Press coverage

The first press coverage has been published for the welly wanger, in the Daily Post, and after walking around Aberystwyth in the rain for about 20 minutes I managed to find a copy.

album359/File0001.jpg is a scan of the article for you to read for yourself.

The OCR output of a scan of the article follows:

Robot welly wanger puts boot into rivals

meet scrap

WELSH scientists are hoping for a world
first with the debut of a welly-throwing
Aberystwyth’s metal marvel makes its
debut later this month in Dorset.
Scientists at the university’s Depart-
ment of Computer Science were chal-
lenged to build a mechanised welly-
thrower using scrap metal and discarded
mechanical parts.
And the team of three – expected to
take a leading role in a forthcoming
European Space Agency mission to Mars,
– rose to the challenge.
They claim their robot is capable of
throwing a Wellington up to 80 metres.
The machine is powered by a diesel
engine from an old concrete mixer with
the gearbox of an old Citroen 2CV moun-
ted on a home-made chassis.

Team members Richard Shipman, who
teaches artificial intelligence, Dr Andy
Shaw, a researcher in space robotics, and
computer technician lan Izett applied
their scientific expertise in robotics and
artificial intelligence to improve its
throwing accuracy – the main criteria for

judging the competition.
Up to six Wellingtons a time are fired
from a 2m diameter computer-con-
trolled disc which rotates at up to 250
times per minute.
A second computer monitors wind
speed and direction and relays the in-

formation via a third computer and a
radio link to a laptop where team mem-
bers can monitor its progress.
Speaking as final field trials were set to
get under way, Mr Shipman said: “Other
than building the machine itself, the
main challenge for us has been getting
the computer systems to talk to each
other and then to interact with all the
“The exercise has been very useful for
our research as it’s the kind of work we
are always doing with robots and
autonomous vehicles.
“Basically this ‘welly wanger’ is a robot
– probably the first of its kind in the
“All that remains to be done now is to
teach the robot itself what its capabilities
“It has been built with a certain
amount of artificial intelligence and dur-
ing the final week of field trials it will
learn in the same way as a small child
learns as it grows up”, he added.
The Re-booters, as the team is known,
will line up against 15 other mechanical
“welly wangers” at the Great Dorset
Steam Fair on Wednesday, August 30.
The competition is due to be broadcast
on Channel 4’s Scrapheap Challenge
series in the spring of 2007.

The mechanical welly throwing team the Rebooters, experts in robotics and
artificial intelligence, from left: lan Izett, Andy Shaw and Richard Shipman

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