Left: There are a few mascots just like a big sports event, this fella (or lady, I couldn’t tell) in the orange costume can’t really see so needs someone to take him around 🙂 Right: Robots get brought in loaded in crates along with computers, tools and spare parts.
Left: These players reject conventional control methods with a handheld radio control with big springy aerials, instead moving around is done with a laptop. This is part of a dedicated control panel, with the laptop fastened onto a wooden board with two or three conventional game joysticks for movement. Each robot has a conventional wireless router which gets instructions from the operator. When it is time for the team to play, they carry the control panel out with them. There is a PC in the pit as well, some of them are showing CAD software with 3D models of robots and individual sub-assemblies. Right: Oops, server error!
Batteries! think these are fairly common ones for wheelchairs. These wheels are amazing! They don’t look a common type of part, as each has a roller type piece set at 45 degrees, I am guessing they are designed to give enough traction over sand or gravel.
Top left: Lots of complicated stuff here, seem there are several discrete control systems that manage motors, pulleys and other bits. Right: Each ‘pit’ is a domain for each robot team to test and service their robot, hold collection of parts and tools, have lunch, do male team bonding (actually there are girl engineers too) and also as a kind of geek’s dressing room.
I think the scissor type elevating robot is my favourite 🙂
It was great talking to the different teams, judges and mentors (mostly contestants from previous competitions) Its phenomenal seeing the amount of creative talent that is here, especially as all the contestants here are very young (college age)