Some of Edinburgh’s most innovative young students are to compete in a battle of robots as part of a coding competition. Students from 33 primary and secondary schools will compete in Marty’s Coding Party 2018 – a competition aimed at engaging pupils ranging from P5 to S2 in coding and robotics.
Having applied to take part in the competition, successful applicants will receive their robots this week and begin work on personalising and coding their individual robot to perform tasks.
The competition was launched by the City of Edinburgh Council in partnership with CGI through the Community Benefits Fund – an initiative to encourage young pupils to get more involved in coding. As part of the competition, students have the chance to win £1,000 to spend on IT equipment for their school.
Providing the robot is innovative Edinburgh-based startup, Robotical, who have developed the highly popular Marty the Robot. The robotics company recently agreed a deal to begin sending the its product to South Korean extra-curricular organisation, Wise Club, which will see Scottish-made robotics equipment play an integral role in the educational development of students on the other side of the planet.
Marty is a fully-programmable, WiFi-enabled robot, and has received a number of awards recently, including:
- Scottish EDGE Award 2016
- Royal Academy of Engineering Enterprise Fellowship
- 2nd prize in the EU Robotics Forum Entrepreneurship Award and
- Converge Challenge Design and Creativity Award
Students will begin programming the robots to perform a range of different challenges such as walking, turning, posing, dancing and kicking a ball. Later this month, these very students will submit a video of Marty in action and the judges from Robotical will decide on finalists who will compete at Forrester High School for the fabulous top prize.
Engaging students in science subjects is a firm focus of both government and private industry, laying the foundations for future innovators and pioneers. The importance of this competition in this process is something Council Leader, Adam McVey was keen to mention, stating: “Learning to code and use digital technologies is increasingly becoming an important part in today’s school curriculum as we continue to face a digital skills shortage in Scotland.
“Introducing children to these subjects in a fun and engaging way will help open the door to some young people considering robotics and coding as a career for the future.
“Through the competition, our pupils have the chance to develop their IT skills in a very fun and interactive way. Marty makes learning about coding, electronics, and mechanical engineering a fun, challenging and engaging process. I look forward to seeing the entries.”
Robotical’s CEO and Founder, Sandy Enoch, says it is encouraging to see so many young students taking an interest in the competition and Marty. Through the competition, Sandy hopes that students who may not have previously had an interest in science subjects begin to take an interest.
He said: “I’m really excited to see the entries coming in from schools across Edinburgh. Marty has been developed to promote creativity and learning and act as an entryway into computer sciences so it’s great to see the excitement from the schools.
“We live in a world where technology is all around us, and this is only going to increase. Whether we are talking about robot vacuum cleaners or self-driving cars, it’s really important that everyone knows a bit about how the world around them works. Through this competition I hope pupils who might not normally engage in STEM subjects gain a better understanding of the potential of robotics and coding.”