High school students have put their engineering and problem-solving skills to the test as part of the annual Western Australian Robotics Playoffs and Innovation Challenge.
The two-day event at Curtin Stadium brought together students to build industrial-size robots, and develop alliances to complete an obstacle course, while highlighting the role of technology and automation in modern agriculture.
The robotics competition required teams to collect game pieces from a loading bay, and move them to a storage grid.
The Innovation Challenge, sponsored by the Cook Government, required students to present solutions for real-life primary industries problems.
This year’s challenges focused on reducing the impact of depredation in the fishing industry – a term used where a marine predator steals the vessel’s catch – along with developing practical methods for remote monitoring of sheep on farms.
Agriculture and Food Minister Jackie Jarvis presented the Innovation Challenge Trophy to Hudson Donn from Cap-A-Village for his project, which involved dropping seeds from drones to target deforestation and climate change.
The 13 year old was the youngest competitor at this year’s competition.
The weekend event, which attracted about 250 students from more than 20 schools, is a collaboration between the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Curtin University and Murdoch University.
Comments attributed to Agriculture and Food Minister Jackie Jarvis:
“Just like the mining sector, primary industries are increasingly adopting cutting-edge technology like automation to improve efficiency, safety, productivity and sustainability.”
“We want to encourage bright, enthusiastic and curious minds into the industry, with events like this showcasing the diverse and contemporary opportunities that exist in the agriculture and food sector.
“The Western Australian Robotics Playoffs and Innovation Challenge is helping young people make the connection between primary industries and meaningful careers they may not have previously known existed.”
The Government of Western Australia acknowledges the traditional custodians throughout Western Australia and their continuing connection to the land, waters and community. We pay our respects to all members of the Aboriginal communities and their cultures; and to Elders both past and present.