Digiminds robotics team from Holbrook Primary School battle to victory at European competition in the Netherlands

Holbrook Primary School's DigiMinds robotics team travelled to the Netherlands for a competition ove

Holbrook Primary School's DigiMinds robotics team travelled to the Netherlands for a competition over the Easter holidays. The DigiMinds with teacher Richard Williams, left, in the Netherlands. - Credit: Archant

Students from Holbrook Primary School showed they could outmatch their European peers when it comes to robotics over Easter.

Over the holidays a team of eight students travelled to Eindhoven in the Netherlands for the RoboCup Junior European Open, a competition where the children had to design and programme robots for various tasks.

In the Robotic Dance League the team, named the DigiMinds, came second with their themed song about jungle animals washing clothes which required six robots.

In the CoSpace rescue simulation, where the robot had to navigate its way around a simulated disaster zone, the team beat off all the competition to win the title.

Richard Williams, computing coordinator at Holbrook, said he was incredibly proud of the children.

“We decided to take our team to the Netherlands, even though it took a lot of organisation and planning,” he said. “We felt it was important to offer this unique opportunity.

“While at the competition, the children got to see the world leaders compete in the field of RoboSoccer, which is an amazing spectacle. Crowds cheering on robots who have no ears and don’t care if anyone is watching.

Most Read

“We can see so many benefits to extend our children, inspire our community, make links with others across the world, and raise the bar for robotics in our county.

“I am incredibly proud of what the children have achieved. Once again, the DigiMinds have shown what is possible with hard work, imagination, and a little computing skill.”

Earlier this year the children from Holbrook won the UK finals in the Robotic Dance league of RoboCup. They also came second in the UK finals of CoSpace rescue simulation.

Both competitions required the children to build and programme autonomous robots with artificial intelligence to perform complicated tasks. In both leagues, the children competed against (and beat) teams from secondary schools.

In the Netherlands the pressure was on as Holbrook was the only team representing the UK.

Leo, aged nine said: “I am proud that I didn’t get stage fright. This was the first time I have ever been to an international competition,” while 11-year-old Rose added: “The judges asked us to explain our dance to the whole crowd. That made me nervous, but it wasn’t hard. We have worked on our robots for ages.”

Lottie, also 11, said: “I was proud to represent the DigiMinds, as well as Great Britain. This was the first time I have competed abroad.

“It was amazing to meet, compete and chat with children from other countries who enjoyed the same thing. I have learnt how to properly programme a robot and to persevere when things go wrong.”

Iduna, aged 9, said: “In the dance competition we were against eight teams, from Germany, Italy and Slovenia. The team from Slovenia were all teenagers. I was so proud that we were able to finish second.

“In the CoSpace competiton we beat four teams and won. I went on stage to collect the award. I was so proud to win an international award for our team, our school and our country.”

Peter Van Lith, the organiser of the event, said: “We want to thank the DigiMinds for coming to the Netherlands and joining the European Open in Eindhoven.

“It was an amazing event with 44 registered teams. We all had a wonderful time and hope to repeat the competition somewhere in the future.”