SECONDARY school students tested their metal as they went head to head in a the regional heats of a national robotics competition.

Thomas, Lord Audley School, in Monkwick Avenue, Colchester, played host to the annual VEX Robotics Design System competition.

The battle of wits and technical skills saw pupils from 28 teams across the east and south of England pit their robots’ dexterity, skill and manoeuvrability against each other in a number of battles and challenges.

They squared off in the game Starstruck, which was developed by VEX Robotics Inc and the Robotics Education and Competition Foundation,

The Essex regional competition is one of a series of national tournaments supported by Colchester-based Rapid Electronics. Winners of the national competitions will go on to compete against schools from countries across the globe.

As well as Thomas Lord Audley, Colchester schools St Helena School, the Stanway School and East Bergholt High School also took part alongside the Colchester Independent Team Digital Circus.

The winning teams, the Digital Circus, and De Montfort School, will take part in the UK National Championships, in Birmingham.

The excellence award, which gives winners a passage straight to the Louiseville. USA, competition, went to an independent team.

Judges also gave special mention to the team from The John Warner School, in Hoddesdon.