Qatar Academy team shines at CMUQ’s botball contest
TRIBUNE NEWS NETWORK
DOHA QATAR Academy’s team competed with 30 other schools from Qatar, Kuwait, Egypt and the UAE in the annual Botball competition organised by Carnegie Mellon University-Qatar, recently.
The team fielded a mixed group of robot enthusiasts from the sixth and seventh grades and veteran botball designers and programmers from grade 11. The tournament was open to all high school students who were pitted against each other using autonomous robots in a designated game board.
For their efforts and teamwork, the Qatar Academy’s Thermo Nuclear Falcons took third place in the knockout round and were placed first in the documentation round — a feat they also achieved last year.
According to Mark LeSurf, Qatar Academy team’s coach and technology department’s academic coordinator, this year’s theme was about saving a damaged coral reef where students had to design and build two robots that would earn points by populating a fish farm and building an artificial reef structure.
“The tournament started with a workshop by the organisers where team members gained insight into the current robotics technology and were provided with the robotics kit they would be working on for the next eight weeks. During this period, students did everything from designing to programming to building the robots they would be using in the competition,” LeSurf added.
“The Thermo Nuclear Falcons team showed a strong ability to modify their strategy, their bots and recode under strong pressure which was evident in the double knockout round,” LeSurf said.
The competition was divided into three sections — documentation, seeding rounds and the double elimination knockout rounds where accumulated points were added to determine the overall champion.
The documentation part covers eight weeks of designing and building that lead up to the competition and an interview with the judges. This was followed by the seeding rounds where all teams were given two minutes each to score as many points as possible while on the designated board.
Finally, in the double elimination knockout round, two teams went head-to-head on earning the most points and doing the tasks relevant to this year’s theme.