The MoD recently supported students at The Leigh UTC with their Btec Level 3 Engineering: Unit 3 engineering project. The brief was to design and build a robot that could remotely disarm an IED (improvised explosive device) by cutting a wire. Students worked in small teams to create their solutions using the VEX robotics kits.

As part of the support, the MoD invited all the year 13 engineers to the IEDD (improvised Explosive Device Disposal) training facility in Warwickshire. Here, students were taught about IEDs and how the MoD currently respond to the threat. The students were able to operate some of the current RCVs used by the MoD. This experience was key to the students understanding the brief and the real world application of their project.

On completion of the project, four staff members from the MoD visited the UTC to form a panel for the students to present their final work to. Each group presented their robotic solution to the panel and answered questions from them. They each then demonstrated the success of their robot, navigating their bot across the sand and rock terrain in the test site set up in the workshop to find the mock device and disarm it.

The MoD were impressed with the work carried out by the students over the duration of the project and are keen to support the UTC next year.