Robot building reaps big rewards

Caroline Chisholm Catholic College students Nicolas, Khang, Ioannis and Brandan with their robot Fred.

By Tate Papworth

Budding inventors at Caroline Chisholm Catholic College have been crowned the state’s best robotic builders.

The school’s VEX IQ Robotics Team attended the Victorian Championships earlier this month and took out the top award, progressing through to the national championships.

Caroline Chisholm Catholic College head of digital technologies Sandra Mobbs said a lot of work had gone into the project.

“The competition has a number of ways of scoring points – you can stack cubes, move cubes to specific locations or place balls in or on the cubes,” she said.

“The team began work on the first of two robots they created in August which was very good at placing balls in and on the cubes.

“The team then built a second robot that was better at stacking and moving cubes which would enable them to score higher in the competition.”

Ms Mobbs credited the school’s specialised robotics lab with helping achieve the success.

“A permanent robotics lab was made available at the start of the year and, in addition to purchasing robotics kits, we were able to purchase a playing field and VEX robotics game so that we could practice in similar conditions to the competitions we attend.”

However she saved her strongest praise for the students.

“The team’s ability to work together and negotiate has been outstanding. All team members have contributed to the design and all feel ownership over the robot. They have been ready to try each other’s design ideas and support each other in developing driving skills.”