A COLAC robotic soccer team has returned from Canberra as national champion.
Trinity College entered two teams into the novice category of a RoboCup Junior National Championships, and ended the tournament with trophies for first and third place.
Robotics teacher John Sturm said the triumphant “Dream Team” comprising Emily Raison, Joseph Ford and Samantha Eyers had a “brutal final” against a South Korean team.
“The competition was very, very strong this year, there were 27 teams in it from all over Australia, New Zealand, China and South Korea,” Mr Sturm said.
“And the South Korean team came fourth in the world championships so they were a very, very good side,” he said.
“It was a brutal final – we won 10-8 after trailing 5-3 at half-time.”
Trinity students Harry Nolle and James Towers were in the third-placed Robocraft team, which qualified for next year’s world championships along with the Dream Team.
“They were very inexperienced but they did very well and they got through the play-off to get to the semis, and they caused a bit of an upset there to come third,” Mr Sturm said.
“They’ve really exceeded themselves,” he said.
The matches involve two robots per team using sensors to find an infrared-emitting ball.
Mr Sturm said the teams entered the weekend’s tournament with high expectations.
“We knew we were in with a big chance but once you get into the last four, it’s perilous,” he said.
Trinity’s team captain Jack Raison of the JC Superstars team, which competed in a Premier League 2.5-kilogram section, lost 7-6 in the quarter finals.
“All teams and I would like to acknowledge the leadership and support that captain Jack Raison has provided the young robotics teams,” Mr Sturm said.
“Colac should be very proud of these young people,” Mr Sturm said.
Mr Sturm said Jack had his eye on November’s world championships in Malaysia.
Jack and teammate Clint Fraser qualified for the tournament in the novice category last year.
He said Jack and Clint would leave for Kuala Lumpur in five weeks, with the two other teams heading to Jakarta, Indonesia, next year.