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27 November 2020
With ‘innovation’ at the heart of its motto, Oakgrove is the first school nationally to invest in a new TinyLineMarker Sport robot to paint its grass sporting pitches. The robot, officially named ‘Oakey’ by an Oakgrove student, uses in-built GPS technology to recognise and mark out pitch templates, which are input beforehand by ground staff on a tablet.
Impressed at how quickly and efficiently the robot easily moves over grass surfaces and how accurately it paints the pitch lines, Headteacher Ian Tett said:
“Oakgrove is now 18 months into a three year renovation programme to improve the school’s five natural turf pitches and landscaped areas. The new TinyLineMarker Sport robot, which uses the latest cutting-edge technology, will be an invaluable tool in enabling the school in its ambition to shape and adapt its sports provision.
“Students will learn about the robot’s functionality during IT design and programming lessons and will be able to see first-hand the robot in action, as it marks out pitches in readiness for sporting activities.
“Oakey is a fun and fitting name for the robot and was chosen by Ethan, one of our Year 8 students following a naming competition”
Oakgrove’s Grounds Maintenance Manager and horticulturist Bill Malins added:
“Our school’s pitches are not only used by students, but are played on regularly by local community sporting clubs. To meet a growing increase in demand, the school needed to find a fast, labour saving and economical way to line-mark pitches.
“An on-site demonstration of the TinyLineMarker Sport by line marking solutions company Rigby Taylor, showed how easy it is to create pitch templates for football, rugby and athletics using a tablet that is also supplied. The robot was able to mark a pitch within an amazing accuracy of 5-10mm and overmark another within 20 minutes. The TinyLineMarker Sport can be programmed to just mark out the number of pitches needed on a particular day and, if a pitch is required at short notice, the grass can be mowed as the robot follows on.”