RoboCup Junior Australia 2014 National Championships

David Meego - Click for blog homepageThis is a reposting of an article I originally wrote on my Developing for Dynamics GP blog.

After the successes of the All Saints College teams at the RoboCup Junior Australia 2014 WA State Championships, it went without saying that we would take our best teams to the National Competition in Brisbane on the 27th and 28th September.

We ended up taking our Senior Theatre (Pickle JAR Productions) and Senior Dance (The Inspector) teams as well as our top 2 Open Rescue (Sam and Me, Him & It) teams. Sadly neither of the CJs (Christopher Jack and Christopher John) were able to come due to other commitments. With eight students and their parent(s) we flew 18 people over to Brisbane for the competition. Most of the group flew over on Thursday night and we stayed at the Inn on the Park in Toowong. It is great location in close proximity to both the competition venue, the UQ Centre at the University of Queensland St Lucia campus, as well as the Brisbane CBD and South Bank areas.

After a good night’s sleep, the teams spent most of Friday working on their robots and performances, testing and fine tuning. Late in the afternoon we took some of the teams to the competition venue so they could take light readings and try out their robots on the test courses available. In the evening we went out to Brisbane’s South Bank as a group to celebrate the birthday of one of the students. We had dinner at Beastie Burgers (Visit Brisbane) and a delicious ice cream dessert from Nitrogenie (Visit Brisbane). Nitrogenie make ice cream in front of you – freezing it with liquid nitrogen, very cool (in both senses of the word). Check out the video:

Nitrogenie in Brisbane’s South Bank (Direct Link)

Rohan and Megan enjoying their ice cream

Saturday again started with work on the robots and performances. While Saturday is the first day of the competition, the Senior Theatre, Senior Dance and Open Rescue divisions do not compete until Sunday. After the morning working on their performance, the Pickle JAR Productions team decided they wanted a “chill” break. They had been planning this for a while, but I was only told that morning. So overruled by the majority, we drove up to Warner Bros. Movie World on the Gold Coast to spend a few hours relaxing. Not sure if you can count hurtling around after accelerating from 0 to 100kmh in 2 seconds relaxing, but it was definitely fun. Sadly because an electrical storm came in, we were not able to ride as many of the outdoor attractions and roller coasters as we had hoped. We did get to go on the Green Lantern and Superman Escape rides which were both amazing and a little scary.

The Pickle JAR Productions team: Noah, Megan, Josh, Rohan and Sarith

Superman Escape coaster: 0 – 100kmh in 2 seconds… whoosh

The Green Lantern coaster and storm clouds

Saturday evening finished with everyone watching the Riverfire Fireworks from our apartments and eating pizza. A nice relaxing day before the competition.

Sunday and the competition day had arrived. We all headed down to the venue for an 8:00am start. The venue at the UQ Centre is excellent as it allows all the divisions of RoboCup to be in one huge hall (Soccer, Rescue, Dance and Theatre). As the Soccer and Rescue run in conjunction with the Dance and Theatre you will hear music and other noises during the videos included below.

For Dance and Theatre, each team has two performances and a team interview. Based on the scores from the best performance and the interview, the top four teams get to perform once more in the finals to decide the top three places. Below are the best performances from our teams:

RoboCup Junior Australia 2014 Senior Theatre National Championships – Pickle JAR Productions (Direct Link)

RoboCup Junior Australia 2014 Senior Dance National Championships – The Inspector (Direct Link)

While The Inspector did not get to the finals, The Pickle JAR productions team did make it through to the finals and so got to perform one more time. Then we had a long wait until the presentation ceremony at the end of the competition to find out how they placed.

Meanwhile the Rescue competition was up and running. Each team competes in 5 preliminary rounds with the lowest round being dropped. The top 8 teams then compete in two rounds, from which the top 4 are selected. The final 4 compete in two more rounds, to find the final 3. Then the final 3 teams compete on 3 courses to decide the final places. Before each round the team is allowed to select a drop zone which is an alternate start point (as long as it is at least two tiles back from the end rescue tile).

The scoring works as follows:

  • 10 points for each tile completed
  • 2 additional points for each shortcut (green square) correctly navigated
  • 10 additional points for navigating around the water tower
  • 5 additional points for each speed bump traversed, so 15 points for all three
  • 5 additional points for traversing the See Saw
  • 5 additional points for traversing the Bridge
  • 50 points for locating and lifting up the victim (can)
  • 50 points for placing the victim onto the evacuation platform (block)
  • 10 points for existing the chemical spill (green rescue tile) via the Spill Access Point (silver strip)

Teams have a maximum of 4 minute (240 seconds) to obtain as many points as possible and can restart at the beginning or at the drop zone as needed. If teams achieve the same number of points, then time becomes a factor.  So you want to obtain maximum points for the course as quick as possible without going too fast that the robot becomes unreliable.

The competition started with the preliminary five rounds, and the two All Saints Teams performed brilliantly with Me, Him and It completing every course without error. Sam completed all but one course without error. At the end of the five rounds (and after the lowest round was removed), our teams were equal first with one other team. So we were through to the top eight. To watch a couple of the qualifying rounds, please see the video playlist link below.

During the next round, the teams had to complete two courses. Me, Him and It was flawless again. Sadly Sam failed to score well after a change was made to his program, and so failed to make the top four.

As the top four robots were getting perfect scores, the organisers decide to up the ante and made one of the two courses for the next really hard by putting the see saw just before the rescue tile. This would make it very easy for a robot to overshoot the silver strip and so fail to recognise that it had reached the rescue tile.

One of the finals courses with the see saw located just before the rescue tile

Here is Me, Him & It completing the two finals courses. You will note that the second course has a restart from the drop zone, this did mean that the score was perfect, but some time was lost.

RoboCup Junior Australia 2014 Open Rescue National Championships – Finals Run 1 (Direct Link)

RoboCup Junior Australia 2014 Open Rescue National Championships – Finals Run 2 Part 1 (Direct Link)

RoboCup Junior Australia 2014 Open Rescue National Championships – Finals Run 2 Part 2 (Direct Link)

After this round Me, Him & It made it through to the Grand Final as one of the top three.  The course that was set up for the Grand Final had three interwoven courses for the robots to complete.

The three Grand Finals courses interlinked. Note: the see saw was removed before the start

RoboCup Junior Australia 2014 Open Rescue National Championships – Grand Final Run 1 (Direct Link)

RoboCup Junior Australia 2014 Open Rescue National Championships – Grand Final Run 2 (Direct Link)

RoboCup Junior Australia 2014 Open Rescue National Championships – Grand Final Run 3 (Direct Link)

Me Him & It completed all the 12 rounds of the entire competition with perfect scores and with only one restart. It was also faster than most of the other robots there.

So now we can reveal the results from our teams that made it into the finals:

  • Team Me, Him and It (Nick and CJ) came first to win the Open Rescue division of RoboCup Junior Australia 2014.
  • Team Pickle JAR Productions (Rohan, Megan, Josh, Noah, Sarith and CJ) took third place for the Secondary Theatre division of RobCup Junior Australia 2014.

Well done to all the All Saints College teams for a great competition and for all their work leading up to it.

Left to right: Disura, Pragash, Rohan, Noah, Josh, Nick, Sarith and Megan
Absent: Christopher Jack and Christopher John

After the competition, those of our group that were not heading straight to the airport or to other locations, had a lovely dinner at the Boatshed restaurant, which is part of the Regatta Hotel. The rest of the trip was fairly boring with a flight back to Perth on the Monday morning. Overall a very successful trip.

For all the videos I have uploaded for the RoboCup Junior 2014 competitions (State and National) have a look at the playlists below:

For the previous posts on the RoboCup robotics competition see:



This article was originally posted on the Developing for Dynamics GP Blog and has been reposted on

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