On Sunday 7 April, Eltham College’s BethBot 6.2 made it to the semi-finals of the Student Robotics Competition which took place at Southampton University, Highfield Campus. The team of Yatin T, Toby B and Ali T battled through two days of competition to miss out on a place in the final by the smallest of margins.

The competition is one of the most challenging available to Sixth Form Engineers and Computer Scientists and attracted teams from all over the UK including Guernsey, as well as one from Germany. It involves planning and constructing a robot with only the processing equipment provided to operate with complete autonomy to gain points by moving coded boxes around an arena into scoring zones. Therefore the programming and design elements had to work together perfectly, with the tactics constantly evolving to outwit other teams.

The team achieved eighth place out of 27 competitors in the league standings on the second day, a remarkable achievement in itself. A place in the semi-finals was a fitting reward for the hours that the team put into the robot, and reflects the amount of problem-solving and constant rebuilding and reprogramming needed to adapt during the 11 league matches over two days, true Engineering.

The competition could not have happened without the fantastic volunteering effort by Southampton Engineering students, alumni and the generous sponsorship they had. Having won the Rookie award for the highest ranked team to enter for the first time, Eltham Engineers will undoubtedly be back next year looking to go one better.