Canberra Grammar School students Joseph Fergusson and Rory Wade will represent Canberra at the 2016 Young ICT Explorers (YICTE) National Competition in November. Rory and Joseph, along with team partner Ines Kusen of Telopea College, won the Canberra YICTE Year 9-10 Division with their rescue robot. Rory and Ines won the same division in the ACT last year, and placed 3rd in the National Competition.
In July this year, the trio competed in the Robocup Junior International Final in Leipzig, and whilst technical difficulties prevented the team from reaching the finals in the Junior Rescue Maze League, Rory received a prestigious Flower Robotics Design Award. This was the first time a junior competitor has received the award, which was judged across all leagues of the Robocup Competition, including universities from across the world. Rory received the award for the general aesthetics of the robot and the Mechanical Articulated Suspension System (MASS) which he designed and built over the last year. This mechanism allowed the robot to maintain four points of contact with the ground even when maneuvering across large debris on the rescue field. Joseph, Ines and Rory also received the Best Hardware Award in their League.
The team continued on to a cultural exchange programme in Dubrovnik Croatia, where together with the Croatian National Robotics Team, they conducted several robotics workshops with disadvantaged Croatian students. They were accompanied in Leipzig and Dubrovnik by a small delegation of CGS staff on a Staff Professional Excellence Fund technology tour, who also went on to visit the Croatian Centre for Technology Education.
This month (October), Rory travelled to Perth to complete his Year 10 work experience with Wes Trac, gaining insight into the operation and management of the very large autonomous fleet of vehicles used in the mining industry all over the world. He said he ‘found this experience an invaluable insight into the commercial applications of design and technology, and will transfer elements of this experience to the Young ICT Explorers Competition to improve the commercial feasibility of the robot’. The improved version of the team’s robot makes greater use of digital fabrication technologies, with the ambition of supplying the robot to a global education market in kit form. The School community wishes Joseph, Ines and Rory the best of luck for the competition.
From 2017, the renovated ADT facilities will support the growing trend of digital design entrepreneurship at Canberra Grammar School. The facility will include a large central digital maker space in which students will be able to design and manufacture almost any project imaginable, using rapid prototyping technologies.