South African learners place in top 5 at international robotics contest

Reddford House robotics Inspired Builds 2021

Two teams of Reddford House learners from South Africa were among the top five winners of the recent Inspired Builds 2021 robotics competition.

The competition was hosted by Fulham House School in the UK. It saw 15 teams from around the world compete and build robots for various purposes.

“To have over a thousand participants from four continents was a brilliant opportunity for students to find a fresh sense of motivation for their STEM learning,” competition organiser Brendan O’Keeffe said.

“This has been a real spark of joy and creativity in academic years that have tested the resilience of both staff and students.”

South African learners build Covid K9 at robotics competition

The teams included a group of Grade 7 learners from Reddford House Blue Hills in Midrand, as well as an interschool group of learners from all three Reddford schools in South Africa.

Members of the Blue Hills team included learners Makaziwe Ntsele, Philile Mkhatshwa, and Kgatlhiso Moreosele.

The interschool team included Bonolo Thaneng, Masotsha Mathivha, and Ewan Curry.

The team designed and built their robot, named Covid K9, to measure people’s temperatures.

The robot would bark if temperatures were under acceptable levels and growl if they were too high.

It also featured a supply of hand sanitiser and movement sensors, and could move, sit, and wag its tail.

The competition judged the teams and their creations based on several criteria. The criteria included intelligent design, general appeal, innovation, and quality of programming.

In the end, both teams prevailed thanks to their teamwork and coding skills

“It’s an amazing feat because I got to rank myself not only locally, but on a global stage, and see what I could do to eventually become the best,” learner Ewan Curry said.

“Even though there is a pandemic, this competition allowed us to compete and succeed, and to express ourselves.”

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Featured image: Supplied

Sam Spiller, Staff Writer


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