Thu, 07 February, 2019
The 2019 Lego robotic inspection challenge at TWI ended in all-round success for team Cyborg from Fulbourn Primary School, as eight teams of Year 5 pupils pitched their talents against each other in a final pursuit for glory.
Around forty Year 5 pupils from Fulbourn Primary School visited TWI’s headquarters to take part in a Lego robotic inspection challenge.
This was the notable second run of TWI's ‘Defect Detectives’ workshop for young people in association with Robogals, building Lego Mindstorms EV3 robots and programming them to assess the integrity of a simulated weld line. The children learn that their challenge is based on real-world applications, whereby flaws can occur in a joint line and render a structure unsafe unless detected.
Each team of five children was asked to build a Lego robot capable of following a ‘weld line’ of black tape and spotting ‘defects’ represented by intersecting pieces of red tape. The teams programmed the robots, first to stop and sound an alert when they came across a defect, then continue along the black tape weld line.
Having built their robot, chosen a name and created a banner, the eight groups came together in a competition arena to cheer on their team as TWI engineers, experts and staff gathered to watch the final test.
All teams demonstrated fantastic teamworking and design skills, but special mention must be made of the winning contributions - Best Design went to the Road Runners, Best Teamworking was shown by AC2ED, with team Cyborg winning the overall Top Team award.
Speaking on the event, Gabriela Gallegos Garrido, representing TWI and also an ambassador for the global Robogals programme, said, “When kids realise that subjects such as robotics or programming are actually fun, that being an engineer could be fun, they get interested and would definitely consider taking a STEM path. This is what makes these kind of activities worth it.”
The 'Defect Detectives' engineering challenge was part of the Cambridge Launchpad series of schools' activity days hosted by businesses across the region.
The teams were overseen by young engineers from TWI, The Welding Institute, the Tipper Group and the National Structural Integrity Research Centre. Also helping out were two sixth formers, as part of their TWI-sponsored Arkwright engineering scholarship.