Robot competition promotes STEM

James Riley
Editorial Director

The promotion of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers for young Australian’s will be a dominant outcome of a global robotics community competition coming to Sydney in 2019.

Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events Stuart Ayres announced the harbour city as the winning bidder, to host the $7 million RoboCup International Symposium and World Championship which will be held in the newly built International Convention Centre, ICC Sydney.

It has been 19 years since the event was last hosted in Australia.

RoboCup entrants in action: RoboCup International Symposium and World Championship arrives in 2019

“RoboCup celebrates developments in artificial intelligence and advanced manufacturing, unlocking exciting jobs for future generations, while generating $7 million direct expenditure for our economy,” Mr Ayres said.

Business Events Sydney (BESydney) partnered with UNSW Australia, RoboCupJunior Australia and Bastion Collective to win the event.

Over 2000 participants made up from 400 to 600 teams, and over 20,000 spectators are expected in Sydney over the six day event.

UNSW PhD in machine learning student Sean Harris led the team from the university who defended their world title at the same competition in China earlier this year, beating Germany 3-1.

“This is very exciting,” Sean told upon the announcement.

“There will be a lot of very smart people coming to Sydney, to explore our city but also to share their robotics knowledge with us.”

With teams from primary, secondary and university level competing, the event will see robots delve into sports, rescue missions and even dance activities. All in all, showcasing robotics as a key part of the future of learning.

Mr Harris said he would like to see more teacher training in the area to enable a future of robotics education in our primary and secondary schools. UNSW host the local heats for the RoboCupJunior competition but not every school has the resources to enter, Mr Harris said.

In October the Queensland Government announced plans to teach robotics and coding to students from prep to year 10, from 2016 on.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has promised to implement the STEM blueprint set out by former Chief Scientist Ian Chubb in 2014, with technology upskilling of the next generation expected to feature as a discussion point in the upcoming Innovation Statement.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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