Leading metal fabrication and CNC machining firm, KMF Group, is are working with previous Robot Wars champions and production crew members to inspire the next generation of technology-led engineers.
Robot Rivalry, the seventh annual Young Engineer of the Year competition launched by KMF, will challenge Year-10 students from 16 Stoke and Staffordshire high schools to design, build and battle real-life robots.
After six months of hard work designing, fabricating, wiring and programming battle robots, 32 teams fought a semi-final battle hosted by previous 'The Gadget Show' host Jason Bradbury.
The robots went head-to-head to gain a place at the final battle taking place in July.
The day consisted of three rounds in the battle arena and a core values assessment where each team was scored on characteristics such as team identity, efficiency, collaboration and inclusion.
Emergency repairs took place outside under a gazebo where teams could go and have their battle-scarred robots altered and fixed for the next round.
The Robot Rivalry project hopes to utilise the excitement of robotics to provide education in design, art, electronics, hydraulics, general engineering and of course, team building and hopes to inspire local students into STEM careers.
Primary sponsors of the competition, Robo Challenge, elevate the art of robotics for the entertainment and advertising industries and are heavily involved with both the pre-production and operation of each rebooted series of Robot Wars.
Other local organisations supporting the initiative include NSCG, Staffordshire University, Capula, Air Products, HOBB Computers and QPS Print.
Managing Director of KMF Group, Gareth Higgins, commented: "We are hugely excited to have Robo Challenge onboard for our latest YEOTY Competition. We have worked with the company before, assisting with the fabrication of their award-winning robots, and it is clear the challenge will provide an exciting opportunity for the students to gain valuable, real-world engineering experience.
The robots that competed in the final we're brilliant, some genius designs, and the buzz that followed each battle was contagious!"
KMF first launched its Young Engineer of the Year competition in 2013. The event has reached more than 25,000 students, worked with over 50 sponsor organisations and invested more than £625,000 to encourage students in STEM subjects. Previous YEOTY projects have included sending scientific experiments into space, building and racing electric kit-cars and Lego® Robotics.
Photo Credit: NSCG