A Dunedin robotics competition attracted more entrants than
its rival cities and had more girls making machines than
Robocup Otago chairman Donald Liddell said 162 primary and
high school pupils entered the Robocup Otago junior
competition at Elim Church on Saturday.
The attendance was a record in the competition's eight-year
history, he said.
The children competed for ''kudos'' and the chance to
represent Otago at the nationals in Dunedin on September 13.
Robocup Junior national co-ordinator Sandy Garner said it was
the first year girls had outnumbered boys at the Dunedin
competition, with 82 girls and 80 boys entered.
The competition was held in six New Zealand cities, including
Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, and for the first time
Dunedin fielded the most entrants, she said.
The competition provided a fun platform for pupils to develop
''It gets them while they're still malleable and finding
The ''easiest and the hardest'' of the three-competition
section was ''theatre'', where robots performed onstage and
''rescue'' section robots had two minutes to save a
Two teams in the soccer competition called it a draw when
both robots malfunctioned. Year 12 King's High School pupil
Philip Anderson (16), of Dunedin, said it was the sixth year
he had entered the competition.
His robot's initial soccer performance was slow but
reprogramming on the fly would increase its speed during the
day. He hoped his future career would include programming and
''When it works it's very satisfying.''
Robocup official Sam Paulin (23), of Dunedin, said he
represented Otago at the Robocup nationals in Auckland in his
final year at Logan Park High School. The exposure to
technology at Robocup helped him towards a career as a
software tester at ADInstruments, he said.
''An introduction to this sort of thing at an early age -
building and programming something for a purpose - is