2018 Winners

The Maker Games


The challenge, set by the defence industry group BAE Systems, was to come up with a way to make the cleaning and painting of naval warships a cheaper, safer and more efficient process.

The conventional cleaning and painting of a naval ship involves the vessel being lifted into a dry dock where maintenance contractors carry out their work. This poses risk to the contractors as they work at great heights and often costs hundreds of thousands or even millions.

The solution

After months of brainstorming, bouncing ideas, tinkering with models and seeking advice from academic and industrial mentors, Team Arash emerged with AMAR – Autonomous Magnetic Attraction Robot.

The Robot overcomes the arduous process by attaching to the sides of a steel vessel with magnets. AMAR is fitted with high-pressure water which was simulated with hose nozzles and paints which would clean and paint the ship.


  • Reduced labour: only one person is required per device to oversee its operation
  • Safer: removes the danger of people working at great heights
  • Cheaper: significantly reduces the maintenance bill

During their pitch to the judges, the team put AMAR through its paces - they created a simulation of the Robot working on a ship’s exterior. About the size of a dinner-tray, the compact, flat box on four discreet wheels moved autonomously back and forth along an acute angle, demonstrating how the Robot would work in real life.

Trip of a lifetime

The four winning members flew to California’s Silicon Beach, the tech hub of the western beach suburbs of Los Angeles. There they networked with leading engineering and design organisations including Netflix and UCLA.

The Maker Games 2018 Winners Netflix

“The Maker Games trip to LA was an incredible opportunity to gain insight into some of the new-age tech companies that occupy the silicon beach tech hub. Something that all these companies had in common was their innovative and lively culture which centered around the employee experience. For example, in many of these offices there were no defined hours to be at work, dogs were allowed in the office, there was free food and coffee and there were unconventional spaces for relaxing and working away from your desk. This culture was built on the independence and autonomy of the employees which inspired loyalty as well as a solid and sustainable work ethic. Plus, it was pretty cool to check out UCLA and Netflix HQ.”

Tom Grimes