Robotics competition success is as easy as Pi for Perse students
5 Apr 2019
A team of Perse Lower Sixth students displayed their design and engineering dexterity by defeating teams from across the world to win the experienced schools category at the illustrious Pi Wars robotics competition.
Held at Cambridge University’s Computer Laboratory, this year’s tournament featured 38 teams from 13 countries, all attempting to build Raspberry Pi-controlled robots which then compete in a series of non-destructive tests to earn points towards an overall score.
Perse students Cameron Mackenzie, Martin England and Daniel Vlasits funded their project themselves and took on different roles to produce their winning machine. Cameron was project manager and programmer, Daniel was head of programming and Martin was head of hardware, designing and creating the robot and its electronics.
Challenges successfully dealt with by their robot included completing a timed speed run with a bend in the middle of the course, manoeuvring through a maze and navigating to coloured corners of a box in a specific order. The machine also had to take on an obstacle course, knock down targets, pop the balloons on an opponent, and collect rock samples during the event.
In addition to the main prize, the Perse team also received a technical merit from the judges for creating the most technical, ‘space-like’ and aesthetically-pleasing design.
Perse Head of Design & Technology Keith Wilkin said: “This is the most technically impressive project ever seen at the school and the team really deserve their awards, having worked on this fully independently. Having students engage with robotics from a hardware and software perspective is fantastic and provides such a great platform to enjoy engineering and team working. Well done to the team on their accolade.”