If national standards were given out for robotics, Auroa School would be near the top of the tables.
Two teams of three pupils from the small South Taranaki school are leaving for Dunedin today to compete in the RoboCup Junior New Zealand Championships.
The students and their eight self-automated robots will be competing against those from 22 other schools at Forsyth Barr Stadium.
The school's robotics teams have reason to be confident, because their predecessors from Auroa were third in last year's championships.
Luke Hughes, 12, said the big-city students with their fancy robots would not see the Auroa students coming.
"We say, ‘we're from Auroa'. They say, ‘where's that?'," he said.
Auroa hosted the regional qualifier at its own hall last month and beat Wanganui High School and Intermediate.
The competition involves the pupils building the robots and then using laptop computers to design movements and routines, which are downloaded into the machines.
They also have to design sets and costumes. The robots' movements have to be in time to music, and they must also remain within a set area and avoid bumping into other robots.
"The robots take a day to build. Our programme's taken a couple of months, really," Justyn Sturmey, 13, whose robot dances to the song Count on Me by Bruno Mars, said.
Dylan Coleman, 12, said their performance of zombie and gun-shooting robots uses many influences.
"It's a suspense theme - we've got an Indiana Jones theme, then we've got It's a Long Way to the Top by ACDC, then we've got Benny Hill at the end."
The pupils will drive to Wellington today for their flight to Dunedin to start competition tomorrow.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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