Robot Wars at BT

ROBOT enthusiasts from all over the country descended on Adastral Park, Martlesham Heath, Ipswich for the UK National finals of the Robert Challenge 2002 today.

ROBOT enthusiasts from all over the country descended on Adastral Park, Martlesham Heath, Ipswich for the UK National finals of the Robert Challenge 2002 today.

The challenge is the brainchild of former BBC Robert Wars competitor Rex Garrod.

Mr Garrod said: "I came up with the idea years and years ago because it is the best way to get kids interested in engineering and education. The entries this year have been unbelievable, it is great."

The competitors were drawn from schools across the country who were then entered into regional finals. This year regional finals were staged in Glasgow, Stafford and Gillingham, with the winners coming to Ipswich to compete in the finals.


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The robots compete against each other and are judged in a number of categories. Rex explained: "There are 100 points up for grabs, of this 25 points goes towards innovation. I think this is very important and want to promote it because we were once world leaders in this field.

"A battle takes place at the end but this is not the be all and end all."

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The event is sponsored by BTexact Technologies and is run in partnership with the young engineers.

Marilyn Mackley, who is the programme manager of excellent in education at BT said: "Rex had this idea and came to see us and said all the kids are really interested in robots but could not afford to get involved.

"We are really pleased to show that we are participating in community events and we were absolutely determined that we would get the event held here."

Chris Hoare, chairman of the young engineers said: "It is a tremendous achievement for them because there are so many entrants. The competitors really enjoy it and get a lot out of it.

"I am absolutely amazed at the standards of the entries, some of the electronics are unbelievable. They have also paid a lot of attention to aesthetics which is also important.

"Of course we are very grateful to BT for putting us up and sponsoring the event."

WEBLINK: www.bt.com

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