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ELRIG Sponsors ‘Technobotts’, young innovators competing in the RoboCup 2010 in Singapore

ELRIG (The European Laboratory Robotic Interest Group) has a mission to give back to the Industry whenever they can and to encourage the growth of Innovative Technology. It was therefore very appropriate that they agreed to Sponsor the Technobotts in their venture to enter the RoboCup 2010 in Singapore.


TechnoBotts 2009/2010
Following a year of success in 2008/2009 when TechnoBotts3 became the UK and Ireland FIRST Lego League champions and represented the UK in the FIRST World Festival in Atlanta in April, coming 4th in the world in Robot Performance and picking up the first place trophy for Innovative Design, the team has re-formed as a 3-man team – TechnoBotts4 – and is now busy working to achieve success in RoboCup Junior, a different international robotics competition.
Andrew Wightwick (14), Oliver Wightwick (12) and Eric Wieser (15) are entering RoboCup Junior in the Search & Rescue and the Soccer categories, which involve very different challenges from the FIRST Lego League and will stretch the team further. Their aim is to represent the UK in the RoboCup 2010 competition in Singapore in June.
After a robotics demonstration at the ELRIG (European Laboratory Robotics Interest Group) Drug Discovery conference in Liverpool in September, where ELRIG (and additionally Tecan, Fluidx, Wildcat, Bigneat, Cedrex and Ziath) pledged financial support for the team to assist them to travel to Singapore, the team approached the department store chain, John Lewis, for assistance as they needed additional robotics kits for the Soccer challenge. The team’s recent successes were achieved with “Robert” the robot, presented to them by Robert Sayle in 2007. Robert featured on BBC television's "Look East" programme on 29 January.
The team is now working to program its two soccer playing robots, “John” and “Lewis” and will be demonstrating its Search and Rescue robot, “Robert 2” (this is the champion FIRST Lego League robot rebuilt) and an Alpha Rex robot, made with the new Lego Mindstorms NXT 2.0 kit, at John Lewis at half term on Friday 30th October and Saturday 31st October.
Background information
FIRST Lego League is an international robotics competition for children aged 10-16. Teams have to build an autonomous robot that performs a variety of pre-set tasks on a 120 x 240cm table. These tasks change from year to year. In 2008/9 there were 14,000 teams worldwide. FIRST stands for “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology” and is a non-profit organisation.
RoboCup Junior is an international robotics competition for under-19s where there are three challenge areas – Search & Rescue, Soccer and Dance. In the Search & Rescue competition, which is a simulation of a rescue exercise, the team must design, build and program a small robot which must travel through a sequence of rooms, following a black line, and indicate when it finds a green or silver “victim” lying across the line. In the Soccer challenge, the team must design, build and program robots to play soccer, using a special ball which emits infra-red light, on a green carpet soccer pitch. (In the Dance challenge, one or more robots must move in time to music.)

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