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A fond memory of last summer was visiting the International Robotics Showcase, organised by the EPSRC UK Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RAS) Network. And the organisation – partnered with  Twinkl, the education specialists – has been promoting the 2020 competition for schools to take part.

This will be hit hard by the Corvid-19 outbreak, of course, but I’m sure pupils and schools who had already started to enter will want to persevere – it is a ‘virtual’ online challenge, which can be worked on remotely.


Prizes up for grabs include a MiRo-E robot for the classroom and a free trip to the International Robotics Showcase in June, although that will now be very much in doubt.

The compo is open to registered pupils of UK schools, aged 8-14 year old (in teams of between 3 and 5 people) and entrants have to create a virtual robot that could “move across challenging space environments and complete a range of tasks”.

It’s a “virtual robot” because students have to use the Twinkl Robotics augmented reality app, which is apparently aligned to the English STEM national curriculum. A web-based version is also available online. This is very fortunate with hindsight, as any hands-on hardware collaborations would certainly have fallen foul of the new social distancing rules.

Entries for the school competition will remain open until Monday 4 May.

In addition to the School Robot Competition, the UK Robotics Week (#UKRW20) was also planning to  include the finals of a series of international academic challenges, including:


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