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October 2006

October 1, 2006

Success! The Thin Man Works!

Filed under: Robots — Bob @ 9:29 pm

Just got back home from Robothon where I competed in two events with three robots: Line Maze with Hyperion, and Mini Sumo with Velox and The Thin Man (TTM).

Similar to last year, my attempt at the Line Maze was a bit of a disaster. This wasn’t surprising. I made a half-hearted attempt to figure out what might be wrong, but honestly didn’t spend nearly enough time on it. Oh well.

The up side: Velox won second place and TTM took third place in the Advanced Mini Sumo event. Dave Hylands won first place (as usual, drat) but TTM worked pretty well and was very promising despite its “limitations”. You have to understand that I procrastinated through the summer, finally finished the machining and electronics on Friday morning, wrote just enough code to get some simple behavior on Saturday, and competed on Sunday.

I got many great comments on the design. Everyone was very impressed with how nice it turned out. It was so thin that no other robot could actually detect it unless it was really close. Unfortunately TTM was also completely blind (no idea why, yet) so often it was a bit of comic relief watching two blind robots spin around each other. I figured winning a match or two would be a great success but third place (especially against some really good robots) is well beyond my expectations.

As usual, Robothon was a lot of fun and I got to catch up with many people I don’t see very often, including the Spark Fun guys Nathan and Ben, and the nice folks from Pololu too. I’ll try to get my photos online in the next couple of days.

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