By Dave Flaherty/The Oshawa Express
The battle lines were drawn for the more than 450 students from across Ontario who attended UOIT’s 12th annual Robotics Competition over the weekend.
The annual event saw aspiring young scientists pit custom-built ‘SumoBots’ against each other.
Michelle Tsui-Woods, project coordinator for UOIT’s Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, says the competition is an important part of the department’s community outreach initiative.
We’ve become more involved [in the community] and it’s a great opportunity to bridge what we do at the university and our expertise here, with what we do in the community with younger children and show them about engineering,” Tsui-Woods says.
Other aspects of the community outreach program include on-campus seminars, visits to local classrooms and summer camps.
“We run a wide range of programs for students from kindergarten to Grade 12 and reach more than 4,000 annually in Durham Region,” Tsui-Wood states.
The majority of the schools competing at the event come from Durham Region, York Region, and Toronto.
Nearly 60 teams participated, with eight teams facing off in each round, so every robot encountered each other at least once.
“They are battling each other to basically see who is king of the hill. It’s sort of a last man standing approach,” Tsui-Woods says.
Points are awarded for a number of achievements, including remaining on the playing surface for the entirety of the two-minute round and knocking other robots off the table.
And as much as the competition is about having fun and meeting new people, Tsui-Woods believes it also allows students to gain experience.
“This is really a great way to incorporate a number of skills, including life skills [such as problem solving and teamwork] as well as mechanical, engineering, software and electrical skills,” she adds.