Roboparty once again brings together almost 500 young people in Azurém

The Automation and Robotics Laboratory (LAR) of UMinho’s School of Engineering and botnroll.com organised RoboParty 2024 from 21 to 23 March, with 111 teams from all over the country, as well as teams from Brazil and Spain. The educational event teaches how to create/build autonomous mobile robots in a simple and lively way. This 16th edition took place once again in the sports pavilion of the Azurém campus in Guimarães and was free to enter.

The opening session took place on Thursday, with the presence of the Rector Prof Rui Vieira de Castro, the mayor of Guimarães, Dr Domingos Bragança, among other distinguished guests.

Most of the participants were aged between 15 and 17, with the youngest being 10 and the youngest 66. At the start of the event, the teams received a kit of parts for the “Bot’n Roll One A” robot. This was followed by basic training in electronics, programming and mechanics to enable the prototype to be built, in an environment of mutual help and with the permanent support of 65 students, mostly from Industrial Electronics and Computer Engineering.

On Friday and Saturday there were robotic challenges, where participants put their robots to the test to demonstrate their skills. The four challenges were: Obstacle Course, Race of Champions, Fun Challenge and Dance, the latter of which took place on Saturday and is always very popular due to its spectacular nature. In the Fun Challenge there were still surprises for the participants, not least because the robots are not 100 per cent autonomous and needed the “dexterity of their master”.

At the end of the event, participants had the chance to take their robots home or back to school to continue learning.

Throughout the three non-stop days (young people bring sleeping bags), there were many fun and sporting activities, such as gadget presentations, DJs, basketball, table tennis, chess, archery, functional training, Peddy Paper, a performance by Tun’ Obebes: Women’s Engineering Tuna from the University of Minho, a performance by Tuna Afonsina: Engineering Tuna from the University of Minho, and even “wireless internet”.

The main novelties this year were the demonstrations of other robots developed by the Automation and Robotics Laboratory (LAR) – CHARMIE and FUTEBOLISTAS, the launch of the new botnroll and accredited training for MatLab and Simulink teachers, as well as programming the botnroll in Python.

Since its inception in 2007, RoboParty has attracted more than 8,000 young enthusiasts keen to have fun learning electronics, programming and mechanics.

The official websites are www.roboparty.org  and facebook www.facebook.com/RoboParty  .

The School of Engineering congratulates Professor Fernando Ribeiro, from the Department of Electronic Engineering, mentor of this event, for yet another highly successful edition.