SR2023 Game Announced

Student Robotics 2023 was Kickstarted on Saturday 22nd September at the University of Southampton and on our livestream. It was great to see the excitement building at our first in-person Kickstart since SR2019.

Our game this year, Greed, challenges teams to steal tokens from other scoring zones. With Bronze, Silver, and Gold tokens, each worth a different number of game points, teams must think carefully about the optimum strategy. To help teams locate tokens they have 2D barcode style markers attached that our computer vision library can detect. However each of the markers will identify themselves as exactly the same, so teams must use other sensors to detect which type of token is which. Bronze and Silver tokens are the same size but the Silver tokens weigh 300g more, and Gold tokens are larger than Bronze and Silver. Teams are scored at the end of the match for collecting the most points. Full details, including the prizes available this year, are available in the rulebook.

This year we have also introduced a new way for teams to earn league points, Challenges! There are three challenges which teams may optionally complete during the competition year in order. These challenges encourage teams to start work on their robots early and cover movement, sensors, and vision. The challenges may be approached in any order, and completing challenges before certain deadlines will earn the teams bonus league points. Full details of the challenges are available in the rulebook and the deadlines are on our events page.

This year’s teams have already been strategising their approaches, and we can’t wait to see their progress over the year!

If you weren’t able to attend Kickstart this year, or would like a recap, you can:

  • watch our livestream where we explain the game and how this year’s competition will work.
  • download the presentation in which we explain this year’s game and how the competition is running this year.
  • download the microgames which are small activities designed to let you become familiar with the Student Robotics simulator.

If you’re a competitor, be sure to check out our Kickstarted, now what? blog post for some next steps.

SR2023 Kit Revision

The Student Robotics Kit has received an upgrade! Thanks to the generosity of the Institution of Engineering and Technology and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, we are now using Raspberry Pi computers in our kits. We’ve also developed an add-on board for the Pi (known as the KCH), which provides power to the Pi and several LEDs to indicate a robot’s status.

Raspberry Pis

Previously our kits used an ODROID U3+ as their brain, which served us well for many years. However, difficulties in procurement and teams needing increasing computing power led us to look for alternatives. We settled on using Raspberry Pi 4Bs with 2GB of RAM. These are easier to purchase, offer excellent computing performance, have built in WiFi, and much more.


With a new powerful computer at the heart of our kit, we have also designed and built a new add-on HAT called the KCH. Named in memory of a Student Robotics volunteer who sadly passed away in 2020, it serves as a reminder of his love of robotics, innovation, and bees.

The KCH is responsible for powering the Pi and providing output to users regarding the robot’s status. The board has LEDs showing the boot progress of the Pi, indicators for the current status of the code, and most excitingly three user-programmable RGB LEDs. These LEDs provide an easy way to output what your robot is doing at that moment, which can be an invaluable debugging aid.

Take note that the Pi is now powered from the L2 12V port of the Power Board rather than the 5V port. The docs have been updated to state this, but we thought it was worth re-iterating.


This kit revision has been made possible by the generosity of the Institution of Engineering and Technology and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. They selected us as recipients of the Engineering Education Grant Scheme, for which we are incredibly grateful.

The volunteers on our Kit Team also deserve thanks and recognition for their herculean effort to get this revision sorted. A tremendous amount of planning and preparation was needed for this kit revision. There was hardware design, software updates, and cleaning and sorting the existing kit. All while being geographically distributed around the UK (and Europe)!

Student Robotics is 100% free to enter and provides exciting real world engineering challenges for students aged 16-19. If you’re interested in taking part, you can find out more on our Compete page. If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer, you can find more information and sign up on our Volunteer page.

Robots 101 - Kickstarted, now what?

Welcome to the start of Robot 101, our series where we guide you through the competition and give some advice on your next steps.

So, you attended our kickstart event and are now ready to build your robot! But where should you start? We’re here to help!

We’ve found that most teams split up the different parts of the robot between them. It’s a good idea to meet up and discuss which tasks each person wants to accomplish and give each other roles inside the team. Of course, these can change throughout the time between kickstart and competition, but make sure everyone has a job to do. It’s important to make sure there’s always at least two or three people that can do each task type. Don’t forget tasks outside the robot itself either, like project management, running the social media, or theming.

Take some time together to plan your strategy for the game: how are you going to tackle the problem? What equipment would you want to experiment with? Remember to consider all areas of the robot - design, code, and mechanics. For some ideas, have a look on our YouTube channel to see some robots from previous competitions.

Each member should also spend some time getting to know the docs on our website. This contains important information about the game’s rules, an introduction to your kit, as well as tips on how to program your robot. Your team supervisor will have been sent your invite link and password for our Discord Server - this is the best place to ask questions to the Blueshirts. Don’t be afraid to ask for help! Our volunteers have years of experience and are there to help you. You can also get your team supervisor to contact us through our email if you prefer.

Remember, you’re not just aiming to win First, Second, or Third! There are plenty of other awards in place for you to achieve throughout the year. For example, our “Teams on the Web” runs from now until the end of the competition - make sure you’re posting your progress on social media to be in the running! Check out the Rules for a full list of all the awards on offer.

As part of your team, you’ll have a trusted adult who is acting as supervisor - their job is to guide you through the process of building your robot, not build it for you! We have a separate blog post on the role of a supervisor.

Hopefully this has given you some jumping off points to begin your journey to the competition. Check back soon for our next entry in this series, all about how to design your robot!