PIONEERING pupils from West Linton have kept the Borders on the inventors map with another technological success.

Last Saturday, six children from the village entered two robots in this year’s Scottish Robotics Games in Edinburgh,

And they won the mighty tug-of-war competition.

The event is run by the Rampaging Chariots Guild and was hosted by engineering company Leonardo (UK) at their site in Crewe Toll.

This year was the biggest Games so far, with over 60 robots taking part.

The Games aim to spark an interest in engineering amongst young people and encourage the study of science-based subjects at school and university.

It is made up of four events, as robots compete in an assault course, football competition, and either tug-of-war or sumo wrestling.

A spokesman for the West Linton team told us: "Robots are provided by the Rampaging Chariots Guild, who encourage the teams to customise them. For their first robot, the team from Socialize stuck to standard specifications, allowing them to learn some basic woodwork, metalwork, and how to solder electronic circuits. They named this robot Simbatron 250.

"For their second robot, which they named Pumbatron 2000, they had a little more fun.

"They developed a four wheel drive mechanism, which saw them milling aluminium wheel shafts on a lathe, designing and 3D-printing motor mounts and cog wheels, splitting and re-joining bicycle chains for the drive mechanism, and customising the body."

Over the past 18 months, children from the West Linton Wasps, the West Linton Whales, the Peebles Potatoes and the Little Lauder Lego Legends have won trophies in the First Lego League (FLL).

The West Linton Wasps championed the UK and Ireland final in 2016 and were invited to go on to the FLL World Festival in the US.

Little Lauder Lego Legends also followed in their footsteps this year, as they won the East of Scotland Lego Finals, came ninth in the UK and Ireland Finals, and were invited to Denmark to compete in the European Open Championship.

Following the success of the West Linton Wasps last year, a new Technology Club was added to the West Linton Socialize youth group to try to maintain an interest in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) for children.

And it was six youngsters from the Socialize group who competed in Edinburgh last weekend.

With one of the micro-chips becoming unstable just the night before the games, there was no time to test the West Linton robot and the group had no idea how it would perform

However, their fears were short lived as Pumbatron got off to a strong start in the assault course and earned a place in the knockout rounds. Beaten by a more experienced team in the first round, Pumbatron later came up against the team’s own Simbatron in the football competition. Despite winning the game, they were beaten in the following round, and Simbatron also suffered defeat in the Sumo against more powerful robots.

However, no robot could come anywhere near Pumbatron’s performance in the tug-of-war. None of its bouts lasted more than two seconds. Even other four wheel drive robots were no match, and Pumbatron was crowned outright winner.

The West Linton Socialize team were presented with their trophy by Professor Sethu Vijayakumar, one of the judges on the TV Robot Wars programme.

They were also presented with the best Newcomers award and were touched to be presented with the Mark Andrew Sportsmanship Award by Mark’s widow.

The West Linton Socialize spokesman added: “We would like to thank the Rampaging Chariots Guild for their support in providing the robots and keeping the games running, and also to Leonardo for hosting the games.

"We hope it continues and encourages more children to take an interest in STEM subjects.”