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September 2007
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September 24, 2007

Robothon 2007

Filed under: Robots — Bob @ 7:12 pm

Robothon is over for another year and it was quite exciting. I only took two robots this year: The Thin Man and Velox, both were for the mini sumo event. I opted to not take any other robots simply because I haven’t spent any time improving them so it was unlikely they’d do well.

The Thin Man took first place in the mini sumo event this year (beating my friend and long-time nemesis Dave Hylands), while Velox suffered some sort of mental break that is likely a shorted wire or toasted component. Given the terrible state of its wiring, I’m not surprised. If I want to run it in a future event it’s going to require whole new sensor and processor boards. I already have a design for both though, so it shouldn’t be too hard.

The Thin Man got quite a bit of attention as it was never beaten by any other robot. One significant improvement for this year was to program four different start modes: start straight, start with a left turn, start with a right turn, or pause a little longer before going straight. I didn’t use the fourth mode but the first three worked really well. The rules of mini sumo dictate that the winner of the previous round places their robot first, which is typically a big disadvantage.

It appears other people didn’t know I could change my start program (perfectly legal and even recommended by Pete Miles in his book if I recall correctly) so they would place their robot where they though my robot wouldn’t go. But The Thin Man went right at them anyways, even when I had to turn first. It was like magic!

My micro sumo robot AL also got quite a bit of attention even though Robothon doesn’t run an event for that class. I take it every year anyways because it is a great demonstration of how even small sumo robots can be well made, very fast and very aggressive.

Once again I was very intrigued with the Robo-Magellan event and will start my own project very soon. I have some sketches done for some parts, and as soon as I have something worth showing I’ll blog about it.

I’ve uploaded quite a few pictures from the event here. Enjoy!

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