By Panny Antoniou

A team composed of Romanian students from Nicolae Balcescu High School have beaten all UK-based teams in a coding challenge. The competition is known as the Adoptabot Challenge which was held for the second time this year.

Competing over Skype, their task was to come up with an imaginative idea which uses some or all of a Finch Robot's functions. A Finch robot is a tool which is used in Computer Science Education to teach students how to program in 12 different programming languages.

Interestingly, despite popular perceptions of Romania, they are one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world. Romania has amongst the fastest internet connections of any country with download speeds at 60 mbps. This is significantly faster than the United Kingdom which only has a download speed of 30.7 mbps. Additionally there is a rich history of coding in Romania with many pioneering computer scientists such as Andrei Alexandrescu who was a pioneer in policy-based design and Grigore Moisil who is regarded as the father of Romanian computer science.

The competition was supported by undergraduate mentors from Brunel's computer science department. The winning teams' idea was a "ghost detector" which involved using the Finch's lights and temperature sensors to search dark rooms for "ghostly" heat signatures which it then attacks.

Dean of the College of Engineering, Design and Physical Sciences, Professor David Gilbert is quoted as saying “Adoptabot is a fantastic way to get the children involved in teamwork, concept design and problem solving. We were really pleased that the children showed creativity and confidence in their presentations."

Thank you to all the Brunel Students and staff who helped make this a success and congratulations to all who took part in the competition - both in the UK and abroad.