Team History

Project Bucephalus has competed in 13 seasons of the FIRST LEGO League – currently Australia’s longest running team! The team works to focus on the FLL ‘s original Core Value of “What we Discover is more important than what we win”, but also takes pride in many achievements over the years. As a result, this page is a collection of lessons, awards, and favourite memories from years of competition.



FLL Seasons


2022/2023 – Super Powered

We’re Back!

After years of remote events, “Super Powered” was back to being in-person – the first such event for most our team! After starting with 10 members, we ended up with 7 (all veterans) after losing some members early on in the season.

The team structure required an overhaul, with our oldest member (a 9 year veteran) aging out in the previous season. New students stepped up into leadership roles and produced a fantastic season. Our Innovation Project was the Fidget Charger – a Fidget-style cube that generated power when its mechanisms moved. The team was actually able to produce a working version!

SPIKE Prime continued to be the robot platform of choice, and the team did a fantastic job building on the lessons of the last season – although one of the runs had to be completely rebuilt!

We’re now waiting to compete in the 2023 Asia-Pacific Open Championships!

Event Year Location Award
Macquarie Park Regional 2022 Macquarie University 1st Place Core Values
Australian National Championships (East) 2022 Macquarie University 1st Place Champions
Asia-Pacific Open Championship 2023 Macquarie University (Results coming June 2023)
Memories: Having Lilo and Stitch play a role in our Innovation Presentation!

Seeing our friends the Fluffy Terminators jump from 20th Place to 1st Place on their last game at the Wollongong Regional.


2021/2022 – Cargo Connect

Despite COVID and remote events, 7 veterans and 3 rookies took part in “Cargo Connect”. This was a bittersweet year for the team, being the 9th and final season of FLL competition for our longest-serving member.

The Project Bucephalus season was all about cakes! Specifically, transportation of cakes in a vehicle. The team designed a self-stabilising, refrigerated container that would keep fragile cakes intact despite rough roads, sharp turns, or steep hills. The team built an automated stabiliser using an Arduino, and used Peltier devices to power a fridge. Everything was functional!

“Cargo Connect” was the team’s first time using SPIKE Prime in competition, and the season was marked with a lot of discovery and learning. The team worked hard and pushed SPIKE beyond its limits.

The entire season was remote – but the team celebrated each event with swimming in the coach’s pool followed by freshly baked cake!

Event Year Location Award
FIRST Australia Remote Regional 2021 Remote Innovation Project Award
Robot Performance Award
Australian National Championship (East) 2021 Remote Coach/Mentor Award (Lyndell Clark)
2nd Place Robot Performance Award
2nd Place Champion’s Award
Asia-Pacific Open Championships 2022 Macquarie University (Remote) Engineering Excellence
Memories: “Fixing” the Train track by firing a LEGO cannon at it!

Meeting and visiting other teams in a virtual environment.

Going on car rides to test our cake carrier – and then eating the mistakes!


2020/2021 – RePLAY

Undaunted by COVID, 6 veterans and 4 new members took up the “RePLAY” challenge!

The team continued their mission to work with wheelchair-users, developing an ice-skating wheelchair! Making the most of FRC mentors, the team went all-out on design and engineering to produce a working prototype.

The remote nature of the season produced even more challenges, with the team rising to achieve a truly remarkable robot.

Event Year Location Award
Giraween Remote Regional 2020 Giraween (Remote) Coach/Mentor Award (Andrew Clark)
Robot Performance
Regional Championship
Australian National Championships (East) 2020 Macquarie University (Remote) Engineering Excellence
Memories: COVID continued to challenge the entire FIRST community. Making the best of the situation, the team was able to remotely mentor teams across Australia and overseas! Working with TAFE NSW, Project Bucephalus was also able to run one of the very few face-to-face FLL tournaments in 2020 – adhering to strict COVID-safe restrictions to keep everyone safe.
We’ll be glad when we can stop competing via Zoom!


2019/2020 – City Shaper

The 2019 FLL Season saw 8 veterans and 2 rookies take up the City Shaper season!

This was a tough year for the Innovation Project, with the team being passionate about finding a way for wheelchair users to evacuate themselves from high-rise buildings in an emergency. The solution (the SWYFT lift system) took a lot of hard engineering work and research to complete.

The changes to the Robot Game also challenged the team, requiring them to re-evaluate their strategies and ideas – the team’s enthusiasm for this process created one of their best robots ever!

The team was selected to compete in the Asia-Pacific Open Championships in 2020, but the event was cancelled due to the COVID pandemic.

Event Year Location Award
Sydney Regional #1 2019 Macquarie University Robot Performance
Regional Championship
Australian National Championships (East) 2019 Macquarie University 1st Place National Championship
Asia-Pacific Open Championships 2020 Macquarie University Cancelled due to COVID-19
Australian Virtual Invitational 2020 Virtual Event Robot Performance
Community Impact
Memories: Floods, Bushfires and COVID! 2019/20 definitely challenged the community.
Project Bucephalus got to compete in the Australian Virtual Invitational – an official FIRST trial of a virtual FLL tournament. COVID restrictions meant the team were unable to meet in one location – so not only did they have to deliver their Presentation via Zoom, but they had to do so using 7 different cameras!


 2018/2019 – Into Orbit

Into Orbit once again saw a varied team, 4 veterans and 6 rookies aged 9-16. Exploring issues in space was extremely challenging, and the team went through several Project ideas before selecting “how humans are affected by unchanging environmental conditions”. This particular issue seemed to have been largely unexplored, requiring the team to do a LOT of research. In the end they consulted over a dozen professionals – a new team record!

The season had a number of highlights – from sharing honours with the BlockStars from Nowra in Regional, State, and National events, to both our teams attending the North American Open Championships in California. However, the result that most excited the students came after winning the National Championships – the team had a star named after them!

Event Year Location Award
Sydney Regional #1 2018 Macquarie University Robot Performance
NSW State Championships 2018 St Mary’s Star of the Sea College Robot Performance
Australian National Championships 2018 Macquarie University 2nd Place Robot Performance
1st Place National Championship
North American Open Championship 2019 LEGOLAND California 1st Place Gracious Professionalism
Memories: The warm welcome and friendship received from the students and FLL teams at Jefferson Elementary School in California!


 2017/2018 – Hydro Dynamics

The Hydro Dynamics team was a huge mix of age and experience, with 4 rookies (ages 8-13) and 2 veterans (ages 13-16). Having to train the team from the ground up was a challenging experience, but the results were outstanding- the new members did the team proud on all levels! Assigned the mission of examining the human water cycle, the team invesitaged the problem of water loss at Jamberoo Action Park. The solution was a “body dryer” booth that reclaimed water from the air as well as wet patrons.
Event Year Location Award
Sydney Regional #1 2017 Macquarie University Robot Performance
Regional Championship
Australian National Championships 2017 Macquarie University Robot Performance
2nd Place National Championship
Open European Championship 2017 Tallinn, Estonia 1st Place Gracious Professionalism
Memories: Visiting Jamberoo with everything “turned off” and discovering a bird’s nest on the chairlift

 2016/2017 – Animal Allies

The Animal Allies team was originally made up of 6 children (4 rookies) but dropped to 5 members mid-season. Despite being the smallest Project Bucephalus team ever, it has been one of the most successful! With a mission to focus on how animals and humans can help each other, the team focused on the role of Dung Beetles in handling the problem of Cattle Dung in Australia. After a LOT of research, the team members realised the biggest problem facing Dung Beetles was ignorance: they were being neglected or killed off by “normal” farming. The team created a public awareness campaign that targeted the general public as well as farmers in a way that could be understood by all.
Event Year Location Award
Sydney Regional #1 2016 Macquarie University Robot Performance
Regional Championship
Australian National Championships 2016 Macquarie University Robot Performance
National Championship
Open European Championship 2017 Aarhus, Denmark 3rd Place Championship
Memories: #1: In the last robot run of the Nationals, the robot climbed the wall in the closing seconds!

 2015/2016 – Trash Trek

For Trash Trek, Project Bucephalus fielded a team of 9 students. After a fantastic season, the only 5 advanced to International competition – many of the home-school students had decided to go to High School. With an assignment to look at ways to improve the handling of trash, the team set about studying the waste management of the Wollongong Entertainment Centre (WEC). Discovering that nearly all of the WEC bins were contaminated, the team devised the “Waste Warrior Program” to use incentives to get patrons to properly sort their waste.
Event Year Location Award
Wollongong Regional 2015 Cedars Christian College Robot Design
Australian National Championships 2016 Macquarie University Strategy and Innovation
Asia-Pacific Invitational 2016 Macquarie University 1st Place Inspiration
Memories: The Project Presentation was set in a Circus, and team members had to learn clowning, acrobatics, and general showmanship!

 2014/2015 – World Class

“World Class” challenged FLL teams to study the nature of learning. With a full roster of 10 students, the Project Bucephalus project asked the question: “How to we improve the way Shy people learn self confidence and social skills”. Armed with an array of magic tricks, the team developed the “Now You See Me” program. This used stage magic in a formal program to help people overcome shyness and/or social anxiety. After a fantastic season in Australia, the team were off to St Louis for the World Championships again – much to the delight of our American friends in St Louis!
Event Year Location Award
Wollongong Regional 2014 Cedars Christian College Robot Performance Award
Regional Championship
Australian National Championships 2015 Macquarie University National Championship
World Festival 2016 St Louis
Memories: #1: Having the team stay with our friends from St Louis

#2: Performing the Research Presentation for the crowd as part of the Encore performances

#3: Speaking at the FIRST Showcase dinner in St Louis!

 2013/2014 – Nature’s Fury

Disaster Time! With an assignment to help alleviate or prevent natural disasters, Project Bucephalus decided to be creative. The team did a “disaster swap” with their friends from St Louis, leaning about tornadoes and teaching the Americans about bushfires in return. This made for a very interesting Project, with Skype calls at odd hours to Disaster Management agencies in the USA. The end result was the “Survival Cube”, a product for residents of urban areas. In the event of major power-failure, residents would be able to extend the time they could stay at home, delaying mass evacuations and freeing up emergency services.
Event Year Location Award
Sydney Regional 2013 Macquarie University Creative Presentation
Australian National Championships 2013 Macquarie University Inspiration
Canadian Open Championships 2014 Toronto 1st Place Programming
Memories: #1: Utter robot failure at the Regionals. The robot failed to move for the first 20 seconds of the match, and the team had no chance to conduct repairs before moving on to Technical Judging! The Robot Operators kept their wits about them, and worked until the bitter end to recover.

 2012/2013 – Senior Solutions

“Senior Solutions” has been the favourite season for many of our members. It was a stroke of genius for FIRST to challenge children to discover what life was like for the over 60’s, and an even better move to have teams ask Seniors to partner with them for the season.

Project Bucephalus made contact with the IRT Nursing home, and made many visits over the season – much to the delight of the residents! Robot designs were shared, as were project updates. The team also socialised, playing cards and board games and generally making friends. This relationship didn’t end with the season, rather it continues today!

Event Year Location Award
Sydney Regional 2012 Macquarie University Regional Championship
Australian National Championships 2013 Macquarie University Inspiration
Asia-Pacific Championships 2013 Macquarie University 1st Place Programming
Memories: #1: An all-Australian match-up at the API, watched by no less than Scott Evans!

 2011/2012 – Food Factor

With the rookie season a spectacular whirlwind, what would happen next? Project Bucephalus returned for “Food Factor”, and had another great season, trying out many of the ideas they had seen at the 2011 OEC. With a mission to focus on food safety, the team went through MANY ideas before settling on preserving food in an unpowered environment (specifically, hiking in the bush). An insulated food wrap called “Smart Wrap” was the result of this process – and the product was tested extensively at home and in the field. The team finished in 2nd Place in the Nationals – but earned a trip to the World Festival in the USA!
Event Year Location Award
Sydney Regional 2011 Narrabeen Sports High School Regional Championship
Australian National Championships 2011 Macquarie University Gracious Professionalism
World Festival 2012 St Louis, USA 2nd Place Programming
Memories: #1: Making friends with the “KookaGumJoeys” during the Nationals, and being able to congratulate them when they won the National Championship!

#2: Meeting the CougarBots from the Word of Life Lutheran school and starting a long friendship!

 2010/2011 – Body Forward

The rookie Project Bucephalus team was made up of 9 team members, who had absolutely no idea of what they were getting involved in!

The 2010 FLL theme was “Body Forward”, and was designed to help us “…explore the cutting-edge world of Biomedical Engineering to discover innovative ways to repair injuries, overcome genetic predispositions, and maximise the body’s potential, with the intended purpose of leading happier and healthier lives…”.

Project Bucephalus focused on the issue of Diabetes, and designed a Smartphone/PDA application called “Diabet X”, designed to either work wirelessly with an insulin pump, or handle manual input from diabetics relying on injections and blood tests. This project was well researched and designed, and has been presented to a number of community and medical groups to a good reception.
Event Year Location Award
Sydney Regional 2010 Macquarie University 2nd Place Championship
Australian National Championships 2010 Macquarie University Robot Performance
National Championship
Open European Championship 2011 Delft, Netherlands
Memories: The team worked through the season largely in a bubble – we had no idea of how other teams were faring, or how our own efforts would compare. Our collective goal was to NOT embarrass ourselves! Winning a trophy was a complete shock. Winning the Championship was inconceivable.

Attending the OEC granted us a sense of perspective. We were completely out of our league when compared to some of the world-class teams in attendance. We also learnt some hard lessons about light shielding and robot design.