Chess-playing robot wins IMechE mechatronics prize

Loughborough University’s Guy King has won the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) Mechatronics Student of the Year competition. 


Guy’s entry ‘Design and Build Chess Playing Robot’ was named the overall winner at an event held at IMechE’s London headquarters. The 20-year-old final year mechanical engineering student received a cheque for £1000 and a glass trophy from sponsor L.B. Foster.

“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,” said Dr Mark Aston, chief technical officer at L.B. Foster.

“Guy’s project was an exceptional example of mechatronics in action. In addition, his competition presentation was thorough and professional and impressed all of the judges. Creating an automated chess-playing robot, taking into account 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.”

IMechE’s annual awards celebrate the best undergraduate or recent graduate student project in the field of mechatronics. Alongside Dr Aston, the judging panel also included Dr Martyn Paradise and Jerry Hughes Fellow IMechE, a specialist consultant focused on the global fluid power industry.

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’.

“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,” said Guy.  “This is a great addition to my CV and I hope it’s just the start of a successful career in engineering.”