Students teach robots football tricks in annual hack

5 February 2018

Students teach robots football tricks in annual hack
Teams of students from Queen Mary University of London and Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications (BUPT) took part in a challenge to hack robots and teach them a range of football skills.

The third Queen Mary-BUPT Design and Build Hack Week, which aims to unite students from both universities, took place at Queen Mary’s Mile End campus from Monday 29 January to Friday 2 February.

Hacking and programming NAO robots

19 students from the BUPT Joint Programme (JP) Innovation Centre initiative and Queen Mary were split into five teams for the challenge, where they hacked and programmed NAO robots to do football tricks.

The week ended with a competition attended by Professor Simon Lucas, Head of Queen Mary’s School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science (EECS), Professor Kaspar Althoefer, Head of Advanced Robotics (ARQ) at Queen Mary, and Mr Carl Clement, an industrial expert in robotics. Team Phoenix were the winning team, who impressed the judges with their robot’s strong penalty scores and overall consistency.

Savan Babubhai Lacmane from Queen Mary, who was in Team Spark5, said: “I found the Design and Build Hack Week to be a fun, challenging, and memorable experience. Working with the robots as a team with people from different backgrounds was very enjoyable. We learnt new skills, shared ideas with each other, and did our best to implement them. Working with the BUPT students was a wonderful experience. We got to know each other well and helped one another in numerous ways."

A “fantastic opportunity” for Joint Programme students

Professor Yue Chen, Director of the JP, closed the annual event by recognising the hard work of the participants and the event organiser, Dr Matthew Tang.

“The annual Design and Build Hack Week is a fantastic opportunity for our Joint Programme students, who mainly study in Beijing, to come and work with our London students. It’s great to see them making friends and learning from one another in an exciting setting which is closely related to their programmes,” Professor Chen said.

She added: “This is truly in the spirit of the Queen Mary-BUPT JP and demonstrates the importance of our transnational programme, where exchanges in knowledge, skills and cultures can really benefit the students and lead them to become the next generation of high-tech engineers.”

Updated by: Martin Knight