Robots in Robocup final to turn Trump wall plan on its mop

St Hilda’s Collegiate pupils (from left) Anika Marriner (13), Lucienne Holtz (13), Sophie...
St Hilda’s Collegiate pupils (from left) Anika Marriner (13), Lucienne Holtz (13), Sophie Broadley (12), Ella Hodgson (12) and Emma Boult (12) prepare their robots Burt (left) and Mary (right) for the New Zealand Robocup finals in Dunedin tomorrow. Photo: Gregor Richardson.
People across the globe said it would never happen.

But Donald Trump will dance with Mexicans next to a large brick wall — in Dunedin. A group of Auckland  pupils has designed a pair of robots — one dressed as Donald Trump (complete with  mop of blonde hair) and the other wearing a sombrero — which will dance together next to a Lego brick wall at the New Zealand Robocup final in Dunedin tomorrow.

The group will be among 157 pupils from across the country, including several from Dunedin, competing in the national final at the Dunedin City Baptist Church in Main South Rd.

New Zealand Robotics in Education committee member Casey Jenkins, of Dunedin, said there were three categories in the competition — theatre; search and rescue; and football.

In the theatre category, small dressed-up Lego robots  would do dance routines they had been programmed to do.

The search and rescue  category involved programming robots to follow a predetermined course and do different manoeuvres at certain points.

And the football category involved two opposing teams programming robots to kick an infra-red transmitting ball into their designated goal.

The competition aims to promote interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Mrs Jenkins said the competition was open to the public and would be highly entertaining.

"It’s quite impressive what these kids can do," she said.

As part of the competition, 70 of the competitors will today participate in Techspiration — an event organised by the University of Otago, Otago Polytechnic and Engineering Dunedin to provide an insight into future careers and education options  relating to robotics.

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