industry news
Subscribe Now

RS Components joins forces with VEX Robotics to set summer STEM coding challenge

LONDON, UK, 7 July 2020 – RS Components (RS), a trading brand of Electrocomponents plc (LSE: ECM), a global omni-channel solutions partner for industrial customers and suppliers, has paired up with educational robotics systems provider VEX Robotics to launch its latest STEM initiative for 8- to 16-year olds.

The online challenge tasks students with writing code to enable a virtual robot to deliver ingredients to a production line in a virtual crisp factory. The virtual robot requires students to code its movement, and sensors help it to navigate around the factory floor and to collect and release containers for the ingredients to make the crisps.

The coding task is executed via VEXcode VR, using a simple block-based programming environment powered by Scratch or a Python text-based interface. VEXcode VR is a web-based portal, no installation is required, and it will run on all major desktops, Chromebook and tablet browsers.

The challenge is split into three categories: primary school students (aged 8 to 11); lower secondary school students (aged 11 to 14, in years 7-9); upper secondary school students (aged 14 to 16, in years 10-11). Students have the option to complete three coding tasks, with more difficult tasks available for students to gain additional credit from the judges. Further credit will also be given for solutions using Python coding throughout.

Winners will be selected by judges from RS and VEX Robotics who will assess the most efficient and creative code used in the challenge. One winner in each age category will receive a VEX Robotics off road truck, a remote-controlled vehicle kit that is assembled from over 820 parts and, once complete, can be controlled using the VEX Pilot app. The runner-up of each category will receive a VEX robotics gear racer kit, which enables the user to experiment with how different gear ratios affect the speed and acceleration of a rubber band-powered car.

“Coding is a creative process and a key engineering skill that we must nurture for continued innovation in technology,” commented Laura Giddings, STEM Education Manager at RS. “This online educational challenge with VEX Robotics is designed to encourage young minds to explore coding in a fun, safe and engaging way, and to reward them with a sense of achievement in the learning process.”

“For over a decade, VEX Robotics has helped students to develop skills in design, engineering and coding through competitive robotics,” said Chris Calver, UK Education Manager at VEX Robotics. “Now with VEXcode VR, teachers can continue to use robotics concepts to teach computing and coding even when it is not possible to be using physical robots. These skills in programming, testing and debugging are easily transferable, not only to physical robots but also to all other areas of computer science.”

For details of how to enter the challenge, please visit http://uk.rs-online.com/STEM. The closing date for submissions is 00:00 BST on Friday 31 August 2020. The winners will be announced in early September.

For more information about RS Education, please visit https://uk.rs-online.com/Education.

Leave a Reply

featured blogs
Oct 19, 2020
Have you ever wondered if there may another world hidden behind the facade of the one we know and love? If so, would you like to go there for a visit?...
Oct 19, 2020
Sometimes, you attend an event and it feels like you are present at the start of a new era that will change some aspect of the technology industry. Of course, things don't change overnight. One... [[ Click on the title to access the full blog on the Cadence Community si...
Oct 16, 2020
Another event popular in the tech event circuit is PCI-SIG® DevCon. While DevCon events are usually in-person around the globe, this year, like so many others events, PCI-SIG DevCon is going virtual. PCI-SIG DevCons are members-driven events that provide an opportunity to le...
Oct 16, 2020
[From the last episode: We put together many of the ideas we'€™ve been describing to show the basics of how in-memory compute works.] I'€™m going to take a sec for some commentary before we continue with the last few steps of in-memory compute. The whole point of this web...

featured video

Demo: Inuitive NU4000 SoC with ARC EV Processor Running SLAM and CNN

Sponsored by Synopsys

Autonomous vehicles, robotics, augmented and virtual reality all require simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) to build a map of the surroundings. Combining SLAM with a neural network engine adds intelligence, allowing the system to identify objects and make decisions. In this demo, Synopsys ARC EV processor’s vision engine (VPU) accelerates KudanSLAM algorithms by up to 40% while running object detection on its CNN engine.

Click here for more information about DesignWare ARC EV Processors for Embedded Vision

featured paper

An engineer’s guide to autonomous and collaborative industrial robots

Sponsored by Texas Instruments

As robots are becoming more commonplace in factories, it is important that they become more intelligent, autonomous, safer and efficient. All of this is enabled with precise motor control, advanced sensing technologies and processing at the edge, all with robust real-time communication. In our e-book, an engineer’s guide to industrial robots, we take an in-depth look at the key technologies used in various robotic applications.

Click here to download the e-book

Featured Chalk Talk

USB Type C Wireless Power Charging

Sponsored by Mouser Electronics and Wurth

Today, there are fantastic new standard battery charging solutions that can help with your design. But, many designers don’t know where to begin with implementing these complex standards. In this episode of Chalk Talk, Amelia Dalton chats with Hebberly Ahatan of Wurth Electronik about the latest charging standards, and how new kits from Wurth make implementing them in your next design a snap.

Click here for more information about Wurth Design Kits