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Old 05-12-2006, 03:00 PM   #1 (permalink)
Owsley Stanley's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Long Island
Posts: 33
Robots invade National College of Ireland

These people don't get it. These rope climbing robots will scale our puny human defenses. Stop now!!!

The event featured teams of transition year students from 23 schools across Ireland who entered miniature robots they had constructed to compete in one of three events, dance, rescue or soccer.

Also attending the event were various full-sized robots ranging from one of the original "Dr Who" Daleks to "Skelly", a full-sized rope-climbing robot that amazed onlookers with her rapid ascent of a rope the height of the NCI building. "Panic Attack", the winner of the second series of the popular BBC show "Robot Wars", entertained the crowd by exhibiting his flipping abilities.

The events of the Robocup were judged by a panel of distinguished guests, including robotics expert Dr Ashley Green of The Open University, who developed robotics for the European Space Agency Aurora. Dr Green told ENN that he believes that since Deep Blue beat Kasparov in 1996, that "soccer is the new grand challenge to replace chess."

This emerging area of robotics, called "Mechatronics" combines elements of both mechanical and electronic engineering to produce new forms of competitive robots.

Dr Green expects a "very high standard" from the Irish representatives taking part in the International Final of Robocup in Germany in July. "Robocup allows students from across the world to pool information and become actively involved in creative science," said Dr Green. "It's great that Ireland is fielding a team for the International Final for the first time this year."

The contest is divided into three elements -- dance, rescue and soccer. The dance element, which involved members of the team dancing a routine that was synchronised with their robot, was won by a team from Our Ladies College, Greenhills, Drogheda, Co Louth. The rescue segment, where a robot must scale a miniature obstacle course and "rescue" injured people, was won by a team from St Aidan's CBS, Collins Avenue, Dublin 9.

Meanwhile, the soccer contest, where two robots square off against each other by attempting to push an infrared ball into their opponent's goal, was won by a team from Belvedere College, Dublin 1. Team-member Douglas Doherty credited his robot's "superior ability to find the ball" for its success and admitted worry at the prospect of the International Final, claiming that "Japan are a tough team."

The exhibited robots will be available for viewing by the public over the weekend of the 13 May from 11am to 4pm at the National College of Ireland at the IFSC.
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