Barker’s Redback robotics team have just returned from the FIRST World Championships in Houston, Texas, where the team secured the Excellence in Engineering Award and placed third in their division.

Over 15,000 students, aged between 6-18, participated in the FIRST Championship which is the world’s largest celebration of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) for students.

This year’s competition, FIRST Power UP, challenged students from around the world to design a robot to pick up bright yellow power cubes and place them on a ‘Switch’ and a ‘Scale’.

The team made it through 114 qualification matches to secure their place in the playoffs.

This success followed the Redback’s Industrial Design Award at the Southern Cross Regional competition in Sydney in March.

Robotics Co-ordinator, Lael Grant explained, “This year, we designed a compact, modular robot which was suitable for travel, fast and efficient off and on the field. We produced a lighter robot, also keeping travel in mind, as well as a compatible system for the robot to have fast repairs between matches.

“Our efficiency extends to small details such as flipping arms and accurate intakes, saving precious seconds during a match. The robot was to be small, fast and maneuverable, yet strong, robust and powerful at the same time.”

When the team first released their robot reveal video at the start of the season, it attracted over 5,000 views in the first 24 hours and over 30,000 views in the first week, highlighting the regard in which the Redbacks are held throughout the robotics world.

“To receive the Excellence in Engineering Award at the World Championships is fitting recognition for the amazing work by our dedicated students over the past few months,” Lael said.