‘Mel Gibson’ wins Mini Sumo war as Castlebar kids dominate robotics champs

1 May 2015

via Irish Robotics Championship

Brave-hearted team ‘Mel Gibson’ out-muscled all challengers to take the Mini Sumo title with its Lethal Weapon of a robot at this year’s Irish Robotics Championship, with ‘The German Whip’ taking the Line Follower F1 prize.

This edition of the competition was held in Galway, with champions ‘Mel Gibson’ and the runners up in both sections, ‘The Speedster’ and ‘Calid’, each coming from St. Gerald’s College in Castlebar.

Supported by EA Games, the competition pits rival robots from schools throughout the country against one another to battle it out for the coveted trophies, with this edition seeing 450 second-level students competing.

Part of the EXCITED initiative – of which Siliconrepublic.com are media partners – this really cool project is part of a Department of Education platform exploring the integration of technology into education.

Despite the appeal of robot competitions globally – BBC’s Robot Wars, for example, was one of the greatest shows ever made – this is the only such competition aimed exclusively at secondary students, with girls making up more than 40pc of competitors.

Laura Karaliute with her robot, 'Sassy'

Laura Karaliute, from St Leo’s in Carlow, with her robot ‘Sassy’, via Irish Robotics Championship

“The Irish Robotics Championship is a great way to engage teenagers in the design and construction of robots, which we are really pleased to support,” said Donal Doherty of EA Games.

“With the number of participating students from across Ireland growing year-on-year we are excited for the future of gaming and robotics in Ireland and are happy to be involved in this great project.”

Students take part in Mini Sumo war

Sumo wrestling with robots looks beyond cool, image via Irish Robotics Championship

Inspirefest 2015 is Silicon Republic’s international event running 18-19 June in Dublin that connects sci-tech professionals passionate about the future of STEM with fresh perspectives on leadership, innovation and diversity.

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic