Trisha Celine Anil
Robotrek kick-started their events on the first day of Tech Tatva ’18 with a robot wrestling challenge. The event took place next to the library canteen saving the organisers from the unexpected heavy showers to keep the thrill alive at all times. There were a total of nine teams of about three to four participants each enthusiastically competing to test the strength and compatibility of their bots. The robots played two qualifying rounds on an artificially-built arena for the event.
The first round consisted of moving the bots swiftly around the arena to collect points placed at specific locations. The rules of the game were simple, favouring fun and fair play. While maneuvering outside the defined path cost ten points, bumping into the rocks would make a bot lose five points. Though the event witnessed a majority of the bots collecting a fair number of points, four teams stood out and made it to the semi-finals.
The second round required a robot to push its opponent out of the arena. The two teams which made it to the finals pulled a large crowd to watch an exciting fight between MIT’s home bot Iyer and the outstation bot Mechaelectrical. Though Iyer had put up a great fight, it was Mechaelectriacal which took the title home. In an interesting match between bots, the participants had a great time applying the concepts of electronics and robotics in real-world applications.
Trisha Celine Anil
No Dice, an event organized by Robotrek, had complex-looking robots take part in a modified version of the famous board game—Snakes and Ladders. The event took place in NLH, attracting participants that have a passion for robotics. A large board consisting of a few boosters and obstacles was carefully designed to keep participants on edge.
The game required robots to roll dice and move across the board based on the number rolled. Each of the robots had fifteen minutes to complete the game. The robots were controlled by controllers designed through arduino code that were written by participants. One participant stood out using a robot that had an arm made of a paper cup.
Although a fairly simple game, many of the robots struggled to pick up the dice and throw it across the board. Participants had to constantly take their bots out of the board for readjustments. The teams tested their wits to complete this game, giving each other tough competition. If you thought Snake and Ladders was child’s play, this event proved you wrong.
Trisha Celine Anil
Maze Runner, under the category Robotrek, was an exhibition of the participants’ skill in robotics. It was conducted in NLH with a relatively low turnout of participants. The participants were required to build an autonomous robot, which finds its way out of a relatively complex maze in fifteen minutes only.
The maze was designed and set up by the event organisers, and had checkpoints which were assigned with a specific number of points. A team earned these points once a robot crossed it. The bots had a size restriction of fifteen square centimeters due to the width of the path of the maze.
The participants could not control the bots. Instead, they moved around with the help of sensors placed on them. Their movements were decided by the complex Arduino codes written by the participants before the competition. Participants were allowed to readjust robots, but at the cost of a few points. Robots that hit any walls of the maze lost points too.
While many participants went in feeling confident about their robots, most of them struggled to play the game well. Though the robots were calibrated, they still consistently hit walls and were required to be readjusted several times. Some participants had to frequently change their code, resulting in a loss of time for the bot to make it out of the maze. It was indeed a great learning experience owing to the complexity of the task.