Gallery: Holbrook Primary’s DigiMinds host robo dance-off competition against German and Italian schools
- Credit: Sarah Lucy brown
They’ve seen off the best of British – but now a team of young robotics enthusiasts have invited some top European talent to Holbrook for a friendly competition.
The DigiMinds, schoolchildren from Holbrook Primary School, are the reigning UK champions in the dance league of RoboCup.
It is the world’s largest robotics competition with the World Finals held this summer in China.
However the DigiMinds, who previously went to Brazil for an international competition, were not able to afford the trip this year so invited top teams from Germany and Italy to their school for a friendly event.
The competitors came from Bremen in Germany and Brescia in Italy, consisting of eight and five children respectively, and are national champions in their home countries.
Holbrook’s team has based its dance around Felixstowe Docks while the German’s dance paid homage to bees and the Italian’s dance involved a robotic Hispaniola.
Richard Williams, the school’s computing coordinator, said the children had enjoyed the experience.
“They all arrived on Tuesday and had a tour of the school and in the afternoon started unpacking their robots,” he said.
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“They have made some really good friendships already.
“Our team are a bit nervous about the competition, they think the Europeans are much better than us but I keep reminding them they are the national champions.”
Although the competition is just a friendly one the DigiMinds are already looking forwards to their next competitive action.
Mr Williams said the team is hoping to qualify for RoboCup 2016 in Leipzig, Germany which would be easier for them to get to.
The competitions the DigiMinds enter are all about programming robots or software to carry out tasks, such as rescue missions or dances, rather than building them.
“We’re going to start working on that in the autumn,” he said.
“We’re getting bigger all the time. We’re going to have to raise money to buy better robots to compete on the world stage.
“We’ll hopefully be going to the UK nationals in the spring and all being well we’ll be going to Leipzig this time next year.”
An interest in robotics is clearly running in the family for one of the DigiMinds’ team members.
Nine-year-old Louisa Cuddihy was inspired to join the team, run as an after school club, by her older sister who was a former member.
“My big sister Katie went to RoboCup 2014 which was in Brazil,” she said.
“It’s incredible. We won the UK finals in RoboDance, but we also got to compete in the Iran Open, which was cool and we won that too.”