Students put their engineering and technology skills to the test at a robotics competition at Stanmore College this morning.

Robots deisgned by nine teams from five different schools were pitted against each other in the regional VEX robotics competition.

In 'sack attack' machines raced to pick sandbags off the ground and place them in trays.

David Denman, 14, of the Robot Rumble and Glitch Team from Cheshunt High School in Hertfordshire, said: “We got interested in robotics by chance really.

“There was a meeting about it which we went along to and when we got there they said, well done you are now the robotics team.

“We started building our robot last April and it was finished last night.”

The competition is the fastest growing of its kind in the world, with more than 4,800 schools from 20 countries taking part.

Alex White, 15, another member of Robot Rumble and Glitch, said: “It’s hard work and it is expensive.

“Our robot cost between £1,500 and £2,000 to build and so we had to get sponsors.”

Teams from East Barnet School, Highgate School, The Gilberd School and Thomas Lord Audley School also took part in the competition.

Saidu Kamara, 14, the final member of the Robot Rumble and Glitch, added: “We like that there is a community spirit.

“It’s incredible really, everyone is always friendly and we help each other out.

“The most we have lost is one battery.”

The winners of the regional competition will move on to the national final between March 14 and 17.