Last week we reported on the upcoming 2012 Robogames competition would be held in San Mateo, California. Nobody from the Hackaday staff could make it this year, but luckily [Sabrina Merlo] from the Make: blog was able to provide a full report of the spectacle of fire, sparks and pierced metal this year.
For anyone who remembers the wonderful Battlebots TV show from 10 years ago, the main event is very familiar: two competitors face off with the remote-controlled extensions of themselves in a Lexan enclosed arena. The resulting battle is an orgy of flames sparks and mortally wounded robots. Yes, there are a ton of wedge robots, but most of them had very interesting weapon designs.
Off the main stage, there are also more traditional robotics competitions. Sumo robots try to push each other out of a ring, robot soccer tries to demonstrate a mechanistic Pelé, and foot-tall MechWarriors battle in the streets of a miniaturized city.
There were also a lot of not-really-battling robots like a robotic foosball table. It sounds like everyone had a blast, so we might be hitting up the bay area this time next year.
As you may recall, many of us here at Hackaday are big fans of any activity involving robot competitions. One of the better known events that fits that description would be the Robogames, an international event where robots can compete in 50 different events. Granted, not all of them are as visually exciting as the ball of fire and twisted steel shown above, but they are interesting nonetheless. The event is happening this weekend, April 20th, in San Mateo California. Unfortunately, none of the Hackaday staff will be able to make it this year, but we’re really looking forward to seeing all the cool pictures that seem to flow out of the event.
If you happen to make it to the event, we’d love to see your pictures and videos.
Join us after the break for a short video that gives a taste of what the games are like.
It’s off to the races once again with the Micomouse maze solving contest at the 2011 RoboGames. This is a picture of the winner, a bot called Min7 (main page) which was built by [Ng Beng Kiat]. Using four phototransistors and a flash sensor it managed to first map the contest maze, then speed run it in under four seconds. See both runs in videos after the break. He’s certainly got a leg up on the bots we saw last year. Min7 beats them both in time, and overall control during the speed run.
[Ng] mentions that this year is the first time he’s built a micromouse with four wheels instead of two. There’s a gyro on board which aids navigation by feeding the orientation data to the STM32 chip which controls the device. We took a moment to page through his past designs. It’s remarkable how they’ve evolved through the years. Continue reading “Micromouse wins 2011 maze race in under 4 seconds”→
Pay close attention. At roughly 36 seconds we see Asimov’s laws going out the window. We’re pretty sure we saw this little autonomous battle bot take a shot at a human. We can’t tell for sure, but it looked like it enjoyed it too.
This bot is being built by [xdream] to compete in the Mech Warfare section of the Robo Games 2010. His target acquisition system and firing are completely autonomous. We think his motion is controlled by an operator though.
This little fellow may seem harmless enough, until you realize that those servos and guns could be replaced and this “little guy” becomes that “big fella”. That’s not anything the maker suggested, we’re just pointing out that a killer robot is only cute when it’s small.
On the latest episode of Systm, they talk to [David Calkins], founder of the RoboGames competition, about humanoid robotics. The robots featured in the episode are Hitec’s ROBONOVA-I. The ROBONOVA is about a foot high and has 16 servos with support for up to 24, all connected to an Atmel controller. The episode is quite long: At around 15 minutes, they demonstrate the programming enviroment. You can program it traditionally or pose the bot to work out the motions. At 30 minutes, [David] mentions that next year’s competition will allow airsoft weapons to be attached, but bots have to be controlled from a first person perspective. If you’re interested in one of these kits, they have a ROBONOVA special of $900 or as low as $500 for educational institutions (that’s us, right?). Now is the perfect time to get one since you’ll have nearly a full year to prepare for RoboGames.
Related: You’ll hear builder [Matt Bauer]’s name mentioned several times.
The fifth annual RoboGames is happening this weekend in San Francisco. RoboGames is a broad reaching competition designed to bring together specialists in all areas of robotics. Last year’s event had 800 entries in 62 different events. The biggest audience draw is definitely the combat robots shown in the video above, but there are other skill and task based competitions. If you’re in the area, this is definitely worth your time. Check out ROBOT magazine’s coverage from last year to get an idea of what you’ll see (or in our case miss).