The UTC Leeds’ RoboSapiens take on Rover Ruckus at the FIRST Tech Robotics Challenge - UTC Leeds

19th March 2019

Four engineering students from UTC Leeds took part in Rover Ruckus, the FIRST Tech Robotics Challenge of the 2018-19 season, hosted at the Kingsgate Conference Centre in Peterborough. The Year 12 robotics team, The RoboSapiens, competed, with both the Year 10 and 11 teams in attendance for support and idea development.

The Year 12 team was made up of: Harvey Ryder, Declan Simons, Daniel Toone and Ben Nicholson. Going to the competition and taking part enabled the students to expand their robotics and engineering knowledge, alongside developing teamwork, leadership, technical skills and resilience.

At the competition, the RoboSapiens set up their Pit Display and began making small, last-minute modifications before the robot inspection from the judges. The robot successfully passed inspection, fitting the criteria for the competition, so the games began!

Each of the teammates had a different role. Daniel was the team’s driver, with Declan as the in-game coach. Harvey was the manipulator driver and Ben was the software engineer, providing quick fixes between matches. The team competed in five Qualification Matches, in which they, alongside their alliance teammates, won four matches! This placed the team in rank position five on the leader board out of 25 teams.

This placing meant that they progressed through to the semi-finals. The team project manager, Harvey, then had to choose their alliance teammates for the following matches. The semi-finals were intense, with the first match being won and the second unfortunately lost. This meant that the RoboSapiens weren’t through to the finals however they were extremely happy with their result.

The team’s manipulator engineer and in-game coach, Declan Simons, said, “During the preparation for the competition, I helped design and build our manipulator arm alongside running the social media and other aspects of the outreach efforts. As a result, we secured two great sponsors, Triumph Fabrications Ltd and Lambert Engineering. We also set up a Facebook page in which we have received support from the general public.”

He added, “The competition went a lot better than expected considering this was the team’s first time competing with the REV robotics equipment. I am very proud of what we achieved, and glad we go to UTC Leeds. They were able to provide the equipment that we needed and assisted us with solving certain issues we faced.”

You can find the team’s Facebook page here:

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