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At RoboCup in Bordeaux, France

August 25, 2023

Over the semester break SFX’s Robotics team, also known as the Semi-Autonomous Rescue Team or SART for short, competed at RoboCup International which were held in Bordeaux, France. The team consisted of Sebastian Pierce and Nathaniel Kneebone of Year 12, Benjamin Blair, Audrey McCombie and William Laurent of Year 11, and Hamish Larner of Year 10. We would also like to give a shout out to Noah Wheeler of Year 11 and Caitlin White of Year 9 who were unable to go to Bordeaux with us, but were crucial in the robot’s construction in Australia.

We departed Canberra at 5.00am on the 1 July 2023 ready for the long trip ahead of us. Finally, after one bus, four flights, one train trip and about 48 consecutive hours of travel later, we finally arrived in Bordeaux and were able to get to work.

The RoboCup category that SART competes in is the Rapidly Manufactured Robot Challenge. This category tasks teams to create a robot from scratch in a short period of time and subject them to various test methods. These test methods simulate a disaster situation such as an earthquake to see which robot would be best fitted for that environment. The first two days of competition were qualifying days and provided an opportunity to see what the robot was truly capable of. The robot, affectionally known as Lord Nibbler, performed exceptionally well in the maneuverability components of the competition as well as in the terrain components of the competition. These results meant that SART qualified for the finals, and everyone in the team was both exited and nervous for the following day.

The final day of competition was finals day. The challenge was to traverse one maze that had all the obstacles present inside of it. After SART’s valiant effort and the other competitors had finished, it was revealed that SART got a very proud third place. Along with this award, SART received a certificate for Open Source and Innovation and a certificate for Maneuverability.

Once we had finished up in Bordeaux, we were lucky enough to spend two days in Paris. With no competition to stress about we where able to kick back and fully enjoy Paris. We visited the Eiffel Tower, the Champs-Elysees and The Louvre.—we even got to visit the St Francis Xavier Cathedral in Paris.

Finally, after about two weeks in France it was time to embark on our long journey back home. Overall, the trip was very exiting and had many memorable moments and it was an experience that we will all cherish forever. Every student on the team would like to give a big thank you to Mr Elias and Ms Bassett for coming with us and offering us a great deal of help throughout the duration of the trip. For everyone in the team it was their first time at RoboCup International and we cannot wait to make our return to the competition at RoboCup 2024 in Eindhoven, Netherlands.

By Benjamin Blair, Year 11


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