TechTatva’19 – Robotrek
Xavier Thomas and Devangshi Debraj | Staff Writers
Robosoccer was the perfect place for tech enthusiasts to showcase their Arduino prowess. The event hosted teams from colleges outside of MIT. In Round 1, the ten teams were given the challenge of commanding their bots to score a goal without touching the obstacle placed in the arena. The teams had a tough time in this round, as avoiding the obstacles proved to be toughed. Deduction of points for carrying the ball into the goal and in touching the obstacles added to the difficulty.
Round 2 was initially meant to be a knockout match where two bots were to be pitted against each other in a kick-off match. The objective of the teams was to score their assigned balls into the opposing team’s goal, with a white ball being common to both the teams. Unfortunately, this round did not go according to plan, as there was an issue with the matchup of teams. Two teams from the same college were set against each other. One of the bots did not meet the weight specifications and the team blamed it on the weighing scale. Even though these troubles were sorted out, round 2 had to be postponed due to unforeseen admin issues.
Day 2 and Day 3 found the Mechatronics lab in AB1 bustling with excitement as the matches commenced, with all eyes trained on the two tiny robots battling for dominance on a cardboard football field. The robots were pitted against each other in a riveting game of soccer, as the little rovers guided a plastic ball into a goal. Each round lasted two minutes, with competitors having to switch robots every sixty seconds. Spectators were driven to laughter as the ball constantly rolled away from the robots’ outstretched arms. Often, after a series of pirouettes and defensive manoeuvres, it took a mere five seconds to deliver the ball to the goal.
Core Committee member, Abhinav, spoke of the event, saying, “We had a surprisingly good turnout. There were absolutely no hiccups, and the event is running smoothly and on time. The participants do not have to worry about the technicalities of the robots’ working; this saves a lot of time.” As the shortlisted contestants entered finals, they gave up on playing soccer, abandoning the ball to wrestle instead. They were given four minutes per match, with participants switching lots every thirty seconds. A comical scene ensued as the robots seemingly embraced each other, only to knock each other down. The final match lasted longer than usual, with each round ending in a tie. A spectator humorously suggested that they use a blue ball instead of the red one, commenting that “maybe things will change’‘. The winner, Shivam A, a second-year student of MIT, shared his thoughts on the competition saying that, “It was an exciting event. I had expected it to be tough, which it was, yet I had a lot of fun. The judging was fair. If I could change one thing, it would be to allow participants to make changes to the bots.” It was an exciting match as both participants strove to prove their mettle. Ultimately, the winning goal turned out to be a smooth drive to the finish.
Arnaav Anand and Enakshi Sarkar | Staff Writers
Along the surreptitious alleyway outside the library, Sumobots 2.0 was hosted on Day 1 of TechTatva 2019. Attracting a handful of curious onlookers, the first round of the event was poised to be a classic elimination round featuring teams from MIT and outstation participants from VIT and other colleges. The teams were instructed to circumnavigate a spiral-shaped course barricaded by a barrage of stones with their custom-built remote-controlled vehicles. The robots had to cover the course in two minutes wherein striking a stone would induce negative points and climbing up ramps would impart bonus points.
The teams showcased a variety of robot vehicles of different shapes and sizes, each offering its own tactical and aesthetic quality. Most of the teams were able to complete the course with relative ease. However, some of the teams found it hard to climb up the ramps, inevitably hitting stones along the way. All teams remarkably progressed to the final round where the robots were pitted against each other in a one-on-one competition of strength and shrewd tactical ability.
The second round of Sumobots 2.0 featured a sumo-wrestling style arena, where the bots battled one another to push their opponent out of the ring. If either of the bots failed to do so within two minutes, the points were deducted for entering the outer black ring. The outstation participants
outnumbered the home teams, and one of them took home the coveted title. Swapping models for the bots was permitted, and the participants found themselves pondering over various AC/DC circuit combinations, along with finding the most accurate transformer model, to top their previous design.
“I had attended last year’s rendition as well, and this time I came back prepared and smarter”, claimed Preet Batavia, a second-year student and one of the participants. On the whole, the excitement at the event was worth the one-hour wait. “We switched to remote-controlled robots as opposed to last year’s wired robots, and the turnout was more as well”, explained Kabir Mukherjee, one of the Event Heads for the category. Despite the delay in starting the event, it ended up being very well received amongst the spectators.
Vibhor Gopal | Staff Writer
ATV Bots had participants create a bot which could run through an obstacle course in the least possible time. Participants had to design bots as per certain weight, dimension, and battery restrictions. Teams were judged on how fast their bot completed the course, with five seconds being deducted from the running total after each obstacle was passed.
The course diverged into two different paths, with ten seconds being removed from the clock if a participant chose the more difficult path. Participants were allowed to take a minute-long technical timeout. Ten seconds were added to the time if the bot got stuck and had to be reset to the last checkpoint. “We have been preparing for a month but faced some difficulties configuring a bot according to the specifications. We usually participate in competitions which have higher weight limits for the bots”, said Sandesh Nayak, an outstation contestant from St. Joseph Engineering College, Mangalore.
“The event initially had three rounds, but we decided to have only two rounds to accommodate other events in our category since most of our participants are competing in both events”, said Bhaavya Maheshwari, the Event Head. Five teams qualified for the second round, which took place on the same day. Participants had to go through a tougher course, with a new rule in place, that is, thirty seconds were deducted if a team chose to skip an obstacle. With all of the competing teams being outstation participants, the event was overall a success.
Image Credits: Photography and Videography, TechTatva’19