Teenagers invited to learn robotics

A teenaged robotics team is on the hunt for bright sparks to take part in a global competition.

The club, which will meet on Thursdays after school and Saturday afternoons, will be trained for an international robotics competition against teams from around the world later this year.

Ethan Sousa, 17, who led Team Bermuda in last year’s competition, said: “The overall experience was amazing, very fun and enjoyable.

“I really enjoy robotics and this experience cemented my decision to attend a mechanical engineering course with a specialisation in mechatronics.”

Team Bermuda faced off against 189 other teams at the First Global robotics competition in Dubai last October.

Ocean-cleaning robots raced to see which could best collect and dispose of pollutants in the form of plastic balls.

Ethan, a Warwick Academy pupil, said that building the robot was a “guessing game” because of the team’s limited experience. He added: “I was initially a little timid to be the team captain, as most of the team members were a few years younger than me, but as the ‘older brother’, I took the role on and bonded with my team.”

Team Bermuda placed 46th out of 189 teams at the end of the three-day competition and came ahead of Team USA and Team Japan.

Lucien Penacho, 14, said that the team were forced to make a machine from scratch on site after their robot, Why Is It So Heavy?, arrived a day after the competition started.

Lucien explained: “When we arrived in Dubai our robot did not arrive on time, so we had to make one to compete with in the few hours we had.”

He added that this year’s earlier registration date would allow a new team to better develop their ideas. Lucien said that the experience last year helped him to develop his engineering and communications skills.

He added: “Standing at the arena, driving the robot and placing well in the rankings was just amazing. Meeting new people from different coun tries and working with them was amazing too.”

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