The Robotics EducationNZ Trust was established in 2013 to carry on the work begun by Harold Russ and Ruth Purnell in 2003. One of the Trust's core purposes is to run the National RoboCup Junior competition, and support the running of the regional competitions. The trustees are all long-term members of a wider group which runs the annual Otago regional RoboCup Junior event.
Bill Boyes, Tahuna Normal Intermediate School
From a career in Agricultural Engineering, Bill has been teaching Design Technology to intermediate age students since 2003. He has introduced robotics units to his school and now all 500 students complete at least one robotics unit each year. Those interested can pursue electives in more advanced robotics and prepare for the local and national robotics competitions. He has been active on the regional robotics committee since it began and helped at a National level for a number of years. Bill's interests are Practical Engineering, Design, Simple Electronics and Robotics.
Chris Edwards, University of Otago
Chris enjoys finding frivolous and serious uses for technology. In addition to teaching database systems at the University of Otago's Information Science department, he runs an after-school mechatronics club, and has helped with a number of University outreach programmes. He has interests in music and audio, computer performance tuning, telemetry and control systems, digital forensics, and is a big fan of Pure Data and Tcl/Tk. Recent obsessions include 3D printing and CNC machine tools.
Sandy Garner, University of Otago
Sandy teaches programming at the Computer Science Department, University of Otago, and does everything she can to support the teaching and learning of programming in schools. Along with her colleague and fellow trustee Anthony Robins, she has written programming workbooks for Year 12 and Year 13 NZ school students. These workbooks support the new Digital technology programming standards which were rolled out in schools from 2011 to 2013. Robotics is a fun way to introduce children much younger than this to programming.
Donald Liddell, Scott Technology
Donald is Controls and Vision Team Leader at Scott Technology Ltd. His son Ben introduced him to Robocup Junior many years ago. Ben now comes back every year to help judge the soccer. Donald has chaired the Otago Robotics Education Committee, which runs the Otago competition and from which the Trust developed, for as long as we can remember. He now chairs the Trust as well. Donald networks tirelessly to connect local engineering and IT businesses with local schools to their mutual advantage.
Mike Paulin, University of Otago
Mike is Associate Professor in Zoology at the University of Otago. He teaches neurobiology, applied statistics and computational modelling. His research is about neural mechanisms that animals use for perceiving and controlling movements. Current projects involve sharks, frogs and spiders. Between 1999 and 2006, Mike worked at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, on navigation and control systems for advanced autonomous robots.
Anthony Robins, University of Otago
Anthony is a Professor of Computer Science at the University of Otago. He got started with Lego robots in 2006, while his children were at school. The kids have long since grown up and moved on, but Anthony and the robots are still busy with projects for schools, and RoboCup Junior.