The object of RobotsEAST, a Atlantic Canada based robotics competition for high school students, is to give 14 teams a box full of parts and a theme four months in advance of the competition, and then let them build a robot designed to absolutely annihilate their competition.
Along the way, some parents are no doubt hoping, something is learned about engineering, mathematics, and physics.
RobotsEAST was established in 1996 as a non-profit, volunteer-supported event, financially supported by registration fees and sponsorships. This year’s theme was “Checkmate”. Brute force might carry the championship, but prizes are also awarded for “Best Engineered Robot”, “Most Innovative Strategy”, “Multi-Media” and the all-important “Logo”, this year designed by Yarmouth Consolidated Memorial High School’s Emily White.
I talked to RobotsEAST organizer Alison Chua by email recently, and she “It is the only competition of its kind in the Maritime provinces. Acadia hosts a LEGO competition, but that is more based on programming. For RobotsEAST, we try to get youth to use their creativity to build robots that can complete a task and withstand opposition from other robots.”
This year’s victor, named the “Patriote”, is a killing machine designed by the students of the École Louis-J-Robichaud of Shediac, New Brunswick, was robot enough to dominate candidates designed by 13 other teams from around the Maritimes. With a bold name such as “Patriote”, perhaps the next wave of start-up activity will be robotics-based and Acadian-led.