The Automation and Robotics Laboratory (LAR) from the School of Engineering of the University of Minho and botnroll.com promoted the RoboParty 2023, from March 30th to April 1st, with almost 100 teams from all over the country. The educational event teaches how to create/build autonomous mobile robots in a simple and lively way. This 15th edition took place at the Azurém campus sports pavilion, in Guimarães, and the public had free entrance.
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 15 to 18, the youngest being 11 and the youngest 64. At the beginning of the event, the teams received a kit with parts of the “Bot’n Roll One A” robot. This was followed by basic training in electronics, programming, and mechanics to allow the construction of the prototype, in an environment of mutual help and with the permanent support of 80 students, mostly from Industrial Electronics and Computer Engineering. On Friday and Saturday there were robotic challenges, where the participants put their robots to the test, to demonstrate their skills. The four challenges were: Obstacles, Race of Champions, Fun Challenge and Dance, the latter of which took place on Saturday at 2:30 pm and always with a lot of public, for its spectacularity. The Fun Challenge continues to have surprises for the participants and the robots are not 100% autonomous and needed the dexterity of their masters.
At the end of the event the participants took the robots home or to school to continue learning.
Throughout the three days non-stop (youngsters bring their sleeping bags), there were multiple ludic and sport activities, such as gadgets presentations, DJ, performance of Tun’Obebes – Tuna Feminina de Engenharia da UMinho and Afonsina – Tuna de Engenharia da Universidade do Minho, Pilates class, basketball throws (and many other activities) and also “wireless internet”.
The main novelties this year were the demonstrations of other robots developed by the Laboratory of Automation and Robotics (LAR) – CHARMIE and FUTEBOLISTAS, and the accredited trainings for teachers (MatLab and Simulink), and also a new library in MatLab to program the botnroll robot.
Since its inception in 2007, RoboParty has already counted more than 6500 young enthusiasts willing to have fun learning electronics, programming, and mechanics”, says Fernando Ribeiro, professor at the School of Engineering, who coordinates this initiative.
Photos available at http://www.roboparty.org/fotos/fotos.php