Tel Aviv – robotics competition Part 3 Extreme engineering

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)

Part 1: Setting up at the arena
Part 2: Meet the robots
Part 3: Robot inner workings
Part 4: Competition

Tel Aviv – robotics competition Part 2 Meet the robots

Another 5am start – urrrgh….

But it was worth it also.   As the robotics event was already in full swing, I did get to miss out on the Lego event that happened earlier in the week sadly, as my colleagues from work were helping out on the monday and tuesday.

The electronic signs didn’t show English, but some other signs around the corner did show which gates at Jerusalem bus station are for which city.

Tel Aviv bus station is hugely complicated.   Its a bit reminiscent of the now gone Tricorn shopping centre in Portsmouth, UK, for its concrete angles.   When your bus gets there you are high up as its like a multistory car park, quite a clever design really and you have to use lifts or escalators or steps down.

I just seem to go round and round looking for an exit, and got into an abandoned wing of the shopping centre which looked a bit seedy and smelt of wee.  Got to like the “Parkings” sign!

Back at the Nokia arena, I got to visit some of the contestants there…

Meet the robots!  They are all made of mostly steel, weigh upto about 40 kilos, have an upright arm for grabbing objects, share the same control system (wireless by laptop)  and are sponsored by companies big and small.   There is a bumper, a rubber or foam insulator around the whole thing to protect from knocking into things.   I don’t know much about the rules and specs they had to be built to, but I do know they are not mean to attack each other or people 🙂

The teams are almost all Israelis, secular and religious Jews, Arabs and a team from the military too, plus was one foreign team from Bosnia.

Part 1: Setting up at the arena
Part 2: Meet the robots
Part 3: Robot inner workings
Part 4: Competition