Crowd-funding bid for Mintlaw Academy

Mintlaw Academy students competing in the ROV MATE international competition.
Mintlaw Academy students competing in the ROV MATE international competition.

A crowd-funding page has been set up by Mintlaw Academy in a bid to raise £1,100 towards equipment.

The school’s technology faculty has taken part and been successful in the ROV MATE international ROV competition for the past six years, visiting America on three occasions to represent Scotland.

The project the school is undertaking is to introduce younger children to the world of ROVs and underwater robotics.

Ali Hind from Mintlaw Academy said: “We currently have six smaller ROVs that are controlled by basic wiring and switches, and we aim to introduce pupils to the world of coding.

“The way to progress the project and move it forward is the control system, which is Arduino-based coding. Arduino is a worldwide open source code and hardware that engineers all over the world are experimenting with on different projects.

“Coding is slowly becoming a bigger part of our every day life so this project will provide primary school pupils an opportunity to build and pilot underwater robots,” he said.

Mr Hind said while the school had the basic kits to build the ROVs, it didn’t have the necessary equipment to train the pupils to use Arduino and engage with the process of coding.

“We aim to purchase a set of starter kits and motor drivers that will allow the pupils to experience the world of coding, not only controlling ROVs but also to create weather stations, other robots, bringing projects to life.”

The aim is for existing senior pupils to work with the primary-age pupils to pass on their knowledge and skills, while the seniors themselves increase their skills set.

Mr Hind said Arduino Starter Kits cost £585 which will allow for a class of pupils.

Cytron motor driver kits are £21.36 each (12 required), while 12 joysticks and two Axis joysticks come in at £83.52 with 12 reversing cameras costing £155.88 and wiring and connection at £20, bringing the total cost to £1,100.72 (including VAT).

Mr Hind added: “If we’re fortunate enough to raise more than our target, then we would also like to buy extra thursters that can be used to build more vehicles so wecan have two groups running at the same time.”

If you would like to donate, please go to https://rocket.fund/p/ROV-Primary/?ref=90401&fbclid=IwAR2iTW1l-ti2ocaTJyMGBNoHAC9W-xOr5oReGxeFFsdP0ulzFqXyuPRgWjU