Lego at the ready as UWE Bristol prepares to host national robotics contest final

Issue date: 10 February 2017

Lego at the ready as UWE prepares to host national robotics final

Aspiring young roboticists and engineers will gather at the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) to compete in the national finals of a Lego-based robotics contest.

Teams of students aged 9-16 will participate in the FIRST Lego League competition held at the university's Exhibition and Conference Centre on Frenchay campus later this month.

The science and technology challenge – which runs across the globe - invites teams to solve a real-world problem with the help of a robot made from Lego.

Academics from UWE Bristol's department of Computer Science and Creative Technologies and the Bristol Robotics Laboratory will be among the judges, while undergraduate students from the university will help direct the 50 teams around the venue during the event on Sunday 26 February.

More than 400 young people and their families are expected to fill the conference centre for the event, which will see the winners of heats held across the UK and Ireland compete for prizes and a place in the contest's international finals.

Teams must this year identify a real-world problem with the way humans interact with animals, investigate it and create an innovative solution. They will design, build and program an autonomous Lego robot to tackle a series of animal-related missions. Teams will be seeking to impress the judges with their advanced robotics and computer programming skills, as well as their project and core value skills such as good communication and teamwork.

UWE Bristol's Computer Science and Creative Technologies department will present a prize to the team behind the most innovative solution to the challenge. A tour of the Bristol Robotics Laboratory – based at Frenchay campus – is also among the prizes up for grabs.

Jane Berry, Acting Head of the Computer Science and Creative Technologies Department at UWE Bristol, said: “We are proud as a university to be involved with this great initiative, which does much to engage young people across the nation in technology.”

The competition is an alliance between FIRST (For Inspiration & Recognition of Science and Technology) and Lego, with the Institution of Engineering and Technology the operational partner for the competition in the UK and Ireland. The contest is aimed at helping young people develop skills in design and technology, programming and control, mathematics, research, strategic thinking and teamwork.

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