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Chess playing robot is crowned a winner

21 October 2019

A Loughborough University engineering student has been crowned winner of the IMechE Mechatronics Student of the Year competition.

Twenty-year-old Guy King is a final year student studying Mechanical Engineering at Loughborough University. His entry ‘Design and Build Chess Playing Robot’ was judged the overall winner at the final presentations held at IMechE’s headquarters in London. He received a cheque for £1,000 and a glass trophy from sponsor L.B. Foster.

Dr Mark Aston is Chief Technical Officer at L.B. Foster. He says: “Mechatronics is a multidisciplinary field of engineering that includes a combination of mechanical engineering, robotics, electronics, computer engineering, telecommunications engineering, systems engineering and control engineering. Guy’s project was an exceptional example of mechatronics in action. In addition, his competition presentation was thorough and professional and impressed all the judges. 

“Creating an automated chess playing robot, considering the complexity of some chess moves, is an extraordinary accomplishment. It demonstrates a clarity of thought, as well as recognition of the potential commercial opportunities. Congratulations Guy.”

Guy beat off competition from three other finalists. Leah Edwards from Loughborough University presented her ‘Automated Noughts & Crosses System’; Andrei Ciobanu talked through his ‘Vision-based Target Tracking System for Sports’, whilst Mathus Thongkerd shared his project ‘Design and Development of Autonomous Picking Robot’.

Guy says: “It was quite nerve-wracking presenting to such a knowledgeable judging panel in the inspiring surroundings of IMechE’s headquarters, especially considering the people who have stood here before me. This is a great addition to my CV and I hope it’s just the start of a successful career in engineering.”

Dr Martyn Paradise, Fellow IMechE, chaired the Mechatronics Student of the Year competition. He said: “The quality of competition entries is of the highest level and reflects the exceptional engineering talent that we have in our universities. IMechE champions these type of activities as we are all about harnessing talent and developing skills and competencies through a commitment to continuing professional development. This competition is an inspiring example of what can be achieved with energy, enthusiasm and application.

“I’d like to thank L.B. Foster for its continued support of the competition, providing £1,000 to our winner and each of our finalists with a stunning glass trophy to mark their success.”

Hosted at the IMechE headquarters at 1 Birdcage Walk, London, the annual awards celebrate the best undergraduate or recent graduate student project in the field of mechatronics. Judges included Dr Martyn Paradise, Dr Mark Aston, Chief Technical Officer at L.B. Foster Europe and Jerry Hughes Fellow IMechE, a specialist consultant focused on the global fluid power industry.

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