19 February 2017
As part of the regular regional VEX robotics events leading up to the National finals, Stowe hosted a competition that saw 18 UK teams and seven Chinese teams compete to be tournament champions and four national final places for UK teams. For one UK team there was also a place at the world finals up for grabs, this place goes to the team at the event with the best engineering logbook combined with the best performance at the event. This year’s game involves awkwardly shaped ‘stars’ and large soft cubes which must be put over a dividing fence, the team with the most on the other side at the end of the game wins.
It has been a tough year with a higher standard of competition than last years game. The Stowe regional was particularly tough with a high standard of robot and a lot of close games. At the end of the qualification (seeding) matches the top eight ranked teams were from the UK. The StoweBots senior team finished in 5th in qualifying. Going into the play-offs the senior team was sadly knocked out at the quarter-final stage, while the Junior team made the semi-final. The senior team missed out on the design award for the best engineering logbook by 1 mark, missing out to the team who took the Excellence award with the World Final place. The award was judged by Hannah James (Nugent 97) who works with the Gulf Endurance Racing Team and Michael Tanner who is doing his PhD in robotics at Oxford University.
The StoweBots have had a tough season, we brought home a trophy from an early regional and the senior StoweBot team has gained a place at the national finals for a finalist placing at a previous regional. We also currently hold the UK high score of 61 points for this years game. The senior team will be competition at the National Finals in March (with a chance gaining a World Final spot). There is also one more regional coming up at the end of February for the Junior team to try and qualify for the National finals. The event which also carries one of the four Excellence awards for a World Final spot.
Paul Thompson, MiC Robots