Student Robotics

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Student Robotics
Most recent season or competition:
Capture the Flag
SportRobotics-related games
FoundedUniversity of Southampton
No. of teams54
Venue(s)University of Southampton, Newbury Racecourse
Most recent
Royal Grammar School, Guildford

Student Robotics is a volunteer based organisation that runs an annual free-to-enter robotics competition for 16- to 18-year-olds.[1][2]

The group was founded at the University of Southampton in 2006. Students at the University of Bristol[3] and Grenoble INP[4] joined the project in 2010. The project is funded through sponsorship.

Student Robotics competition[edit]

The competition lasts 6 months, starting in October and finalising in April. The 2015 Competition was held on the 25th & 26 April.[5]

The competition consists of the first day being a "Tinker Day" as well as hosting the first league matches. The second day is the continuation of the league matches and then a knockout stage to determine the winners of the competition. Historically the competition was usually hosted on the Highfield Campus of the University of Southampton, however the 2014 and 2015 competitions were held at Newbury Racecourse Grandstand.

Participating teams are introduced to the competition, as well as given their kit at a "KickStart" event at the beginning of the academic year in October. Kickstart involves multiple talks by Student Robotics volunteers who are knowledgeable in the subject. There is also a Mini-game to introduce the teams into the sort of problems they will encounter in the next 6 months. Historically Kickstart was also usually located on the Highfield Campus of the University of Southampton, but for the 2014 competition there were Kickstarts at the University of Bristol and Gresham's School, and for the 2015 competition there were Kickstarts at the University of Bristol, Facebook's office in London, and Technische Universität München.

There are then multiple "Tech Days" held at multiple locations where teams are encouraged to work on their robot under the supervision of Student Robotics Volunteers ("Blueshirts").

The competition rules mandate that the robots are autonomous, rather than remote controlled. The competitors may program their robot in Python via an IDE provided by Student Robotics. Student Robotics does not ban, nor support other methods than the IDE for programming their robots.

The competition is free to enter although schools have to make their own travel arrangements, with a budget also being given to schools to spend on equipment.[6]

Robotics kit[edit]

The group develops a modular "robotics kit" to aid teams through the competition.[7] The current revision of the kit uses an Odroid U3 as its central controller, previously a BeagleBoard was used. The competitors can use the Python programming language and are provided with a library to ease interaction with the provided kit. It is not a requirement that they use Python or the provided library.

The main contents of the kit consists of:[8]

  • A Power Board (Central control and power distribution)
  • Two Motor Boards (Boards for controlling brushed DC motors)
  • A Ruggeduino Board (General purpose digital I/O and analogue input)
  • A Servo Board (Board for controlling up to eight servos)
  • A USB Webcam
  • Two 11.1V 2200mAh Lithium Polymer batteries

The provided library includes a vision system based on libkoki. This allows for markers, placed in the arena, on other robots and on game objects/obstacles, to be seen by the robot. These provide information such as distance, position and rotation.[9]

Due to the competition being free to enter, Student Robotics requires that most of the kit is returned post-competition.[10]

Team status[edit]

Blogs of teams who are entering this year can be found at "Meet the teams".


2017: "Easy as ABC"[edit]

The task involved picking up cardboard cubes labelled A, B or C, and placing them in the team's allocated zone, scoring additional points by collecting cubes in the order ABC.

The competition was held on 31 March to the 1st of April 2017 at The Racecourse, Newbury.

Prize Team
First Place CATS College Cambridge
Second Place Hills Road Sixth Form College
Third Place The College of Richard Collyer
Rookie Award Dr Challoner's Grammar School
Committee Award Lawrence Sheriff School
Robot and Team Image Hills Road Sixth Form College
Online Presence "MAI" - Gymnasium Markt Indersdorf, Germany

2016: "Sunny side Up"[edit]

The task involved rotating cardboard cubes to the colour of the respective teams, and scoring additional points by picking up the cubes and placing them in the corners.

The competition was held on 30 April to the 1st of May 2016 at The Racecourse, Newbury.

Prize Team
First Place Royal Grammar School, Guildford
Second Place The Ladies' College
Third Place Gordano School
Rookie Award The Ladies' College
Committee Award Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys
Robot and Team Image "MAI" - Gymnasium Markt Indersdorf, Germany
Online Presence Queen Mary's College

2015: "Capture the Flag"[edit]

The task involved "capturing" small wooden cubes ("Flags") from their starting positions by moving them into the team's scoring area.

The competition was held on 25–26 April 2015 at The Racecourse, Newbury.

Prize Team
First Place Bishop Wordsworth's School
Second Place Gordano School (team 2)
Third Place King Edward VI Grammar School
Rookie Award King Edward VI Grammar School
Committee Award Cranbrook School
Robot and Team Image "MAI" - Gymnasium Markt Indersdorf, Germany
Online Presence Peter Symonds College
First Robot Movement CATS College Cambridge

Details on the 2015 competition and awards can be found in the 2015 rulebook

2014: "Slots"[edit]

The task involved moving 20 cm3 cubes from their start positions into slots in the centre on the arena. Points where awarded for occupying slots. Another main factor was that the tokens could be flipped 180 degrees in order to score extra points.

The competition was held on 26–27 April 2014 at The Racecourse, Newbury.

Prize Team
First Place Headington School, Oxford
Second Place Gordano School
Third Place Clifton High School, Runshaw College
Rookie Award Torquay Boys Grammar School
Committee Award "MAI (senior)" - Gymnasium Markt Indersdorf, Germany
Robot and Team Image Hills Road Sixth Form College
Online Presence Peter Symonds College
First Robot Movement Torquay Boys Grammar School

Details on the 2014 competition and awards can be found in the 2014 rulebook

2013: "A Strange game"[edit]

The task involved moving large tokens into squares situated on the floor to take ownership of that square. The zone was owned by the team which had the most tokens in it. Points are awarded dependent of how many squares are owned by a team. In each zone there is a "pedestal" which if a robot gets to put their token on, they own that zone no matter on the number of other tokens in the square. Multipliers are awarded for getting zones in a row or column.

The 2013 competition final ended in a three-way tie, so a tie breaker round was played.

This tie breaker has been said to be the most tense match in Student Robotics history as it was won 3 seconds before the end. The video of this can be found here.

Prize Team
First Place "MAI" - Gymnasium Markt Indersdorf, Germany
Second Place "CLF" - Clifton High School
Third Place Queen Mary's College (QMC)
Rookie Award Headington School, Oxford (HSO2)
Committee Award "Grey Matter Robotics"
Robot and Team Image "Team Sky Crane" - Peter Symonds College, Winchester
Online Presence "Grey Matter Robotics"
First Robot Movement Headington School, Oxford (HSO1 & HSO2)

Details on the competition and awards can be found in the 2013 rulebook.

2012: "Pirate plunder"[edit]

The task involved robots having to collect randomly located tokens from the arena, and depositing it in their zone of the arena. Bonus points were added for any token that was placed into a bucket in that zone.

This was the first year that used the latest vision system: libkoki.

The winners of the 2012 Competition were:[11]

Prize Team
First Place "The Hitchhikers" - Peter Symmond's College, Winchester
Second Place "Systemetric" - Hills Road Sixth Form College, Cambridge
Third Place Brockenhurst College, Brockenhurst
Committee Award Queen Mary's College, Basingstoke
Outstanding Team "Aslan" - Peter Symmond's College, Winchester
Online Presence MFG Robotics - Mirfield Free Grammar, Huddersfield
First Robot Movement "MFG Robotics" - Mirfield Free Grammar, Huddersfield

Details on the awards can be found in the 2012 Rulebook

2011: "Tin can rally"[edit]

The task was to go around the arena, gaining points for each corner passed. Multipliers were applied to the points gained related to the number of baked bean tins that the robot had picked up en route.

This was the first year that used the latest revision of kit.

The winners of the 2011 Competition were:[12]

Prize Team
First Place Taunton's College, Southampton
Second Place Peter Symmond's College, Winchester
Third Place Mirfield Free Grammar, Huddersfield
Chairmans Award Mirfield Free Grammar, Huddersfield
Online Presence "Powered By Magic" - Churcher's College, Petersfield
First Robot Movement Queen Elizabeth's Hospital School, Bristol

Details on the awards can be found in the 2011 Rulebook

2010: "QuacMan"[edit]

The challenge involved picking up small wooden tokens of the correct colour, with points being lost for picking up the wrong colour blocks. In addition, a super token (a rubber duck, from which the game's name was derived) was placed on top of a ramp in the centre of the arena, which was worth enough points alone to swing the match.

2009: "Golf" and "Squirrel"[edit]

In 2009, two game types were specified, both involved collection & placement of coloured play-balls.[13] Teams had a home zone on the floor of the arena, as well as a net suspended above their corner, into which the balls could be placed.

In Golf, teams had to place the balls into their opponents zones & nets, while in Squirrel the challenge was reversed, with teams aiming to collect the balls.


The first game was not named, and involved teams collecting coloured tokens which were painted wooden cubes.[14]


External links[edit]