Jaws meet floors in climactic final

Student Robotics is over for another year! After almost six months of work by thirty-two teams came a final weekend of frantic building, coding and pizza consumption. Oh, and the small matter of a 102-match league tournament topped with a knockout competition to decide the winner, which needed a tie-breaker to resolve!

This year’s game was called “A Strange Game”. To score points, a robot had to claim squares of a 3x3 grid by placing more tokens in them than its opponents, or by lifting one of its tokens onto a pedestal. Score multipliers were applied for claiming a row or column.

The main mechanisms for transporting tokens were grabbing arms and suction cups. Many robots focused on getting tokens into the square right in front of them. Several tokens were successfully placed on pedestals; team Gymnasium Markt Indersdorf, from Munich, managed to get four tokens onto separate pedestals during one match. Amongst the competing robots were a hovercraft, a cow, a stag beetle, WALL·E and Superman.

The final was a very close game, which ended with a three way tie. It was quickly decided that a tie breaker match had to occur between Clifton High School, Gymnasium Markt Indersdorf and Queen Mary’s College.

The tie breaker was also a very, very close game. Clifton High claimed their closest zone before getting stuck; meanwhile Markt Indersdorf and QMC were having a pedestal race. Markt Indersdorf managed to miss their second pedestal, knocked the token into the zone they’d already claimed and became stuck, while QMC managed to successfully claim their second pedestal. However Gymnasium Markt Indersdorf’s robot had not given up, and managed to get a token and line up for its third attempt at claiming a pedestal – the one which QMC had already claimed.

Within the last 5 seconds of the match, Markt Indersdorf’s scissor lift slowly rose skywards to tumultuous applause, lifting their token above QMC’s and onto the pedestal, usurping the square from QMC. Not only was this a first for the competition, but it won them the game and first place.

We were very impressed by the quality of the teams’ robots this year. Congratulations to everyone who took part. We hope you’ve had fun!

If you didn’t take part but your appetite’s been whetted, or you want to enter again next year, the sign up page for next year’s competition will be up in a couple of weeks. Get forming your teams and talking to your teachers now!


Prize Team
1st Place Gymnasium Markt Indersdorf (MAI)
2nd Place Clifton High School (CLF)
3rd Place Queen Mary’s College (QMC)
Rookie Award Headington School, Oxford (HSO2)
Committee Award Grey Matter Robotics (GMR)
Robot and Team Image Team Sky Crane, Peter Symonds College (PSC)
First Robot Movement Headington School, Oxford (HSO1 & HSO2)
Online Presence Grey Matter Robotics (GMR)

For full details on the awards, please see the rulebook.


Photos can be found on the Student Robotics 2013 Competition Flickr group.

The SR Team

36 Teams to compete at SR2013

In just under a month, thirty-six robots and three hundred young people will converge on the University of Southampton for the largest Student Robotics Competition to date.

In November 2012, a lecture theatre packed with sixth formers started designing robots to take part in “A Strange Game”. In this game, Robots must move large cubes onto pedestals to form lines of tokens in a big game of noughts-and-crosses, while stopping their rivals from scoring too. And to make it more interesting, their robots must operate completely autonomously, only taking commands from a Python program on board the robot.

Since then, the teams have spent four months prototyping and testing their robots. Some really exciting designs have been developed, including scissor lifts, vacuum suckers, and even a hovercraft!

This year the competition will be taking place at the Students Union building at the University of Southampton, over the 13th and 14th of April. Please note that competitors must bring their ticket with them. Families, friends and all members of the public are welcome to attend too, with persons under the age of 18 accompanied by an adult.

We look forward to seeing you there, and may the best robot win!

The SR Team

SR2013 is now underway

The KickStart event for this year has happened, the rules have been declared and the competition is underway. A number of teams have already started building their robots and the competition this year is sure to be fierce. With a whole host of new teams, as well as veterans that have been competing since the beginning, we (the Blueshirts) are looking forward to seeing some amazing robotic creations from the competitors.

If you’ve got a blog/youtube video/anything else awesome you’d like to share with us feel free to email or tweet us @StudentRobotics.

The forums and the IDE will be available shortly.