A ROBOT created by two Wirral schoolgirls will take on more than 30 for the top prize during an international Robocup competition in Japan this week.

Anna Sass and Lilly Hudson, both 15, from Prenton High School For Girls, built 'Alan' during lunch breaks after teaching themselves how to code.

He is fitted with colour and light sensors and programmed to perform tasks and overcome obstacles without human intervention.

Anna and Lilly were delighted after 'Alan' won this year's National Junior Robocup Rescue Line Competition and were automatically entered for the contest in Nagoya, Japan.

The duo had struggled to raise funds to cover flights and accommodation until online car rental service Rentalcars.com, stepped in the £3,000 needed to cover expenses.

The winners of the competition will be announced next Monday.

Looking forward to competing in Japan, Anna said: "We started working on Alan two years ago in a robotics club at school.

"We are self-taught in code and we built him using old materials that had been in school for about ten years.

"The club started with about eleven of us but everyone else dropped out except me and Lilly.

"We never imagined we would be flying out to Japan to compete in a competition when we first started.

"We competed in the national competition in March and we were the only girls in our group.

"We could tell people were shocked when we turned up. People just don't expect girls to be into this kind of thing."

Alan operates by running on a track and navigating itself around obstacles such as bricks and pens and the girls hope the model could be used to move around fallen buildings and rubble in future.

Lilly said: "Alan could be developed more to have thermal sensors, then he would be able to detect and save victims after natural disasters.

"Our ultimate goal is for him to be able to save lives.”

Ryan Cheyne, director of people from Rentalcars.com said: "We think Anna and Lilly are really inspirational.

"When we heard about Alan we made contact to see if we could help because we thought it was a great opportunity to encourage young people to get interested and involved in technology.

"We are incredibly proud to be helping out with Anna and Lilly, and of course now the whole business is rooting for them.

"It feels a bit like Alan vs Goliath, but whatever happens it's a huge experience for them and a great opportunity to inspire some other youngsters."