14th edition of RoboParty gathered hundreds of youngsters in Azurém campus

The 14th edition of RoboParty that took place in the past 7 to 9 April at the University of Minho in Guimarães, had more than 400 young people with more than 100 teams registered, with all robots built and fully operational.

The opening session was attended by the Rector of the University of Minho, Professor Rui Vieira de Castro, the Mayor of Guimarães, Dr. Domingos Bragança, as well as other individuals, who stressed the importance of this event both technological and educational level, the young age of participants and its importance to their future.

The event had an initial training on “construction of the controller board and welding of electronic components”, followed by the delivery of the electronic and mechanical components to build the 100% Portuguese kit and compatible with Arduino, Bot’n Roll ONE A, developed by botnroll.com. In parallel, the participants were able to enjoy some recreational and sports activities, such as a table tennis tournament, basketball, traditional games and a chess tournament, among others.

After dinner, there was an entertainment activity, with the Tun’Obebes – Tuna Feminina de Engenharia da Universidade do Minho and Afonsina – Tuna de Engenharia da Universidade do Minho. The participants kept working all night long, and a good percentage stayed all night long, such was the will to see the robot built. Those who gave in to tiredness rested on sleeping bags and on mattresses made available on site, in an area of the pavilion called RoboHotel.

On the second day, the “Arduino IDE” robot programming training took place and then the participants started programming their Bot’n Roll ONE A. This language was very appreciated and easily learnt. The teachers enrolled in the accredited training attended the CAD Design and 3D printing class, and also attended the training on Graphical Simulation of Robots with the CoppeliaSim software. There was also time to play basketball, and other traditional games.

In the afternoon, the robots were already programmed, and two robotic challenges took place “Obstacles” and “Race of Champions”. Some participants still managed to stay awake during the second night, although in smaller numbers. On the third morning, the surprise challenge “RoboParty Fun Challenge” took place, where each robot has to push dozens of table tennis balls to the opponent’s field, depending not only on the robot but also on the participant’s dexterity.

After lunch at the canteen of Universidade do Minho, the Dance challenge began, with a large audience, and where almost all the teams participated, which shows the degree of success in the construction of the robots. Here the participants showed their imagination and created robots that danced to the rhythm of the music. An eight-member jury gave their marks. At the end, a photo was taken of all the robots. Finally, prizes were awarded to the top three participants in all the sports and robotic challenges.

It should be noted that RoboParty gave certified training to 62 teachers in total, with 30 hours of training, 1.2 credit units, through the Francisco de Holanda Training Centre. The commitment of about 100 volunteers, students of Industrial Electronics, mechanics and mechatronics, and the involvement of several sponsors are also noteworthy.

This event is organised by the University of Minho (Automation and Robotics Lab of the School of Engineering) and by botnroll.com (spin-off of the University of Minho).

All the information about this event can be found at: https://www.roboparty.org/