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High school students battle at university’s Engineering Robotics Competition

Robotics showdown is university’s longest-running community outreach event

Nearly 60 teams competed November 25 at the annual UOIT Engineering Robotics Competition for future university engineering students in the Campus Recreation and Wellness Centre gymnasium.
Nearly 60 teams competed November 25 at the annual UOIT Engineering Robotics Competition for future university engineering students in the Campus Recreation and Wellness Centre gymnasium.

They worked tirelessly throughout the fall to polish up their knowledge of robotics and their abilities to work creatively as a team. After several weekends of tutorials and workshops, on November 25 it was show time.

Since 2006, the University of Ontario Institute of Technology’s (UOIT) Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science (FEAS) has encouraged young science experts in high school, middle school and even elementary students, to push the envelope of their developing engineering skills during the annual UOIT Engineering Robotics Competition.

Nearly 60 teams came to campus for the robotic battle royale: a contest where each group’s design attempts to push competing robots off the table in a bid to be the last robot standing and become ‘king of the hill’. 

“Teams representing 23 schools came from across the Greater Toronto Area and as far away as Ottawa,” says competition organizing committee chair Mikael Eklund, PhD, Professor, FEAS. “Each year our professors, undergraduate and graduate students are inspired by the enthusiasm and creativity of the competitors. Many participants end up pursuing an education in engineering, and some have become students here at our university.”

How does the UOIT Engineering Robotics Competition work?

Each 'SumoBot' team designs and builds its own autonomous robot using LEGO Mindstorm NXT and EV3 kits. Teams program their robot to survive an all-out pushing contest against seven other robots on a huge table. The middle of the playing field features a prominent ‘hill’.

Each robot is a different creation and has varying strategic characteristics. Teams earn points in each match by avoiding being pushed off the table by another school’s robot. They receive extra points for successfully crossing a small hill in the centre of the table. They also earn points for submitting an engineering design report that demonstrates the knowledge competitors have gained throughout the fall.

“An event like this showcases how these students are on the right track as they consider post-secondary study opportunities in the engineering, science and technology,” says Dr. Eklund. “While the students take home a lot of lessons and new knowledge, they also get to have a lot of fun through the excitement of competition.”

2017 awards (team name, where applicable):

  • Best Engineering Design: TD Christian HS Team BFirst place: Broadview PS Team C
    • Honourable mention: St. Stephen’s CSS (Icegroup 1) and Heart Lake SS (Chakde India)
  • First place: Broadview PS Team C
  • Second place: Toronto District Christian School Team B
  • Third place: Toronto District Christian HS Team D
  • Fourth place: Knox Christian School (Team Xray) and Broadview PS Team A (Tie)
  • Sixth place: Toronto Christian HS Team A
  • Seventh place: SATEC @ W.A. Porter CI Team A
  • Eighth place: Heart Lake SS (Team WrayZor Sharp)
  • Women in Engineering Award: Southwood Park PS (Team Menchies)
  • Referee’s Award: SATEC @ W.A. Porter Team A
  • Sportsmanship Award: St. Augustine CHS (Team Titans Alphas)
  • Most Novel Design Award: Keswick HS Team A
  • Best New School Award: Broadview PS Team C
  • Semi-finalists:
    • Albert Campbell CI Team 2
    • Eastdale CVI Team C
    • Knox Christian School (Team Xray)
    • SATEC @W.A. Porter CI Team B
    • St. Augustine CHS (Team Titans Beta)
    • St. Jude CS (Team Jags)
    • Malvern CI Team A
    • Notre Dame CSS Team A

The Engineering Robotics Competition is organized by the university's Engineering Outreach office, which delivers Kindergarten to Grade 12 engineering outreach programs to youth in Durham Region and our surrounding communities. 

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