Unlike the real-life destruction machines, RoboCode is a game where teams use Java, a programming language, to control robot tanks that battle with each other. The little graphical tanks need to be cleverly programmed to avoid being hit and smart enough to move around an arena without any kind of manual control. All of their intelligence is part of a single Java file, designed by the students. The arena is a large computer monitor that is projected onto a wall. Everyone can see the ruthless robots at work, including information about the energy level and radar scanning capability of each robot.

During the past three months, third level colleges and university students have made perfect “battle bots” with on-board intelligence to maneuver and fire on screen. The RoboCode competition “ is intended as an opportunity for fresher years to demonstrate their programming abilities,” said James Greenslade, Director of ICT Department at Tipperary Institute. The best Robot Tanks from colleges and universities will battle to the finish in Thurles in an event sponsored by the Dell, Sun, the Irish Computer Society, PC Realm, Gamestop, Micromail and Stakelum’s Office Supplies.

This year’s event will feature a display from the Irish “Robot of Destruction” team, who will be exhibiting both full size and miniature robots. It will also feature “Pit Tanks” developed by special guests Patrick Collison, ESAT Young Scientist 2005 and Peter Benilov’s "Robocode Targeting" project. Both Patrick and Peter attended Robocode 2004 as part of a school trip organised by their Castletroy College teacher Lisa Kiely.

Secondary level schools are welcome to attend as part of the audience at this years event and should pre-book by contacting Rita Clohessy, in the ICT Department, on 0504 28250 or email mailto: robocode2005@tippinst.ie robocode2005@tippinst.ie as places are limited.

Full details for the event can be found on the Robocode website located atwww.robocode.ie. Schools attending on the day will be included in a number of the competitions and draws taking place during the event.

About Tipperary Institute

Tipperary Institute first opened its doors to full-time students in 1999. It is a dual campus Institute with campuses located in Clonmel and Thurles. Three departments form the backbone of the Institute’s academic programmes: Business, Information & Communications Technology (ICT) and Rural Development. All programmes are HETAC accredited and a work placement module forms an integral part of each programme.