Members of Team Hybrid, a robotics engineering team from Queen Elizabeth’s School, Barnet, recently shared insights into their remarkable journey in the world of robotics competitions.
As proud sponsors of Team Hybrid, TECHNIA and Claytex, leading providers of design and systems engineering software, have been supporting these young engineers in their pursuit of excellence.
With their dedication, innovative design processes, and utilization of cutting-edge tools like SOLIDWORKS, Team Hybrid is shaping the future of robotics. Through this article, we explore their goals, challenges, and the impact of their sponsor’s support on their journey.
“The way this competition works is, we design, build and program our own robot from scratch. And essentially[…] we play two-minute matches against other teams. There are self-driving matches, and driver control matches. And whoever gets the most points by the end of the two-minute period wins.
If we win one of our matches, then we have a knockout stage. And if we win the knockout stage, then we win the tournament champions trophy. So, our aim as a team is to continue to win as many of these trophies as possible, both on the international stage in Las Vegas and in the national stage on Telford.”
Building a Strong Foundation
Team Hybrid comprises nine talented individuals who share a passion for robotics. While a few members were unable to attend the interview, their team spirit and commitment to success were evident. With four additional members working together, the team boasts a robust roster of young engineers, making it a force to be reckoned with.
Design Tools and Support
When asked about the tools they utilize, the team proudly mentioned their extensive use of SOLIDWORKS for CAD design. The team members have obtained SOLIDWORKS certification, enhancing their proficiency in this essential design software.
“We use CAD such as SOLIDWORKS to make a virtual model of the design. And this makes it easy for us to iterate the design, share the design with others, and build upon it rather than wasting resources in real life.”
The Ultimate Goal: Winning
Team Hybrid’s primary goal is to win robotics competitions. Their current challenge involves shooting discs into hoops within a specified time frame. Matches are conducted with teams competing against one another, combining self-driving and driver control.
The team’s aim is to win prestigious trophies such as the Tournament Champions Trophy and the Excellence Trophies at both national and international stages.
With three trophies already secured this season, Team Hybrid’s past achievements reflect their dedication and skill. Over the years, the team has amassed an impressive collection of accolades, making them one of the most renowned robotics teams in the country and the world. Their continuous pursuit of excellence has earned them the respect and admiration of their peers.
Competing on a Global Scale
Team Hybrid competes against a significant number of teams at various levels. Regional competitions usually involve around 24 teams, national competitions see participation from 60 to 70 teams, and international events host approximately 250 teams. On the world stage, they face competition from 600 to 700 teams across 120 countries. These staggering numbers highlight the scale and global reach of the robotics competitions in which Team Hybrid thrives.
Design Challenges and Innovative Solutions
Designing a competitive robot comes with its fair share of challenges. Uncertainty surrounding the feasibility of new ideas and constraints within the competition’s guidelines are constant hurdles.
To overcome these challenges, Team Hybrid leverages their expertise in CAD design, sketching, and a well-defined design process. Their ability to iterate designs virtually before physical construction saves valuable time and resources.
“We’ve developed a bespoke design process where we incorporate programming, CAD, sketching, and a cyclical design so that we can critically analyze and make sure our robot is the best it could be.”
Additionally, they’ve developed a proprietary data analysis system, allowing them to fine-tune their robot’s performance and address issues effectively.
“We really like using our own data analysis system. This is something that we programed ourselves. It’s an algorithm that basically analyzes the actions that we do in our brain. So, every time we drive, every time it drives itself, it reads off stuff like, you know, efficiency, talk, half horsepower, and it gives us a big reading at the end. We can put that reading into graphs and it will give us really accurate information on points when motors are failing, points when our design is failing, and how we can easily use that to adapt our robot.”
Balancing Analysis and Real-World Testing
Team Hybrid maintains a delicate balance between virtual analysis and real-world testing. While CAD modeling and data analysis play crucial roles in optimizing designs, physical testing on the competition field provides invaluable insights into real-world performance. By evaluating their robot’s capabilities and learning from other teams, they continuously refine their strategies and stay ahead of the competition.
Their dedication to the cyclical process of design-build-test has resulted in Team Hybrid being awarded with the coveted UK National Design Award, recognising their approach to problem solving and documentation of the decision making process as the best in the UK for 2022-23.
Engineering Careers and Beyond
Team Hybrid’s members foresee a future in engineering for themselves. Their passion and talent have earned them recognition, including the admiration of industry professionals. They have honed their design skills and gained hands-on experience that will undoubtedly propel them into successful engineering careers
As they continue their journey, Team Hybrid aims to inspire and mentor the next generation of robotics enthusiasts, sharing their knowledge and experiences to shape the future of engineering. With their unwavering dedication and the backing of sponsors like TECHNIA and Claytex, Team Hybrid is poised to leave an indelible mark on the robotics world and beyond.
Michael Noonan, Head of Technology and the Robotics scheme which supports over 80 students in Queen Elizabeth’s School said of their future potential in the Engineering sector “ the vast majority of the students in this team have their hearts set on making an impactful, positive change through Engineering, looking at ways of developing solutions which the world is wrestling with at the moment such as energy, rising population, the opportunities and threats presented by AI and machine learning. These students have had an incredible range of exposure and immersive learning experiences which are unique to this school and setting, and thanks to the support provided by TECHNIA and Claytex, places them advantageously to be able to solve the problems of tomorrow.”