St. Andrew's College
St. Andrew's College News
May 8, 2017

Robotics team to compete at worlds in Japan

Four SAC computer-engineering students will be representing Canada at the world tournament in Nagoya, Japan, this summer.

Congratulations to Zachary Chua ’19, Riley Jackson ’18, Wells Karabin ’18, and JP Schnabel ’18 who earned the spot during a RoboCup Junior Tournament last week at St. Andrew’s.

The RoboCup Junior Tournament began 17 years ago as a competitive forum for high school students and a spinoff of RoboCup. Back then, over 100 students competed with the idea that one day robotic players would compete against a human soccer team and win. The student-designed and built robots use infrared detectors for sight, ultrasonic range finders for distance, and a compass for direction.

St. Andrew’s is proud to have hosted the RoboCup Junior York Region Open for the last seven years. Each year the rules for the soccer competition are modified to make the competition more challenging.

This year, the special infrared light-emitting ball was replaced with a simple orange ball, the kind used in street hockey. Suddenly, the robots needed to be able to “see” the ball the way humans do. The complexity of the challenge and the cost associated with building these advanced robots may be a contributing factor to the decline in participation at the York Region Open.

In the past, St. Andrew’s has yearly seen more than 10 teams from various parts of Ontario and even as far as British Columbia come to compete. This year, personal invitations were sent to several schools who had previously competed or were known to have technology programs, but no one could make it. The result was that the four top teams competing were all from St. Andrew’s.

During last week’s tournament, each team had two robots; usually one was a goalie, and the other a striker. The robots used a colour detector to see the ball, and motors, range finders, and a compass to guide it toward the opponents net while staying inbounds. 

The final match was hard fought and the eventual champions were actually trailing 2-4 at halftime. The calm tenacious nature of Zachary, Riley, Wells, and JP prevailed, earning a win with the final score of 7-5.

Story by Terry Prezens, Coach




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