up new skills through the year. This year we wanted to include ‘shaft encoders’ on our motors which give feedback so that we know exactly how far each motor has moved, allowing up to drive in a straight line, which is a much more difficult task for an autonomous robot than you might expect.

David Massey, Teacher of Physics

RoboCon 2024

On the 10 April, thirteen teams of students from schools local to Cambridge came to Hills Road to compete in RoboCon 2024.

Each team had been given six months to design, build, and program a small autonomous robot to meet the challenges of the competition. A wide range of designs were on display, including several constructed from Lego!

The first day started with seeding rounds and practice to refine and improve a coder. Each team really improved their creations to get the most out of their machines.

The following day, seeding rounds continued, before the eventual knock-out rounds commenced to determine the winners.

After a fiercely fought competition, the final prize of first place went to “King’s Ely”, with “Trumpington team three” in the runners up spot.

RoboCon’s sponsors generously supported Hills Road throughout the year and were on hand to give out the prizes!

The Frontier Ingenuity award went to Impington College, the CMR perseverance award was claimed by Highfield School and the Redgate Theme award was presented to Bottisham Village College.

Congratulations to all the teams who competed, the mentors who supported them and to our sponsors for enabling us to provide RoboCon as an annual competition.