A sixth-form student from Sutton Grammar School has been chosen to represent the UK in a European-wide young scientist competition.

Andrew Cowan, 17, from South Park Road in Wimbledon, created a remote controlled search and recovery robot as part of his A-level coursework.

The robot so impressed the competition judges, that he was chosen to fly to Portugal in September to take part in the 22nd European Union Contest for Young Scientists.

Andrew’s invention, which comes complete with a camera, sensor and fire fighting equipment, has also impressed some major electronic companies.

Andrew said: “I created the robot as part of my DT Systems and Controls coursework.

“It can be sent into buildings that are falling down or on fire so it could be used by the fire brigade or people helping in emergencies.”

The robot has already picked up a host of prizes.

While he was working on the invention Andrew also managed to persuade a number of companies to sponsor the project.

He approached the companies and asked them for key parts, such as the robot’s important sensor. In return he agreed to place their logos on the side of the machine.

And as a result of the robot’s success Andrew is now in the position, before he has even completed his A-levels, of weighing up job offers from two major electronics companies.

He said: “When I started the project I didn’t have any idea of getting sponsorship it was just something I was doing on my own.

Photo by dvs