The competition is here!
Each round is only about two and half minutes, each robot has to scoop up a variety of coloured inflatables and place them on a peg, its a bit like basketball I guess.
The specification of each robot is roughly the same so the size of the chassis, and has a vertical section with some kind of arm, the movement can be with bicycle chain, wire pulleys or hydraulics.
An unusual part of the competition, is each robot has an extra mini-robot, looking like a rollerskate, this gets launched from an extra extending arm, put onto the these poles where it has to climb up and press the top activating a switch making a green light come on, for a massive bonus in points. As you can expect this is a very difficult task to do in a short space of time, as well as implement into the design of the robot.
My job here was simply as a marshal to gather the shapes and put them on the side in between each game. There are teams come out after each tournament to load their robot onto a trolley and take back to the pit. These things look like giant bagels! The glasses are necessary in case pieces break off a robot, theres a lot of sharp metal bits in the inner workings there.
A lot of the judges have some engineering background, some of the Israelis work for famous names in IT such as Google and Hewlett Packard. It was good to chat about humorous connections to Futurama (looks like Tel Aviv at the beginning credits of this show!) and I-Robot as well 🙂
This was absolutely superb event to be part of, and as Christian and an IT person to participate in this event, I think its humbling that the Lord God gives some of us Christian volunteers extra ways to serve him in doing different and exciting challenges. I hope this event continues on to help young people with curiosity for technology in a sporting team event and helps this country’s reputation as a place fertile in highly skilled engineers and problem solvers.