Into robots or coding?

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Introducing a New Initiative  . . .the U3A Constructor’s Challenge 2019

Are there any mechanical or electrical constructors in the U3A movement who like to build small items as projects? We are proposing a new initiative where particular project builds can be capable of moving and being controlled, and are pitted against each other in a series of challenges. The constructions can be in the form of a moving “robot” of whatever form, subject to some simple rules, but capable of being adapted for each of the challenges. You may have heard of “Raspberry Pi”, “Arduino” or “Picaxe”, which are all programmable devices, and will aid the use of sensors being used for the more advanced challenges. So, the challenge will clearly be of interest to coding creators too.

The venue for the proposed first Challenge is Conference Aston in Birmingham where the U3A Science Network is holding its 2019 meeting in August 2019. We hope this will generate a lot of interest within the U3A Science & Technology or practical constructional groups. This is a call to register your interest in such an event to give time for participating teams to be formed and the “robots” to be built to meet the challenges.

To register your interest, please contact:  (Michaela Moody) or Barry James at  stating the U3A to which you belong, any experience you have with robotics and or coding, and whether you’d actually like to participate in the challenge. Please include your email address and a preferred contact number.

We’d like to see this as an opportunity for budding robot builders and coders as well as some of the more experienced of you. In the new year, we’ll publish the basic Rules for the Challenge, update the website and keep everyone abreast of the developments. We are hoping to include a visit to the School of Engineering & Applied Science Robotics department as part of the challenge.