UK VEX Robotics champions 2017 The Girls of Steel visit The Innomech Group


The Innomech Group – an outsource product manufacturing and custom industrial process automation company from Witchford, near Ely, welcomed the UK VEX robotics Competition 2017 champions, The Girls of Steel, to their premises on the 7 July to demonstrate their winning creations in action. Students and staff from Witchford Village College, Ely Village College and Kings College, Ely were also present.

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The Girls of Steel, a group of inspiring Year 9 students from East Barnet School in North London, reached out to The Innomech Group earlier this year for support to take part in The VEX Robotics Competition, the largest and fastest growing middle and high school robotics program globally, with more than 18,000 teams from 40 countries playing in over 1,350 competitions. The girls won the UK championships and, with support from Innomech, they were able to travel to Kentucky USA, to compete in the VEX Robotics World Championships where they finished in the top 60 - more than 200 teams took part in the championships.

The Innomech Group is made up of two businesses; Innomech, which specialises in designing and developing industrial process custom automation technology for a range of industries including, automotive, medtech and renewable energies, while Nexus IE, offers an all-inclusive manufacturing service, covering design, build and ongoing support to technology start-ups and SMEs in the Ely region. Both businesses are ISO 9001 certified and operate from a purpose-built eco-sustainable innovation Centre that was designed by the company’s founder. 

“It’s been a privilege to welcome the Girls of Steel to our premises and to learn about their drive and enthusiasm for engineering,” comments Julie Dean, Managing Director of Nexus IE. “The Vex Robotics design platform is an excellent way to capture students’ imagination and develop skills in mechatronics as well as presentation skills and social networking. The girls are a fantastic example of what can be achieved when engineering is applied in a fun and practical way. It also helps break open the world of engineering showing it is just as accessible to girls as well as boys.” 

Innomech recently said goodbye to their female engineering intern, Laura Tuck, who has been studying for an MA in Engineering at the University of Cambridge. During her time at Innomech, she worked with a prospective customer to design an automated quality inspection and rework process; the project involved liaising with machine vision suppliers and the 'Robot Lab' (part of the Institute of Manufacturing at Cambridge University) to prove proposed concepts.

Further to the huge success of the Girls of Steel project, Innomech Group is intending to collaborate with local schools and colleges to arrange series of STEM-focussed based innovation days, so young people can benefit from hands-on experience in industrial robotics and other process automation equipment. The Innomech Group is also keen to make sponsorship available so young people in Cambridgeshire can take part in similar competitions. 

“EBS Robotics of East Barnet School is extremely happy to work with any Cambridge School looking to include Robotics into their STEM curriculum,” explained Stephen Sadler, part of the Technology Faculty at East Barnet School.  “We hope to start our own Robotics Summer School soon and we will look to invite Head teacher from any Cambridge schools interested in STEM.” 


Experts in applying advanced automation to solve manufacturing and inspection problems; from feasibility studies to fully validated solutions.