Robotic masterminds off to world finals in Thailand
FOUR Grantleigh School learners will represent team South Africa at the World Robotics Olympiad in Chiamg Mai, Thailand, from 16 to 18 November.
This after the young masterminds won their divisions at the World Robotic Olympiad KZN regional championships held in Salt Rock and the SA Championships held at the Tshwane University of Technology earlier this year.
Grade 7 pupils Blake Mathieson (13) and Siya Mthethwa (13) paired up in January and designed a robot that competed in the junior high school division (U15 age group), with Grade 6 learners Luke Drummond (12) and Andre van Wyk (12) teaming up to compete in the elementary division (U13 age group).
Mathieson and Mthethwa’s task was called ‘Preparation Farming’. Their robot had to plant certain trees in different demarcated areas in under two minutes.
Their robot was designed to score a maximum of 165 points out of a possible 180. They scored 155 points at both the regional and national championships.
‘We aimed for 165 points as it was enough to win the SA championships and place our team in the top half at the world championships,’ said Grantleigh robotics teacher, Alan Lewis.
‘To design and build a robot to achieve the maximum points, is far too intricate and the computer programming is far advanced.’
Drummond and Van Wyk’s task was called ‘Food Wastage/Storage’ and the maximum points for this division was 100.
The lads managed to score
100 points at the provincial championships, as well as full marks at the national championships, but earned an additional five bonus points.
‘Entrants were presented with a problem that had to be sorted out using coding without the supervision of their teacher for an additional five points,’ Lewis said.
‘Luke and Andre were the only two in the country to solve that issue and therefore scored 105 points.’
Both pairs will continue to modify their robots to ensure strong challenges at the world finals.
This will be Drummond’s second world championship entry after winning the SA Championships last year with a different partner.
Grantleigh School’s Grade 7 learners Blake Mathieson and Siya Mthethwa are relishing the opportunity to compete at the World Robotic Olympiad finals next month Richard Springorum