Pupil finalist in national science contest

James Avenell  has invented a way to make weeding easier with his weed-spraying robot.PHOTO:...
James Avenell has invented a way to make weeding easier with his weed-spraying robot.PHOTO: SIMON HENDERSON
A budding Alexandra inventor has been named as a finalist in a renowned national science and technology competition.

Alexandra Primary School pupil James Avenell (12) is one of 22 finalists from around the country in this year's Skills Bright Sparks competition.

The contest is considered New Zealand's pre-eminent national science, technology, engineering and mathematics competition for primary and secondary school pupils and is its longest running.

The year 8 pupil devised a weed-spraying robot which is able to go through a paddock spraying weeds while avoiding crops and plants.

It is equipped with GPS, a camera and an on-board computer and can connect to Wi-Fi.

The motorised robot also has a steering function and can be moved around via remote control.

James entered his robot in the Aurora Otago Science and Technology Fair in August.

The winners of the Skills Bright Sparks competition will be announced during a ceremony in Auckland on November 7.

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