Culture & Events

Hamilton City Libraries set rural robotics challenge at Fieldays

Hamilton City Libraries featured as part of the Rural Catch competition at this year’s Fieldays, but it wasn’t reading skills that were put to the test.

Rural Catch, one of the most high-profile events at Fieldays, examines the rural skills and agricultural business knowledge of eight eligible singles from around the country.

Included in the competition is an innovation challenge, which was set by members of the team from Hamilton City Libraries.

Exhibiting at Fieldays for the first time, Hamilton City Libraries feature as part of the Careers and Education Hub.

The stall showcases Hamilton City Libraries’ robotics kits, which the Rural Catch competitors were tasked with mastering.

Using LEGO Mindstorm technology, the rural rivals were put into teams of two to program a robot vehicle to navigate a course around and between wooden blocks.

Hamilton City Libraries’ Children and Teens Librarian, Aaron Martin, was impressed with how the competitors tackled the challenge.

“The most important thing was their attitude,” says Mr Martin. “That’s what we hope for when we use the robotics kits at our libraries and in the community – that people have a go and engage with the technology.”

The Rural Catch innovation challenge was won by Christchurch’s Sam Harvey and Charlotte Leach, of Hamilton.

Mr Harvey, who had no previous experience with robotics, says the challenge called for more technical skills.

“It was all about teamwork and problem solving,” says the 26-year-old.

The winner of the Rural Catch, who receives $25,000 worth of prizes, will be announced today (Friday 14 June 2019).

Images: Hamilton City Libraries’ Children and Teens Librarian, Aaron Martin, with the winners of the Fieldays Rural Catch innovation challenge, Sam Harvey and Charlotte Leach. Rural Catch contestants Kerry Taylor and Trent Hill programming their LEGO Mindstorm robot. 

 

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