Through the 2017 competition season, Barker competed in four regional events - in China, Sydney and New York - before progressing to the World Championships in Houston, Texas.
In this challenge, each three team alliance are required to build steam pressure by collecting fuel represented by yellow balls; use their robots to retrieve and deliver gears to pilots on an airship; and prepare for flight, with the robots climbing aboard the airship! The Barker Redbacks were awarded the Innovation in Control Award at the inaugural Shenzhen, China Regional competition in March 2017, as well as captaining the winning alliance at this competition. On the back of this competition, the Redbacks again took out the Regional title at the Southern Cross FRC in Sydney against 28 other teams from Australia, Taiwan and China, as well as winning the Excellence in Engineering Award. At the South Pacific Regional the following week, the team took out their third title from a pool of 43 teams, and were awarded their second Excellence in Engineering Award. In April, the Redbacks took out their latest Regional Title at the New York City FIRST Robotics competition. The team were also awarded the Chairman’s Award for their world-wide contribution to robotics.
The Redbacks are currently ranked in the top 10 teams in the world!
The Barker Zero Robotics team, Redshift, has been competing in an online robotics programming competition, where the robots are SPHERES that reside on board the International Space Station.
Created by MIT and the University of Sydney’s former NASA astronaut, Professor Greg Chamitoff, the competition involves over 180 teams worldwide. Sydney University provide mentors to schools who attend weekly coding and strategy sessions. Barker’s team recently competed with twenty teams from Australia and 160 international teams through several phases of competition in a simulation environment.
Zero Robotics aims to build critical engineering skills for students such as problem solving, design thought process, operations training, and team work. Teams solve a challenge involving the SPHERES that has been designed to be of scientific interest to NASA. Through a series of competitions starting virtually online and then aboard the ISS, students exercise their creative problem-solving skills and take on real world design problems.