Sumo Robot by Merlin PorterOn 27 June the Dora Cohen Hall at Oxford Brookes University’s Wheatley Campus echoed to the excited cries of teams of youngsters (and a few staff members) as their pride and joy robots competed in the first standard class Robot sumo competition to be hosted in the UK.

Teams sporting evocative names such as The Enterprise and Black Daemon had designed and built an eclectic range of machines which they spent a deal of time primping before the weigh-in. Just after eleven o’clock (earth time) the qualifying stages got underway. These continued sporadically until 3 pm when the final rounds took place.

After a nail-biting final round between Crouching Dragon and The Marine, Crouching Dragon just took the honours. Jason Ou, team member from the winning Brookes Shumao team, and the runner-up team Cadmore Marines from Cadmore End Primary School were presented with robotics kits. Third place in the competition went to Kirk’s Minion, the robot of the The Enterprise team from Great Milton Primary School.

The competition was the brainchild of Tjeerd olde-Scheper, Senior Lecturer, and Luis Fuente, Researcher, both from the Department of Computing and Communication Technologies and was sponsored by Active Robots and Omnima.

Those attending the competition day also had a chance to meet Artie, the department’s friendly resident RoboThespian humanoid robot. Artie lives in the Cognitive Robotics Laboratory in the Turing building on Wheatley campus and has recently been joined there by a Baxter research robot (no name yet, but we’re thinking Stanley, maybe …) and two mischievous little Nao robots.

For more information about Robotics at Oxford Brookes University, visit out website.