Programming and robots at Shanghai French School with the ZigZag contest

If we tell you “Line follower robots contest”, does that ring any bell? Probably not. This is exactly why we went off to discover this project set up by the AEFE (Agency for French Teaching Abroad) for the 9th Graders of the Asia-Pacific region. What did it consist of?

By teams of 4 students, the objective of the ZigZag competition was to present a robot able to compete in 3 distinct areas: an imposed course, a design contest, and a 3D modelling contest with the use of a Computer-Aided Design (CAD) programme.

If we did without the 3D printing this year, the 9th Graders of Qingpu had the responsibility to design the frame and bonnet they had imagined for their MBot robot, and to entirely program it. Not that easy!

Each line follower robot had to be switched on by the participants and go around the 3m track 3 times before stopping at the finish line. Each robot brought in a certain number of points following the distance traveled and the time taken to finish the track.

Beyond the technical and mathematics challenges created by the coding aspect of the programming, the ZigZag competition also considered the students’ creativity through the designs realised as well as their capacity to monitor their project throughout the working sessions.

Well done to all the participants and to the students who succeeded making their robot travel around the track at least once!