By Kalwinder Kaur
Robotic event was recently held at Johnson Athletic Center of MIT that included a series of one-on-one matchups using robots, created and programmed by students.
Marking the end of MIT’s mechanical engineering course called ‘Design and Manufacturing 1’, known by its course number, 2.007, followed by dynamic designs and strategies, participants with simple, stable and repeatable approaches were the winners.
At the competition, a carnival game called ‘strength tester’ was hosted. Here a mallet is used to strike a lever, followed by the propulsion of a projectile to strike a bell. The students used various approaches to accomplish this challenge.
Other tasks include mechanical removal of tickets from a roll; inflating of a balloon from a container of compressed air. However, the final challenge was to employ robots to move the Ferris wheel in either direction on opposite sides of the field; the points gained with other tests were multiplied based on the number of rotations made by the Ferris wheel.
Most of the students were initially provided with identical kits of parts. Single robots were designed and constructed specifically for the tasks. Even multiple robots can be developed. Kawin Surakitbovorn, the ultimate winner used a two-robot system. One device included a scissors-jack elevator to raise the strength-test projectile, while the other small robot enabled turning the Ferris wheel.
A range of different outcomes resulted due to the complexity of the playing field, various methods of scoring, and other issues in actual competition such as battery failure. The final scores range from 0 to 150.
The students at MIT had to accomplish competing demands. Runner-up Sarah Southerland’s small single robot enabled achieving single task reliably and steadily such as using a spatula-like device to lift the strength-test projectile.
Winning in this 2.007 finale competition has no consequence in the student’s grade, and participating in this contest is only optional. Besides winning the awards, the top three winners will represent MIT in the two-week International Design Competition, this summer in Japan.
Two additional cash awards were given to sophomore Sam Whittemore and junior Joe Church for innovative robot designs.