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National Robocode Champions 2024

A team of students from the University of Limerick have emerged victorious at this year’s National Robocode Competition which was held as part of the 2024 Games Fleadh at the Technological University of the Shannon (TUS), in Thurles County Tipperary.

ICT Learning Centre Director Mr Clem O’Donnell with National Robocode champions Mr Lewis Ubebe, Mr Maksims Gerkis and Mr Nathan Ndlovu.

The triumphant ‘UL_SeeSaw’ team, comprised of three Computer Science students from the Department of Computer Science and Information Systems (CSIS), namely Mr Nathan Ndlovu, Mr Lewis Ubebe and Mr Maksims Gerkis.

The team faced tough competition from other rival teams representing three higher education institutions in the region, TUS Thurles (Tipperary), TUS Moylish (Limerick) and the South East Technological University (SETU), (Carlow).

Robocode is an annual programming contest open to first year full-time undergraduate students. It provides a platform for participants to showcase their programming prowess and enhance their skills in graphical user interface (GUI) programming, application programming interface (API) usage, and Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Using Java programming language, each team develops strategies for their tanks, which must autonomously navigate the battlefield, dodging enemy fire while seeking out and eliminating opponents without manual intervention.

Mr Clem O’Donnell, Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Learning Centre Director at UL, reflected on the victory, which he said highlights the University’s commitment to fostering students’ ICT skills and promoting active learning. He stated, “Since 2010, UL ICT students’ participation in this competition and other similar annual competitions has been organised and managed by the ICT Learning Centre as part of our aim to enhance and broaden the students’ ICT skill-sets, promote active and student-centred learning, and to promote ICT as a career path. We are very proud of our students’ achievement, given that UL’s last victory in this competition dates back to 2016.”

Speaking on behalf of the winning team Mr Nathan Ndlovu said: “I think Robocode is an amazing competition as it allows you to demonstrate your skills using API, and also gives you experience of using Java for other purposes – we are delighted with the win!”

This year’s competition featured one team from each of the four represented institutions, engaging in intense battles throughout the morning. UL_SeeSaw’s robotic tank navigated through individual skirmishes to reach the semi-finals, where they faced off against TUS (Moylish), prevailing in a nail-biting match with a score of 7-5. This victory propelled them into the final showdown against TUS (Thurles), where UL emerged victorious with a final score of 9-6.

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